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.

Psalm 146:1-10 – Praise the Lord, O my soul!

Psalm 146:1-10

1Praise the LORD!

Praise the LORD, O my soul!

2I will praise the LORD as long as I live;

I will sing praises to my God all my life long.

3Do not put your trust in princes,

in mortals, in whom there is no help.

4When their breath departs, they return to the earth;

on that very day their plans perish.

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, November 4, 2018, the Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Ruth 1:1-18
Psalm 146:1-10
Hebrews 9:11-14
Mark 12:28-34

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings. (c) 2018 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

Psalm 104:1-9, 24, 35c – You make the wind your messengers

Psalm 104:1-9, 24, 35c

1Bless the LORD, O my soul.
O LORD my God, you are very great.
You are clothed with honor and majesty,
2wrapped in light as with a garment.
You stretch out the heavens like a tent,
3you set the beams of your chambers on the waters,
you make the clouds your chariot,
you ride on the wings of the wind,
4you make the winds your messengers,
fire and flame your ministers.
5You set the earth on its foundations,
so that it shall never be shaken.
6You cover it with the deep as with a garment;
the waters stood above the mountains.
7At your rebuke they flee;
at the sound of your thunder they take to flight.
8They rose up to the mountains, ran down to the valleys
to the place that you appointed for them.
9You set a boundary that they may not pass,
so that they might not again cover the earth.
24O LORD, how manifold are your works!
In wisdom you have made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
35Let sinners be consumed from the earth,
and let the wicked be no more.
Bless the LORD, O my soul.
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 settle into the breath, consider how God is very great.
  • Which description of God stands out for you?
  • How has God revealed this to you in your life?
  • Savor knowing God’s greatness in your life.
  • God continues to create in the world and in you.
  • Consider how you are keeping God from working greatness in your life.
  • What prayer arises in you as you consider this.
  • Offer your prayer to God.
  • Invite the greatness of God to break through into this place.
  • 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, October 21, 2018, the Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Job 38:1-7 (34-41)
Psalm 104:1-9, 24, 35c
Hebrews 5:1-10
Mark 10:35-45

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings. (c) 2018 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

Psalm 147 – Gathered and healed

PSALM 147:1-11, 20C

1   Praise the Lord!
How good it is to sing praises to our God;
for he is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting.
2   The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
he gathers the outcasts of Israel.
3   He heals the brokenhearted,
and binds up their wounds.
4   He determines the number of the stars;
he gives to all of them their names.
5   Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
his understanding is beyond measure.
6   The Lord lifts up the downtrodden;
he casts the wicked to the ground.

7   Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
make melody to our God on the lyre.
8   He covers the heavens with clouds,
prepares rain for the earth,
makes grass grow on the hills.
9   He gives to the animals their food,
and to the young ravens when they cry.
10  His delight is not in the strength of the horse,
nor his pleasure in the speed of a runner;
11  but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him,
in those who hope in his steadfast love.

20c  Praise the Lord!

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • How does God’s grace gather you in?
  • Where did God find you to bring you home?
  • What wounds did God bind to lead you toward wholeness?
  • How does God show God’s delight with your hope?
  • What is God’s message for you today?
  • How does God gather us in?
  • Where did God find us to bring us home?
  • What wounds did God bind to lead us toward wholeness?
  • How does God show God’s delight with our hope?
  • What is God’s message for us today?
  • Praise the Lord!  Give thanks for this time to be gathered in and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, February 4, 2018, the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B 
Isaiah 40:21-31
Psalm 147:1-11, 20c
1 Corinthians 9:16-23
Mark 1:29-39

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings 
(c) 2018 The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD