Genesis 29:15-28 – Deception

Genesis 29:15-28

15Then Laban said to Jacob, “Because you are my kinsman, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, what shall your wages be?” 16Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17Leah’s eyes were lovely, and Rachel was graceful and beautiful. 18Jacob loved Rachel; so he said, “I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.” 19Laban said, “It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to any other man; stay with me.” 20So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her.

21Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife that I may go in to her, for my time is completed.” 22So Laban gathered together all the people of the place, and made a feast. 23But in the evening he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob; and he went in to her. 24(Laban gave his maid Zilpah to his daughter Leah to be her maid.) 25When morning came, it was Leah! And Jacob said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? Did I not serve with you for Rachel? Why then have you deceived me?” 26Laban said, “This is not done in our country — giving the younger before the firstborn. 27Complete the week of this one, and we will give you the other also in return for serving me another seven years.” 28Jacob did so, and completed her week; then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel as a wife.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Remember a time when you were the recipient of deception.
  • Where does do you feel this pain in your body?
  • As you remember it today, let your focus go to this pain.  Invite God into the space.  Listen.
  • What new healing does God have for you?
  • Remember a time when you were the agent of deception.
  • Where does do you feel this pain in your body?
  • As you remember it today, let your focus go to this pain.  Invite God into the space.  Listen.
  • What new healing does God have for you?
  • Hold the new healing in your hands.
  • 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 30, 2017, 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) 2017 The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Posted in Deceit, Faith, Genesis, Hope, Jacob, Laban, Lectionary, Revised Common Lectionary | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Psalm 105:1-11, 45b – Call on his name

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 _____’s inheritance with you today?
  • How do you desire to embrace ____’s inheritance with the world 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 30, 2017, 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) 2017 The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Posted in Faith, Hope, Lectionary, Prayer, Psalm, Revised Common Lectionary | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43 – Did you not sow good seed in your field?

Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

24He put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; 25but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. 26So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. 27And the slaves of the householder came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?’ 28He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The slaves said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ 29But he replied, ‘No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. 30Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’”

36Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples approached him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” 37He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man; 38the field is the world, and the good seed are the children of the kingdom; the weeds are the children of the evil one, 39and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. 40Just as the weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. 41The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, 42and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let anyone with ears listen!”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Imagine yourself in the field.
  • Notice the people of good sown seed around you.
  • Notice the joy these people bring!
  • Give thanks to God for these beloved people.
  • Notice the people of weed sown seed around you.
  • With faith, hope, and love, share your joy with these people.
  • Give thanks to God for these beloved people.
  • 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 23, 2017, the Sixteenth 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) 2017 The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Posted in Faith, Hope, Lectionary, Matthew, Peace, Revised Common Lectionary | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Romans 8:12-25 – For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God

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 23, 2017, the Sixteenth 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) 2017 The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Posted in Abundance, Adoption, Faith, Hope, Lectionary, Patience, Revised Common Lectionary, Righteousness, Romans | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Psalm 139:1-12, 23-24 – You hem me in

Psalm 139:1-12, 23-24

1   O LORD, you have searched me and known me.
2   You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from far away.
3   You search out my path and my lying down,
and are acquainted with all my ways.
4   Even before a word is on my tongue,
O LORD, you know it completely.
5   You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
6   Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is so high that I cannot attain it.

7   Where can I go from your spirit?
Or where can I flee from your presence?
8   If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
9   If I take the wings of the morning
and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
10  even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me fast.
11  If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light around me become night,”
12  even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is as bright as the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

23  Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my thoughts.
24  See if there is any wicked way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

  • 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 inhale, allow the Breath to search you.
  • As you exhale, allow the Breath to eliminate the wicked way.
  • As you continue this practice, are there any secrets hidden in you for the Breath to unbind and free you?
  • Allow the Breath to create as much freedom in you as possible today.
  • How do you desire to be led to the way everlasting?
  • Sit and listen.  Let the Breath guide 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, July 23, 2017, the Sixteenth 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) 2017 The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Posted in Faith, Hope, Lectionary, Praise, Prayer, Psalm, Revised Common Lectionary | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Genesis 28:10-19a – Surely the Lord is in this place – and I did not know it!

Genesis 28:10-19a

10Jacob left Beer-sheba and went toward Haran. 11He came to a certain place and stayed there for the night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place. 12And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, the top of it reaching to heaven; and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 And the LORD stood beside him and said, “I am the LORD, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring; 14and your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you and in your offspring. 15Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” 16Then Jacob woke from his sleep and said, “Surely the LORD is in this place — and I did not know it!” 17And he was afraid, and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”

18So Jacob rose early in the morning, and he took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up for a pillar and poured oil on the top of it. 19aHe called that place Bethel;

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Dreams are windows to the soul.
  • We must take time to tend the soul and to tend our dreams.
  • Seek the fruit of the Spirit in your dreams.
  • God desires for you to find a place of promise and peace.
  • There is a place you will encounter God, a place you did not know you will find God.
  • Do you have a sense of this place?
  • Stay alert in your dreams and your day dreams.
  • God has something new for you to hear.
  • Sit and listen.
  • 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 23, 2017, the Sixteenth 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) 2017 The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Posted in Dream, Faith, Genesis, Hope, Jacob, Lectionary, Revised Common Lectionary | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23 – Listen! A sower went out to sow

Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

1That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. 2Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. 3And he told them many things in parables, saying: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. 4And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. 5Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. 6But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. 7Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9Let anyone with ears listen!”

