They Will Be Comforted: Matthew 5:1-12

Matthew 5:1-12

1When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:

3“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

5“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

6“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

7“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

8“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

9“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

10“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11“Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before 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.
  • As you inhale, breathe in life
  • As you exhale, let go of things that suck the life out of you.
  • Continue this practice until you are at peace, feeling freedom.
  • Jesus reminds us that the Beatitudes are our guide to right living.
  • Turning away from the Beatitudes is false living.
  • We must look for God-centered moments in our lives.
  • It is a God-centered moment because God gives you new life in the midst of grief and loss..
  • Do a quick check-in with yourself and notice where grief and loss are keeping you from authentic life with Christ.
  • Name this grief and loss and invite Christ into it.
  • Dialogue with Christ to seek and embrace the new life Christ has for you.
  • How do you desire to seek freedom from the grief and loss to receive new life in Christ?
  • Name the new life Christ wants to give you.
  • Sit with new life and notice how this new life brings you Holy Love.
  • What is important about remembering this new life and Holy Love today?
  • What is God’s invitation 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, November 1, 2020, All Saints’ Day (Year A)

Revelation 7:9-17
Psalm 34:1-10, 22
1 John 3:1-3
Matthew 5:1-12

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.

Born from Above: 1 John 3:1-17

1 JOHN 3:1-17

1Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. 2He came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.” 3Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” 4Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?” 5Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. 6What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ 8The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” 9Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?”10Jesus answered him, “Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things?

11“Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. 12If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. 14And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

16“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

17“Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”

  • 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 breathe in focus on “born of water”.
  • As you exhale focus on “born of spirit”.
  • Today all of it belongs just where you are, born of water, born of spirit.
  • Allow the water and the spirit to open you as you sit with water and spirit.
  • Allow the fullness of God to fill you.
  • Consider the ways you know God fully:
    • Father, Son, Holy Spirit
    • Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer
    • Lover, Beloved, Loving
    • Love, Grace, Comfort
    • Transformer, Transformed, Transforming
    • Consider your own words for knowing God fully
  • On this All Saints’ Sunday, consider how you have experienced God in these ways.
  • What truth do you know more fully?
  • Where is God growing you and leading you?
  • Where is there a space in you that desires to know God more fully?
  • What is God’s invitation 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, November 1, 2020, All Saints’ Day (Year A)

Revelation 7:9-17
Psalm 34:1-10, 22
1 John 3:1-3
Matthew 5:1-12

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.

Let the Humble Hear: Psalm 34:1-10, 22

Psalm 34:1-10, 22

1   I will bless the Lord at all times;
          his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2   My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
          let the humble hear and be glad.
3   O magnify the Lord with me,
          and let us exalt his name together.

4   I sought the Lord, and he answered me,
          and delivered me from all my fears.
5   Look to him, and be radiant;
          so your faces shall never be ashamed.
6   This poor soul cried, and was heard by the Lord,
          and was saved from every trouble.
7   The angel of the Lord encamps
          around those who fear him, and delivers them.
8   O taste and see that the Lord is good;
          happy are those who take refuge in him.
9   O fear the Lord, you his holy ones,
          for those who fear him have no want.
10  The young lions suffer want and hunger,
          but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

22  The Lord redeems the life of his servants;
          none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.

  • 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.
  • Seek the Lord as you breathe.
  • Inhale the goodness of God.
  • Exhale any tension you feel.
  • Inhale the goodness of God.
  • Exhale anything keeping you in bondage.
  • Free yourself to be with the Lord.
  • When you are as free as you can be, turn fully toward God.
  • “Look to him and be radiant so your faces shall never be ashamed.”
  • Let go of any shame you feel.
  • Ask for forgiveness and be healed.
  • The Lord redeems the life of his servants.
  • Turn fully toward God.
  • “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”
  • Savor goodness as you remain as fully present to the Lord as you can be.
  • Remain here as long as you can.
  • What is God’s invitation 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, November 1, 2020, All Saints’ Day (Year A)

Revelation 7:9-17
Psalm 34:1-10, 22
1 John 3:1-3
Matthew 5:1-12

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.

They Will Hunger No More: Revelation 7:9-17

Revelation 7:9-17

9After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands. 10They cried out in a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!” 11And all the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12singing, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”

13Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from?” 14I said to him, “Sir, you are the one that knows.” Then he said to me, “These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15For this reason they are before the throne of God, and worship him day and night within his temple, and the one who is seated on the throne will shelter them. 16They will hunger no more, and thirst no more; the sun will not strike them, nor any scorching heat; 17for the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of the water of life, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • Imagine standing with others in the great multitude, waving palm branches,  dressed in white standing before the Lamb.
  • What ordeal have you been through that led you to stand before the Lamb?
  • Hear these words for you.
  • Blessing.
  • Glory.
  • Wisdom.
  • Honor.
  • Hunger no more.
  • Thirst no more.
  • Let the Shepherd guide you to springs of the water of life.
  • Let God wipe away every tear from your eye.
  • Rest in Blessing.
  • What is God’s invitation 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, November 1, 2020, All Saints’ Day (Year A)

Revelation 7:9-17
Psalm 34:1-10, 22
1 John 3:1-3
Matthew 5:1-12

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.