May You See: Psalm 128:1-6

Psalm 128:1-6

1Happy is everyone who fears the LORD,

who walks in his ways.

2You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands;

you shall be happy, and it shall go well with you.

3Your wife will be like a fruitful vine

within your house;

your children will be like olive shoots

around your table.

4Thus shall the man be blessed

who fears the LORD.

5The LORD bless you from Zion.

May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem

all the days of your life.

6May you see your children’s children.

Peace be upon Israel!

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Do an Examen of your day yesterday.
  • What gave you life?
  • Notice the fruit of labor, the fruitful vine, the happiness, the prosperity, the peace.
  • What took life away from you?
  • Notice the failed harvest, the withering vine, the desolation, going through the motions, the anxiety.
  • Hold both of these before you: those things that gave you life and those things that took life away from you.
  • Invite God in these things that you hold before you.
  • Seek the fruit of the Spirit in these things that you hold in your hand:  love, joy, peace, patience, calmness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control.
  • 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, July 26, 2020, the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Genesis 29:15-28
Psalm 105:1-11, 45b
Psalm 128:1-6
Romans 8:26-39
Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52

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.

Groaning in Labor Pains – Romans 8:12-25

Romans 8:12-25

12So then, brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh — 13for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. 15For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ — if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.

18I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. 19For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; 20for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; 23and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. 24For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? 25But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. 

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Notice hope in you.
  • What hope do you see?
  • Expectant hope.
  • Let your attention go to your body.  Where is your body groaning inwardly?
  • Describe this place of groaning.
  • What unseen hope does this place  in you desire?
  • Invite the unseen hope into the place of groaning.
  • What do you notice?
  • Invite expectant hope to heal this place of groaning.
  • 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, July 19, 2020, the Sixeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Genesis 28:10-19a
Psalm 139:1-12, 23-24
Romans 8:12-25
Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

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.

You Have Loosed My Bonds – Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19

Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19

1I love the LORD, because he has heard my voice and my supplications.

2Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.

12What shall I return to the LORD for all his bounty to me?

13I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD,

14I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people.

15Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his faithful ones.

16O LORD, I am your servant; I am your servant, the child of your serving girl. You have loosed my bonds.

17I will offer to you a thanksgiving sacrifice and call on the name of the LORD.

18I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people,

19in the courts of the house of the LORD, in your midst, O Jerusalem. Praise the LORD!

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • We serve a God who has many names.
  • Today, what name do you wish to use to call upon the name of the Lord?
  • Speak the name out loud.
  • What feeling accompanies the name you speak?
  • How do you need God to meet you in this feeling?
  • Speak the name out loud again and again.
  • Let God meet you and free you.
  • In the freedom, how do you wish to praise God?
  • 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, June 14, 2020, the Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Genesis 18:1-15, 21:1-7
Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19
Romans 5:1-8
Matthew 9:35-10:8 (9-23)

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.

My Lord, If I Find Favor with You, Do Not Pass By Your Servant – Genesis 18:1-15, 21:1-7

Holy Trinity Icon, Andrei Rublev

Genesis 18:1-15, 21:1-7

1The LORD appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the entrance of his tent in the heat of the day.2He looked up and saw three men standing near him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent entrance to meet them, and bowed down to the ground.3He said, “My lord, if I find favor with you, do not pass by your servant.4Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree.5Let me bring a little bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on-since you have come to your servant.” So they said, “Do as you have said.”6And Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah, and said, “Make ready quickly three measures of choice flour, knead it, and make cakes.”7Abraham ran to the herd, and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to the servant, who hastened to prepare it.8Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree while they ate.

9They said to him, “Where is your wife Sarah?” And he said, “There, in the tent.”10Then one said, “I will surely return to you in due season, and your wife Sarah shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent entrance behind him.11Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; it had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.12So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I have grown old, and my husband is old, shall I have pleasure?”13The LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’14Is anything too wonderful for the LORD? At the set time I will return to you, in due season, and Sarah shall have a son.”15But Sarah denied, saying, “I did not laugh”; for she was afraid. He said, “Oh yes, you did laugh.”

1The LORD dealt with Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah as he had promised.2Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the time of which God had spoken to him.3Abraham gave the name Isaac to his son whom Sarah bore him.4And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him.5Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.6Now Sarah said, “God has brought laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh with me.”7And she said, “Who would ever have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Pray with each of the angels in the icon:
  • My lord, if I find favor with you, do not pass by your servant.
  • My lord, if I find favor with you, do not pass by your servant.
  • My lord, if I find favor with you, do not pass by your servant.
  • What deep desire is arising in you?  It might be seem so outlandish.  Don’t be afraid.  Let the desire come.
  • What deep desire that has been burdening you and has been buried deep within you want to be freed to arise?
  • Let the Breath of freedom reach this place deep within you.
  • 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, June 14, 2020, the Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Genesis 18:1-15, 21:1-7
Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19
Romans 5:1-8
Matthew 9:35-10:8 (9-23)

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.