Psalm 138 – You Stretch Out Your Hand…

Psalm 138:1-8

1   I give you thanks, O LORD, with my whole heart;
before the gods I sing your praise;
2   I bow down toward your holy temple
and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness;
for you have exalted your name and your word
above everything.
3   On the day I called, you answered me,
you increased my strength of soul.

4   All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O LORD,
for they have heard the words of your mouth.
5   They shall sing of the ways of the LORD,
for great is the glory of the LORD.
6   For though the LORD is high, he regards the lowly;
but the haughty he perceives from far away.

7   Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
you preserve me against the wrath of my enemies;
you stretch out your hand,
and your right hand delivers me.
8   The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me;
your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever.
Do not forsake the work of your hands.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying close attention to the deep breath.
  • As you inhale, breathe in God’s steadfast love and faithfulness.
  • As you exhale, let go of any tension keeping your from the freedom of God.
  • Continue to breathe as you create freedom within you.
  • Consider the midst of trouble you are encountering.
  • Scan your body and notice where this trouble is located in you.
  • Focus on this place of trouble as you continue to breathe.
  • See God’s hand stretch out toward you as you share the trouble with God.
  • Continue to share with God until you feel lightness created in the midst of this trouble.
  • Invite God to show you a path through the trouble.
  • The Lord will fulfill the Lord’s purpose for you.
  • Keep awake during the day as you remain open to God’s leading hand.
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, June 10, 2018, the Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) 
1 Samuel 8:4-11 (12-15), 16-20(11:14-15)
Psalm 138:1-8
2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1
Mark 3:20-35

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings 
(c) 2018 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

Mark 13:24-37 – My words will not pass away…Keep Awake!

GOSPEL MARK 13:24-37

24“But in those days, after that suffering,
the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light,
25  and the stars will be falling from heaven,
and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.
26Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in clouds’ with great power and glory. 27Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.

28“From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. 29So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 30Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. 31Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

32“But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.33Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come. 34It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch. 35Therefore, keep awake — for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, 36or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. 37And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • What needs to be kept awake in you today?
  • What is making you sleepy?
  • Invite God into this place making you sleepy.
  • Ask God to keep you awake.
  • Do you notice any new freedom?
  • Is there new space created in you?
  • Tap into the energy that is keeping you awake?
  • Savor the energy.
  • Notice how to return to this energy.
  • Give thanks to God for this time to be fully awake and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, December 3, 2017, the First Sunday of Advent (Year B) 
Isaiah 64: 1-9
Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19
1 Corinthians 1:3-9
Mark 13: 24-37

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2017 The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Psalm 138 – You stretch out your hand…

Psalm 138:1-8

1   I give you thanks, O LORD, with my whole heart;
before the gods I sing your praise;
2   I bow down toward your holy temple
and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness;
for you have exalted your name and your word
above everything.
3   On the day I called, you answered me,
you increased my strength of soul.

4   All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O LORD,
for they have heard the words of your mouth.
5   They shall sing of the ways of the LORD,
for great is the glory of the LORD.
6   For though the LORD is high, he regards the lowly;
but the haughty he perceives from far away.

7   Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
you preserve me against the wrath of my enemies;
you stretch out your hand,
and your right hand delivers me.
8   The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me;
your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever.
Do not forsake the work of your hands.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying close attention to the deep breath.
  • As you inhale, breathe in God’s steadfast love and faithfulness.
  • As you exhale, let go of any tension keeping your from the freedom of God.
  • Continue to breathe as you create freedom within you.
  • Consider the midst of trouble you are encountering.
  • Scan your body and notice where this trouble is located in you.
  • Focus on this place of trouble as you continue to breathe.
  • See God’s hand stretch out toward you as you share the trouble with God.
  • Continue to share with God until you feel lightness created in the midst of this trouble.
  • Invite God to show you a path through the trouble.
  • The Lord will fulfill the Lord’s purpose for you.
  • Keep awake during the day as you remain open to God’s leading hand.
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, June 10, 2012, the Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

I Samuel 8:4-11 (12-15) 16-20 (11:14-15)
Psalm 138:1-8
2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1
Mark 3:20-35

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD.

The Need for Silence

“The Need for Silence” by Richard Rohr

We don’t know how to take joy in simple things anymore because, frankly, we are sated. You and I have had so much thrown at us! Unless we choose to deliberately under-stimulate ourselves, I don’t think we can reasonably talk about spirituality. We don’t really taste, suffer, enjoy, feel the images that come our way. Westerners have a mania for experience.

Descartes said, I think, therefore I am.

For us it is I experience, therefore I am.

But I’m pretty much convinced experiences don’t change people; realization does. I think of all the powerful experiences that I’ve had. But only when I taste my experiences enough so they become realizations, do I change. That takes time and space. Put time and space together and you have a new definition of silence. We’ve got to create some kind of space so our images can become realizations.

Unless we choose silence, I don’t think a lot of this is going to happen. I don’t think were going to become willing people. We become, instead, willful people, trying to make the world fit our needs. Will triumphs instead of the Spirit. Silence alone is spacious enough to allow Spirit and to let go of will-fullness. Silence makes us willing instead of willful.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • Notice the silence.
  • What do you need to put aside to be silent?  Write it down if you need to help let go of it.
  • What experience within you needs time and space?
  • Allow this experience into your focus.
  • Savor the experience.
  • What new thoughts do you have about the experience?
  • Where is God in the experience?
  • How has time and space given you more realization?
  • What message do you hear from God?
  • Is there a call to action?
  • Give thanks to God for this time to deepen the experience and for any  new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, November 27, 2011, the First Sunday of Advent Year B 
Isaiah 64: 1-9
Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19
1 Corinthians 1:3-9
Mark 13: 24-37


If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD