1 O that you would tear open the heavens and come down,
so that the mountains would quake at your presence —
2 as when fire kindles brushwood
and the fire causes water to boil —
to make your name known to your adversaries,
so that the nations might tremble at your presence
3 When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect,
you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence.
4 From ages past no one has heard,
no ear has perceived,
no eye has seen any God besides you,
who works for those who wait for him.
5 You meet those who gladly do right,
those who remember you in your ways.
But you were angry, and we sinned;
because you hid yourself we transgressed.
6 We have all become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth
We all fade like a leaf,
and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
7 There is no one who calls on your name,
or attempts to take hold of you;
for you have hidden your face from us,
and have delivered us into the hand of our iniquity
8 Yet, O LORD, you are our Father;
we are the clay, and you are our potter;
we are all the work of your hand.
9 Do not be exceedingly angry, O LORD,
and do not remember iniquity forever.
Now consider, we are all your people.
- Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
- Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
- As you read through this passage from the prophet, Isaiah, consider a time you did not call upon the name of the Lord.
- What do you remember about this time?
- Notice any tension you feel in your body.
- Take several deep breaths to soften the tension.
- Read through the passage a second time.
- How did God break through to you?
- In what way(s) did God remold and reshape you?
- If there is still tension in your body, invite God into this tension.
- Offer a cry for forgiveness. Take several deep breaths to soften the tension. Breathe in the breath of God. Breathe out the tension.
- Allow God to heal this tension in you and to give you freedom in its place.
- Breathe in freedom. Exhale tension.
- What is God’s invitation for you?
- Give thanks to God for this time in reconciliation 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 29, 2020, the First Sunday of Advent (Year B)
Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19
1 Corinthians 1:3-9
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 training, 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.