Make The Lord Your Trust – Psalm 40:1-22

Psalm 40:1-11

1   I waited patiently for the LORD;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
2   He drew me up from the desolate pit,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
3   He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the LORD.

4   Happy are those who make
the LORD their trust,
who do not turn to the proud,
to those who go astray after false gods.
5   You have multiplied, O LORD my God,
your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;
none can compare with you.
Were I to proclaim and tell of them,
they would be more than can be counted.

6   Sacrifice and offering you do not desire,
but you have given me an open ear.
Burnt offering and sin offering
you have not required.
7   Then I said, “Here I am;
in the scroll of the book it is written of me.
8   I delight to do your will, O my God;
your law is within my heart.”

9   I have told the glad news of deliverance
in the great congregation;
see, I have not restrained my lips,
as you know, O LORD.
10  I have not hidden your saving help within my heart,
I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;
I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness
from the great congregation.

11  Do not, O LORD, withhold
your mercy from me;
let your steadfast love and your faithfulness
keep me safe forever.

7   Thus says the LORD,
the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One,
to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nations,
the slave of rulers,
“Kings shall see and stand up, princes,
and they shall prostrate themselves,
because of the LORD, who is faithful,
the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.

  • 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.
  • How do you need God to pull you up from the desolate pit, the miry bog?
  • Where in your body are you bound and need to be freed?
  • God is inclined to you.  Make your desires known to God.
  • Be open to God’s path of healing.  See the rock God has provided for you.  Sing the song that arises in your heart.
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • 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, January 19, 2020, the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Isaiah 49:1-7
Psalm 40:1-11
1 Corinthians 1:1-9
John 1:29-42

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2020 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

Rev. Dr. Lil Smith is a trained spiritual director, supervisor, and co-founder of Retreat House Spirituality Center in Richardson, TX.  Upon completion of her spiritual direction certification, Lil began Praying the Lectionary in 2011 as a spiritual practice for her morning prayer time.  Instead of reading about someone else’s experience of God, it was important for her to create a prayer practice that would encourage felt sense experience of the Holy emerging from within.  It dawned on her others might enjoy the practice, as well.  So she began to share them on this site.

As you experience the practice of Praying the Lectionary, adopt a loving, caring, and compassionate stance.  If the end of your prayer and meditation time is not pointing to love and hope, there is more work to do.  Keep wrestling.  God is faithful to your journey.  Love and hope will emerge.  Be gentle with yourself and befriend any judgment that arises in you.

Advent – 2 Peter 3 – We wait for new heavens and a new earth…

2 PETER 3:8-15A

8But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. 9The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance. 10But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed.

11Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of persons ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness, 12waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire? 13But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home.

14Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish; 15aand regard the patience of our Lord as salvation.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence paying attention to the deep breath.
  • What fire is consuming you in the midst of waiting?
  • What is the fire burning?
  • How can the fire be contained?
  • Allow the charred remains to settle, and let them go.
  • What new thing are you able to hold now that you have let go?
  • Allow God to nurture this new thing.
  • Growth will rise in the charred remains.
  • What hope do you have in this new growth?
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • Give thanks to God for this time to be in the fire, to let go, and to consider new growth.  Give thanks for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, December 10, 2017, the Second Sunday of Advent (Year B) 
Isaiah 40:1-11
Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13
2 Peter 3:8-15a
Mark 1:1-8

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

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 40:1-11 He inclined to me and heard my cry

Psalm 40:1-11

1   I waited patiently for the LORD;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
2   He drew me up from the desolate pit,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
3   He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the LORD.

4   Happy are those who make
the LORD their trust,
who do not turn to the proud,
to those who go astray after false gods.
5   You have multiplied, O LORD my God,
your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;
none can compare with you.
Were I to proclaim and tell of them,
they would be more than can be counted.

6   Sacrifice and offering you do not desire,
but you have given me an open ear.
Burnt offering and sin offering
you have not required.
7   Then I said, “Here I am;
in the scroll of the book it is written of me.
8   I delight to do your will, O my God;
your law is within my heart.”

9   I have told the glad news of deliverance
in the great congregation;
see, I have not restrained my lips,
as you know, O LORD.
10  I have not hidden your saving help within my heart,
I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;
I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness
from the great congregation.

11  Do not, O LORD, withhold
your mercy from me;
let your steadfast love and your faithfulness
keep me safe forever.

7   Thus says the LORD,
the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One,
to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nations,
the slave of rulers,
“Kings shall see and stand up, princes,
and they shall prostrate themselves,
because of the LORD, who is faithful,
the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.

  • 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.
  • How do you need God to pull you up from the desolate pit, the miry bog?
  • Where in your body are you bound and need to be freed?
  • God is inclined to you.  Make your desires known to God.
  • Be open to God’s path of healing.  See the rock God has provided for you.  Sing the song that arises in your heart.
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • 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, January 15, 2017, the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Isaiah 49:1-7
Psalm 40:1-11
1 Corinthians 1:1-9
John 1:29-42

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