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, 2012, 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 The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Ruth 1:1-18 – Do not press me to leave you or turn back from following you

William Blake, Naomi Entreating Ruth and Orpah

Ruth 1:1-18

1In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land, and a certain man of Bethlehem in Judah went to live in the country of Moab, he and his wife and two sons. 2The name of the man was Elimelech and the name of his wife Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion; they were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in Judah. They went into the country of Moab and remained there. 3But Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, died, and she was left with her two sons. 4These took Moabite wives; the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth. When they had lived there about ten years, 5both Mahlon and Chilion also died, so that the woman was left without her two sons and her husband.

6Then she started to return with her daughters-in-law from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the country of Moab that the LORD had considered his people and given them food. 7So she set out from the place where she had been living, she and her two daughters-in-law, and they went on their way to go back to the land of Judah. 8But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back each of you to your mother’s house. May the LORD deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. 9The LORD grant that you may find security, each of you in the house of your husband.” Then she kissed them, and they wept aloud. 10They said to her, “No, we will return with you to your people.” 11But Naomi said, “Turn back, my daughters, why will you go with me? Do I still have sons in my womb that they may become your husbands? 12Turn back, my daughters, go your way, for I am too old to have a husband. Even if I thought there was hope for me, even if I should have a husband tonight and bear sons, 13would you then wait until they were grown? Would you then refrain from marrying? No, my daughters, it has been far more bitter for me than for you, because the hand of the LORD has turned against me.” 14Then they wept aloud again. Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her.

15So she said, “See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” 16But Ruth said, “Do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go; Where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God. 17Where you die, I will die-there will I be buried. May the LORD do thus and so to me, and more as well, if even death parts me from you!” 18When Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more to her.

  • 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 your breath, consider a task to which God is calling you.
  • What about this task sets you on the margins?
  • What other idols are present?
  • What temptation is there to turn back?
  • Where do you notice God’s provision?
  • Who is God providing to move forward with you?
  • 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, November 4, 2012, 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 The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Mark 10:46-52 – Jesus said, “What do you want me to do for you?”

Lord, that I might see!, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=54181 [retrieved October 27, 2012].

Mark 10:46-52

46They came to Jericho. As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. 47When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49Jesus stood still and said, “Call him here.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart; get up, he is calling you.” 50So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. 51Then Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said to him, “My teacher, let me see again.” 52Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.

  • 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.
  • Where do you sit, blind on the side of the road?
  • Are you alone?  Are there others with you?
  • What do you need?
  • You hear Jesus is walking toward you.
  • What message for Jesus arises within you?
  • Shout it out!
  • Hear Jesus call you.
  • What do you throw off to get to Jesus?
  • Hear Jesus say, “What do you want me to do for you?”
  • Scan your body and your mind.  What do you need from Jesus?
  • Make your requests be known to Jesus.
  • Hear Jesus say, “Go; your faith has made you well.”
  • Scan your body and your mind.
  • Where do you feel peace and lightness?
  • Where do you feel healing?
  • Where do you follow Jesus?
  • What is Christ’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, 2012, the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Job 42:1-6, 10-17
Psalm 34:108 (19-22)
Hebrews 7:23-28
Mark 10:46-52

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

Hebrews 7:23-28 – He always lives to make intercession for them

Hebrews 7:23-28

23Furthermore, the former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office; 24but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. 25Consequently he is able for all time to save those who approach God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.

26For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, blameless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. 27Unlike the other high priests, he has no need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for those of the people; this he did once for all when he offered himself. 28For the law appoints as high priests those who are subject to weakness, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever.

  • 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.
  • Open yourself to the one who intercedes for you.
  • Pour out your heart to Christ.
  • Christ will hold you in loving care.
  • Pour out your sufferings to Christ.
  • Christ suffers for you.
  • Pour out your brokenness to Christ.
  • The Redeeming One shall lead you to healing and wholeness.
  • What is Christ’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, 2012, the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Job 42:1-6, 10-17
Psalm 34:108 (19-22)
Hebrews 7:23-28
Mark 10:46-52

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

Psalm 34:1-8 (9-22)- I sought the Lord and he answered me

Psalm 34:1-8 (19-22)

1I will bless the LORD at all times;

his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

2My soul makes its boast in the LORD;

let the humble hear and be glad.

3O magnify the LORD with me,

and let us exalt his name together.

4I sought the LORD, and he answered me,

and delivered me from all my fears.

5Look to him, and be radiant;

so your faces shall never be ashamed.

6This poor soul cried, and was heard by the LORD,

and was saved from every trouble.

7The angel of the LORD encamps

around those who fear him, and delivers them.

8O taste and see that the LORD is good;

happy are those who take refuge in him.

19Many are the afflictions of the righteous,

but the LORD rescues them from them all.

20He keeps all their bones;

not one of them will be broken.

21Evil brings death to the wicked,

and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.