18“Hear then the parable of the sower. 19When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. 20As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away. 22As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. 23But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Imagine your feet standing in good soil.
  • Hear the word of God.
  • Know the word of God.
  • See the fruit of the word of God.
  • Smell the fruit of the word of God
  • Taste the fruit of the word of God.
  • Savor the fruit of the word of 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, July 16, 2017, the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Genesis 25:19-34
Psalm 119:105-112
Romans 8:1-11
Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings (c) 2017 The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Posted in Freedom, Hope, Lectionary, Love, Matthew, Revised Common Lectionary | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Romans 8:1-11 – He condemned sin in the flesh

Romans 8:1-11

1There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4so that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law — indeed it cannot, 8and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

9But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh.
  • To set the mind on the flesh is death.
  • What things of the flesh are keeping you from real life today?
  • How do you desire to be free of these things of the flesh?
  • Imagine being set free from death.
  • Accept God’s invitation to be released from these things of the flesh.
  • Imagine being set free from death so that you may glorify God and choose life.
  • Those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.
  • To set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.
  • Imagine embracing the life in the Spirit that God desires for you.
  • The invitation is always with you.
  • Embrace the peace that is 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, July 16, 2017, the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Genesis 25:19-34
Psalm 119:105-112
Romans 8:1-11
Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings (c) 2017 The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Posted in Genesis, Hope, Lectionary, Love, Revised Common Lectionary, Romans, Word | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Psalm 119:105-112 – Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path

Psalm 119:105-112

105 Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path.
106 I have sworn an oath and confirmed it,
to observe your righteous ordinances.
107 I am severely afflicted;
give me life, O LORD, according to your word.
108 Accept my offerings of praise, O LORD,
and teach me your ordinances.
109 I hold my life in my hand continually,
but I do not forget your law.
110 The wicked have laid a snare for me,
but I do not stray from your precepts.
111 Your decrees are my heritage forever;
they are the joy of my heart.
112 I incline my heart to perform your statutes
forever, to the end.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Thy word is a lamp unto my feet.
  • Thy word is a lamp unto my…
  • Thy word is a lamp unto…
  • Thy word is a lamp.
  • Thy word is.
  • Thy word…
  • Thy…
  • 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 16, 2017, the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Genesis 25:19-34
Psalm 119:105-112
Romans 8:1-11
Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings (c) 2017 The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Posted in Faith, Freedom, Genesis, Hope, Lectionary, Love, Revised Common Lectionary, Word | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Genesis 25:19-34 – The elder shall serve the younger

Genesis 25:19-34

19These are the descendants of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham was the father of Isaac, 20and Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah, daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Paddan-aram, sister of Laban the Aramean. 21Isaac prayed to the LORD for his wife, because she was barren; and the LORD granted his prayer, and his wife Rebekah conceived. 22The children struggled together within her; and she said, “If it is to be this way, why do I live?” So she went to inquire of the LORD. 23And the LORD said to her,
“Two nations are in your womb,
and two peoples born of you shall be divided;
the one shall be stronger than the other,
the elder shall serve the younger.”
24When her time to give birth was at hand, there were twins in her womb. 25The first came out red, all his body like a hairy mantle; so they named him Esau. 26Afterward his brother came out, with his hand gripping Esau’s heel; so he was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them.

27When the boys grew up, Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field, while Jacob was a quiet man, living in tents. 28Isaac loved Esau, because he was fond of game; but Rebekah loved Jacob.

29Once when Jacob was cooking a stew, Esau came in from the field, and he was famished. 30Esau said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red stuff, for I am famished!” (Therefore he was called Edom.) 31Jacob said, “First sell me your birthright.” 32Esau said, “I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?” 33Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. 34Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank, and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Lean into Rebekah.
  • What are two nations divided in you?
  • How do you feel the struggle within you?
  • How do you see the disparity of strength?
  • How shall the elder serve the younger?
  • How does the younger desire the birthright?
  • What tension do you see?
  • Discern the options.  How will you respond?
  • 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 16, 2017, the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Genesis 25:19-34
Psalm 119:105-112
Romans 8:1-11
Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings (c) 2017 The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Posted in Covenant, Faith, Genesis, Hope, Jacob and Esau, Lectionary, Revised Common Lectionary | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment