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.

Who Can Stand Before His Cold – Psalm 147:12-20

Psalm 147:12-20

12  Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem!
          Praise your God, O Zion!
13  For he strengthens the bars of your gates;
          he blesses your children within you.
14  He grants peace within your borders;
          he fills you with the finest of wheat.
15  He sends out his command to the earth;
          his word runs swiftly.
16  He gives snow like wool;
          he scatters frost like ashes.
17  He hurls down hail like crumbs —
          who can stand before his cold?
18  He sends out his word, and melts them;
          he makes his wind blow, and the waters flow.
19  He declares his word to Jacob,
          his statutes and ordinances to Israel.
20  He has not dealt thus with any other nation;
          they do not know his ordinances.
     Praise the Lord!

  • Light a candle to remember the light of Christ with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying close attention to the deep breath.
  • Let your attention shift to a part of you that desires to praise God.
  • Be melted by God’s love.
  • Praise God!
  • Let your attention shift to a part of creation that you see praising God.
  • Be melted by God’s peace.
  • Praise God with creation!
  • Let your attention shift to a part of your community that desires to praise God.
  • Be melted by God’s hope for us.
  • Praise God with your community.
  • 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 5, 2020, the Second Sunday after Christmas (Year A)

Jeremiah 31:7-14
Psalm 147:12-20
Ephesians 1:3-14
John 1:(1-9) 10-18

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2019 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.

Christmas Eve – A Great Light – Isaiah 9:2-7

ISAIAH 9:2-7

2   The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who lived in a land of deep darkness —
on them light has shined.
3   You have multiplied the nation,
you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you
as with joy at the harvest,
as people exult when dividing plunder.
4   For the yoke of their burden,
and the bar across their shoulders,
the rod of their oppressor,
you have broken as on the day of Midian.
5   For all the boots of the tramping warriors
and all the garments rolled in blood
shall be burned as fuel for the fire.
6   For a child has been born for us,
a son given to us;
authority rests upon his shoulders;
and he is named
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7   His authority shall grow continually,
and there shall be endless peace
for the throne of David and his kingdom.
He will establish and uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time onward and forevermore.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit in silence five to fifteen minutes embracing the great light that shines before you.
  • What darkness in you desires to be overcome by the light?
  • Allow the light of Christ to warm this desire within you.
  • Embrace the light.
  • Savor any peace that comes.
  • How will you follow the light?
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • Give thanks to God for this time of new life and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Tuesday, December 24, 2019, Christmas Eve (Year A)
Isaiah 9:2-7
Psalm 96:1-13
Titus 2:11-14
Luke 2:1-14 (15-20)

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2019 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: Praise the Lord, O my soul! Psalm 146:5-10

Psalm 146:5-10

5Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob,

whose hope is in the LORD their God,

6who made heaven and earth,

the sea, and all that is in them;

who keeps faith forever;

7who executes justice for the oppressed;

who gives food to the hungry.

The LORD sets the prisoners free;

8the LORD opens the eyes of the blind.

The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down;

the LORD loves the righteous.

9The LORD watches over the strangers;

he upholds the orphan and the widow,

but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.

10The LORD will reign forever,

your God, O Zion, for all generations.

Praise the LORD!

  • 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 say, “Praise the Lord!”
  • As you exhale say, “Praise the Lord, O my soul!”
  • Continue this exercise and notice how your body desires to praise the Lord.
  • Where do you feel freedom?
  • Is there any tension you need to let go?
  • Recognize the tension.  Offer praise to God through this place in you.
  • Name the ways the Lord sets you free.
  • Name the ways the Lord feeds  you.
  • Name the ways the Lord opens your eyes to see.
  • Name the ways the Lord embraces the stranger, the widow, the orphan in you.
  • What praises arise within you?
  • Offer these to the Lord.
  • Savor these praises.  Keep them on your tongue that you might lift these praises again and again throughout the day.
  • 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, December 15, 2019, the Third Sunday of Advent (Year A)

Isaiah 35:1-10
Psalm 146:5-10
Luke 1:47-55
James 5:7-10
Matthew 11:2-11

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2019 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.