22The 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.
  • 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 28, 2012, the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Job 42:1-6, 10-17
Psalm 34:108 (19-22)
Hebrews 7:23-28
Mark 10:46-52

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

Job 42:1-6, 10-17 – I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted

Job 42:1-6, 10-17

1Then Job answered the LORD: 2“I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. 3‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. 4‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you declare to me.’ 5I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; 6therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”

10And the LORD restored the fortunes of Job when he had prayed for his friends; and the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before. 11Then there came to him all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before, and they ate bread with him in his house; they showed him sympathy and comforted him for all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him; and each of them gave him a piece of money and a gold ring. 12The LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; and he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand donkeys. 13He also had seven sons and three daughters. 14He named the first Jemimah, the second Keziah, and the third Keren-happuch. 15In all the land there were no women so beautiful as Job’s daughters; and their father gave them an inheritance along with their brothers. 16After this Job lived one hundred and forty years, and saw his children, and his children’s children, four generations. 17And Job died, old and full of days.

  • 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.
  • Call upon wisdom.  Tap into your experience.
  • Through wisdom you have heard the Lord.
  • How do you answer the Lord?
  • How is God in all things?
  • How are God’s purposes not thwarted?
  • What did you utter that you did not understand?
  • What wonderful things were done for you that you did not know?
  • What do you hear from God?
  • How do you now see God?
  • What words of repentance do you have to offer?
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • What restoration do you need today?
  • Listen for God.  Look for God.  Embrace restoration.
  • 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, 2012, the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Job 42:1-6, 10-17
Psalm 34:108 (19-22)
Hebrews 7:23-28
Mark 10:46-52

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

Mark 10:35-45 – Whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant

Mark 10:35-45

35James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” 36And he said to them, “What is it you want me to do for you?” 37And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” 38But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” 39They replied, “We are able.” Then Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; 40but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.”

41When the ten heard this, they began to be angry with James and John. 42So Jesus called them and said to them, “You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. 43But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, 44and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. 45For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

  • 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.
  • Consider those lording it over you today.
  • How do you respond?
  • Is there a way to show glory for God in your response?
  • Look for these opportunities.
  • Consider those you lord over today.
  • How do you lead?
  • Is there a way to show glory for God in your leading?
  • Look for these opportunities.
  • Consider the disciples you encounter today.
  • How will you serve them?
  • How will you be slave to all?
  • How do you show glory for God in your actions and reactions?
  • Look for these opportunities.
  • Open your heart and your mind to encounter these places today.
  • Look for 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, 2012, 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 The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Hebrews 5:1-10 – He is able to deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is subject to weakness

Hebrews 5:1-10

1Every high priest chosen from among mortals is put in charge of things pertaining to God on their behalf, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2He is able to deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is subject to weakness; 3and because of this he must offer sacrifice for his own sins as well as for those of the people. 4And one does not presume to take this honor, but takes it only when called by God, just as Aaron was.

5So also Christ did not glorify himself in becoming a high priest, but was appointed by the one who said to him, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”; 6as he says also in another place, “You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.”

7In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; 9and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, 10having been designated by God a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.

  • 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 today, open yourself in submission.
  • As you inhale, say to yourself, “I am yours.”  Consider those things that are gifts from God, and embrace these on the inhale.
  • As you exhale, say to yourself, “I am only yours.”  Consider those things that keep you from God, and let go of these on the exhale.
  • Continue this practice until you are as free as you can be.
  • In this safe place where you are held by God, consider obedience you have learned through your suffering.
  • Give thanks for God’s faithfulness.
  • In this safe place where the world is held by  God, consider obedience the world has learned through the world’s suffering.
  • Give thanks for God’s faithfulness.
  • Is there a message for you 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, October 21, 2012, 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 The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., 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, 2012, 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 The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Job 38:1-7 (34-41) – Then the LORD answered Job

Job 38:1-7 (34-41)

1Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind: 2“Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? 3Gird up your loins like a man, I will question you, and you shall declare to me.

4“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. 5Who determined its measurements — surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? 6On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone 7when the morning stars sang together and all the heavenly beings shouted for joy?

34“Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, so that a flood of waters may cover you? 35Can you send forth lightnings, so that they may go and say to you, ‘Here we are’? 36Who has put wisdom in the inward parts, or given understanding to the mind? 37Who has the wisdom to number the clouds? Or who can tilt the waterskins of the heavens, 38when the dust runs into a mass and the clods cling together?

39“Can you hunt the prey for the lion, or satisfy the appetite of the young lions, 40when they crouch in their dens, or lie in wait in their covert? 41Who provides for the raven its prey, when its young ones cry to God, and wander about for lack of food?”

  • 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.
  • Open your soul to God’s provision.
  • How has God provided for you through answered prayer?
  • Who did God send?
  • What did God give you?
  • What did God release from you?
  • Rest in provision.
  • Return to the breath.  As you follow the breath throughout your body, notice what provision you need from God today.
  • Pray for this provision.
  • Remain open and free as you wait for God’s answer.
  • 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, 2012, 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 The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD