Give Thanks: Psalm 105:1-11, 45b

Psalm 105:1-11, 45b

1O give thanks to the LORD, call on his name,

make known his deeds among the peoples.

2Sing to him, sing praises to him;

tell of all his wonderful works.

3Glory in his holy name;

let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.

4Seek the LORD and his strength;

seek his presence continually.

5Remember the wonderful works he has done,

his miracles, and the judgments he has uttered,

6O offspring of his servant Abraham,

children of Jacob, his chosen ones.

7He is the LORD our God;

his judgments are in all the earth.

8He is mindful of his covenant for ever,

of the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations,

9the covenant that he made with Abraham,

his sworn promise to Isaac,

10which he confirmed to Jacob as a statute,

to Israel as an everlasting covenant,

11saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan

as your portion for an inheritance.”

45bPraise 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.
  • As you settle into your breath, what name of God is close to you today?  (Use this name of God which is close to you for the remainder of the meditation today.)
  • Call upon _____.
  • How do you desire to sing praise to _____?
  • How do you see _____’s glorious works today?
  • Seek ____: ____’s strength and ____’s presence.
  • Seek ____ in all things.
  • What do you desire from ____ today?
  • How do you desire to honor ____’s covenant with you today?
  • How do you desire to honor ____’s covenant with the world today?
  • How do you desire to embrace your inheritance with _____ today?
  • How do you desire to embrace the world’s inheritance with _____ today?
  • What is your message from _____?
  • Give thanks to _____ 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.

I Do the Very Thing I Hate – Romans 7:15-25a

Romans 7:15-25a

15I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. 17But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. 19For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. 20Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me.

21So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand. 22For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, 23but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Inhale love.
  • Exhale sin.
  • Inhale love.
  • Exhale fear.
  • Inhale love.
  • Exhale hate.
  • Embrace your body as a holy temple.
  • Embrace your body as a holy temple that holds both fear and love.
  • What do you do that is the very thing you hate?
  • Hold that hate in one hand.
  • What love do you need from God?
  • Hold that love in the other hand.
  • How do you wish to invite God’s love to spread light to the hate?
  • How does love ask you to let go of the hate?
  • Lean into the desire to let go of the hate.
  • See the love grow as the hate dies.
  • 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 5, 2020, the Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67
Psalm 45:10-17
Song of Solomon 2:8-13
Romans 7:15-25a
Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

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.

United in Death, United in Resurrection: Romans 6:1b-11

Romans 6:1b-11

1bShould we continue in sin in order that grace may abound?2By no means! How can we who died to sin go on living in it?3Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?4Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

5For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.6We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin.7For whoever has died is freed from sin.8But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.9We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.10The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.11So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Inhale “He lives to God.”
  • Exhale “He is freed from sin.”
  • Repeat as you feel led.
  • Sit with the grace of Christ.
  • Inhale “I live to God.”
  • Exhale “I am freed from sin.”
  • Repeat as you feel led.
  • Sit with the mercy of Christ.
  • Inhale “We live to God.”
  • Exhale “We are freed from sin.”
  • Repeat as you feel led.
  • Sit with the gift of freedom.
  • 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 21, 2020, the Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Genesis 21:8-21
Psalm 86:1-10, 16-17
Romans 6:1b-11
Matthew 10:24-39

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.

Go to the Lost Sheep – Matthew 9:35-10:8 (9-23)

Matthew 9:35-10:8 (9-23)

35Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness.36When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.37Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few;38therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

10:1Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness.2These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon, also known as Peter, and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John;3Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus;4Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed him.

5These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans,6but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.7As you go, proclaim the good news, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’8Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment.9Take no gold, or silver, or copper in your belts,10no bag for your journey, or two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for labourers deserve their food.11Whatever town or village you enter, find out who in it is worthy, and stay there until you leave.12As you enter the house, greet it.13If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you.14If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town.15Truly I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgement than for that town.

16“See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.17Beware of them, for they will hand you over to councils and flog you in their synagogues;18and you will be dragged before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them and the Gentiles.19When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you at that time;20for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.21Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death;22and you will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.23When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next; for truly I tell you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Seek the wisdom and compassion deep within you.
  • Jesus is sending you on a journey to find lost sheep in the world.
  • All you need for the journey is within you.
  • See yourself leaving the safety of the gates of the city.
  • Notice what you leave behind so that you may be fully present to the sheep?
  • Notice the peace that dwells within you.
  • Peace that will speak.
  • Peace that will comfort.
  • Peace that will heal.
  • When you encounter persecution, do not accept the words.  Let them bounce off of your armor of God.
  • When you notice the fruit of the Spirit, let the peace of God flow from you to another.
  • Christ is with you on the journey.  Stay awake.  You will encounter the Holy One.
  • 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.