Seeking Refuge from Adversaries: Psalm 17:1-7, 15

Psalm 17:1-7, 15

1   Hear a just cause, O LORD; attend to my cry;
give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit.
2   From you let my vindication come;
let your eyes see the right.

3   If you try my heart, if you visit me by night,
if you test me, you will find no wickedness in me;
my mouth does not transgress.
4   As for what others do, by the word of your lips
I have avoided the ways of the violent.
5   My steps have held fast to your paths;
my feet have not slipped.

6   I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God;
incline your ear to me, hear my words.
7   Wondrously show your steadfast love,
O savior of those who seek refuge
from their adversaries at your right hand.

15  As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness;
when I awake I shall be satisfied, beholding your likeness.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Do a short examen of the past 24 hours.  Notice what you have been fed (metaphorically).
  • How did God feed you?
  • How did this keep you turned toward God?
  • How did the adversaries try to feed you?
  • How did you find yourself tempted to turn away from God?
  • Be gentle with yourself.
  • Call upon God’s name.
  • Listen for God’s voice.
  • 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, August 2, 2020, the Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Genesis 32:22-31
Psalm 17:1-7, 15
Romans 9:1-5
Matthew 14:13-21

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.

Arise, My Love, My Fair One, and Come Away – Song of Solomon 2:8-13

Song of Solomon 2:8-13

8The voice of my beloved! Look, he comes, leaping upon the mountains, bounding over the hills. 9My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag. Look, there he stands behind our wall, gazing in at the windows, looking through the lattice. 10My beloved speaks and says to me: “Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away; 11for now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. 12The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. 13The fig tree puts forth its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.”

  • 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 pay attention to your breath, invite your hearing to become heightened.
  • Gently silence any thoughts and distractions keeping you from hearing.
  • Invite the Holy to speak.
  • What does the beloved Holy One say to you?
  • How does the Holy One woo you to follow?
  • Notice any resistance in you to follow.
  • What do you need for the resistance to disappear?
  • Listen to the Holy wooing you to follow.
  • Notice the path the Holy has placed before you.
  • What peace do you notice on the path?
  • Take  mental picture of the path, noticing details of flowers, landscape, color, smell.
  • Carry this picture with you in case you lose your way.
  • 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.