Do Not Doubt but Believe: John 20:19-31

JOHN 20:19-31

19When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”20After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.21Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” 22When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

24But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”

26A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” 28Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”

30Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. 31But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.

  • 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.
  • Remember a time when you have seen the footprints of Christ that have led you on a particular path.
  • What details do you remember from this experience?
  • What was your prayer?
  • How did Christ lead you in answer to your prayer?
  • Remember a time when you saw the footprints of Christ only AFTER a Christ-led experience.
  • What details do you remember from this experience?
  • What was your prayer?
  • How did Christ lead you in answer to your prayer?
  • Hold these two experiences before you.  What similarities do you see?  What differences?
  • What does God want to reveal to you about your faith?
  • What is  your prayer today?
  • How might you open yourself to be ready to encounter the risen Christ?
  • Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe!
  • 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, April 19, 2020, the Second Sunday of Easter (Year A)

Acts 2:14a, 22-32
Psalm 16:1-11
1 Peter 1:3-9
John 20:19-31

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.

Receive the Outcome of Your Faith: I Peter 1:3-9

1 Peter 1:3-9

3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,4and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,5who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.6In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials,7so that the genuineness of your faith — being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire — may be found to result in praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.8Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy,9for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • God is so faithful.
  • Rest in God’s faithfulness today.
  • The only outcome upon which we can rely is God’s faithfulness.
  • Notice expectations you are holding that do not rely upon God.
  • Release your expectations to God.
  • Receive God’s faithful outcome.
  • What is your message from God?
  • 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, April 19, 2020, the Second Sunday of Easter (Year A)

Acts 2:14a, 22-32
Psalm 16:1-11
1 Peter 1:3-9
John 20:19-31

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.

A Shall Not Be Moved: Psalm 16:1-11

Psalm 16:1-11

1   Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
2   I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord;
I have no good apart from you.”

3   As for the holy ones in the land, they are the noble,
in whom is all my delight.

4   Those who choose another god multiply their sorrows;
their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out
or take their names upon my lips.

5   The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
6   The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
I have a goodly heritage.

7   I bless the LORD who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
8   I keep the LORD always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

9   Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices;
my body also rests secure.
10  For you do not give me up to Sheol,
or let your faithful one see the Pit.

11  You show me the path of life.
In your presence there is fullness of joy;
in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • As you continue to celebrate the Good News, let your attention be with those places in you that have been reawakened, restored, and renewed in Christ.
  • Breathe deeply and see Christ accompanying you on this path of renewal.
  • Rest in the Breath and the freedom that comes.
  • Rest is the Breath.
  • Rest.
  • Give thanks.
  • What is your message from God?
  • 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, April 19, 2020, the Second Sunday of Easter (Year A)

Acts 2:14a, 22-32
Psalm 16:1-11
1 Peter 1:3-9
John 20:19-31

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.

All of Us Are Witnesses: Acts 2:14a, 22-32

Acts 2:14a, 22-32

14aBut Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them,

22“You that are Israelites, listen to what I have to say: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with deeds of power, wonders, and signs that God did through him among you, as you yourselves know — 23this man, handed over to you according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of those outside the law. 24But God raised him up, having freed him from death, because it was impossible for him to be held in its power. 25For David says concerning him,
‘I saw the Lord always before me,
for he is at my right hand so that I will not be shaken;
26  therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced;
moreover my flesh will live in hope.
27  For you will not abandon my soul to Hades,
or let your Holy One experience corruption.
28  You have made known to me the ways of life;
you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’

29“Fellow Israelites, I may say to you confidently of our ancestor David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30Since he was a prophet, he knew that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would put one of his descendants on his throne. 31Foreseeing this, David spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, saying,
‘He was not abandoned to Hades,
nor did his flesh experience corruption.’
32This Jesus God raised up, and of that all of us are witnesses.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • It is Easter Monday.  How is your breathing?
  • What new thing to you have to say about the resurrection today?
  • How do you wish to stand with Peter and the 11 as Peter tells the Easter story for the first time?
  • How do you hear with new ears again for the first time?
  • Sit with the Easter story again today.
  • What arises within you that you desire to confidently share with those you encounter today?
  • What is your message from God?
  • 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, April 19, 2020, the Second Sunday of Easter (Year A)

Acts 2:14a, 22-32
Psalm 16:1-11
1 Peter 1:3-9
John 20:19-31

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.