Valleys Deck Themselves with Grain – Psalm 65:1-13

Psalm 65:1-13

1Praise is due to you,

O God, in Zion;

and to you shall vows be performed,

2O you who answer prayer!

To you all flesh shall come.

3When deeds of iniquity overwhelm us,

you forgive our transgressions.

4Happy are those whom you choose and bring near

to live in your courts.

We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house,

your holy temple.

5By awesome deeds you answer us with deliverance,

O God of our salvation;

you are the hope of all the ends of the earth

and of the farthest seas.

6By your strength you established the mountains;

you are girded with might.

7You silence the roaring of the seas,

the roaring of their waves,

the tumult of the peoples.

8Those who live at earth’s farthest bounds are awed by your signs;

you make the gateways of the morning and the evening shout for joy.

9You visit the earth and water it,

you greatly enrich it;

the river of God is full of water;

you provide the people with grain,

for so you have prepared it.

10You water its furrows abundantly,

settling its ridges,

softening it with showers,

and blessing its growth.

11You crown the year with your bounty;

your wagon tracks overflow with richness.

12The pastures of the wilderness overflow,

the hills gird themselves with joy,

13the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,

the valleys deck themselves with grain,

they shout and sing together for joy.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • Let your attention shift to a prayer that has been answered. 
  • How do you desire to praise God?
  • How is God brining you near?
  • Rest in the provision of God’s faithfulness.
  • Let your attention shift to a prayer for which you are still waiting an answer. 
  • How will you know God’s answer?
  • What message does God have for you?
  • Ask God to bless this time of expectant waiting.
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • Is there a call to action?
  • 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 27, 2019, the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)
Joel 2:23-32
Psalm 65:1-13
2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18
Luke 18:9-14

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.

Early Rain for Your Vindication – Joel 2:23-32

Joel 2:23-32

23O children of Zion, be glad and rejoice in the LORD your God; for he has given the early rain for your vindication, he has poured down for you abundant rain, the early and the later rain, as before. 24The threshing floors shall be full of grain, the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.

25I will repay you for the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent against you.

26You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. And my people shall never again be put to shame. 27You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I, the LORD, am your God and there is no other. And my people shall never again be put to shame.

28Then afterward I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. 29Even on the male and female slaves, in those days, I will pour out my spirit.

30I will show portents in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. 31The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and terrible day of the LORD comes. 32Then everyone who calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved; for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the LORD has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the LORD calls.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • Let you attention shift to a recent experience of abundant rain that has led to an abundant harvest.
  • Sit with and savor the harvest.
  • How are you eating in plenty and being satisfied?
  • How is God inviting you to let go of any shame that is still lingering with this experience?
  • See God pour out the Spirit upon you.
  • Be healed and freed of shame.
  • Call upon the name of the Lord.
  • Give thanks and listen for God’s call.
  • What message does God have for you?
  • Is there a call to action?
  • 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 27, 2019, the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)
Joel 2:23-32
Psalm 65:1-13
2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18
Luke 18:9-14

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.

Grant Me Justice Against My Opponent – Luke 18:1-8

Luke 18:1-8

1Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. 2He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. 3In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Grant me justice against my opponent.’ 4For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, ‘Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, 5yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.'” 6And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? 8I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

  • 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.
  • Imagine you are the woman who continues to seek justice from the unjust judge.
  • The unjust judge neither fears God nor respects people.
  • What keeps you returning to the unjust judge to be granted justice against your opponent?
  • What does justice look like for you?
  • What does faith look like for 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, October 20, 2019, the Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)
Jeremiah 31:27-34
Psalm 119:97-104
2 Timothy 3:14-4:5
Luke 18:1-8

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.

Proclaim the Message – 2 Timothy 3:14-4:5

2 Timothy 3:14-4:5

14But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, 15and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.

1In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I solemnly urge you: 2proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favorable or unfavorable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching. 3For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, 4and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths. 5As for you, always be sober, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, carry out your ministry fully.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Rest in Presence.
  • Let your attention to shift to a message that needs to be proclaimed.
  • What patience in teaching do you need from God?
  • What obstacles are creating suffering?
  • What other provision do you need from God to carry out your ministry?
  • God is so faithful. Believe God will provide.
  • 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, October 20, 2019, the Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)
Jeremiah 31:27-34
Psalm 119:97-104
2 Timothy 3:14-4:5
Luke 18:1-8

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.

 

Your Decrees Are My Meditation – Psalm 119:97-104

 

Psalm 119:97-104

97Oh, how I love your law!

It is my meditation all day long.

98Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies,

for it is always with me.

99I have more understanding than all my teachers,

for your decrees are my meditation.

100I understand more than the aged,

for I keep your precepts.

101I hold back my feet from every evil way,

in order to keep your word.

102I do not turn away from your ordinances,

for you have taught me.

103How sweet are your words to my taste,

sweeter than honey to my mouth!

104Through your precepts I get understanding;

therefore I hate every false way.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • God’s law is written on your heart.
  • Search your heart.
  • What is written on your heart?
  • What word written on your heart captures your attention today?
  • Focus on this word.
  • What feelings are heightened as you focus on this word?
  • What do you know about God as you stay with the focus?
  • What message does God have for you?
  • Is there a call to action?
  • 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 20, 2019, the Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)
Jeremiah 31:27-34
Psalm 119:97-104
2 Timothy 3:14-4:5
Luke 18:1-8

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.

They Shall All Know Me – Jeremiah 31:31-34

JEREMIAH 31:31-34

27The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of humans and the seed of animals. 28And just as I have watched over them to pluck up and break down, to overthrow, destroy, and bring evil, so I will watch over them to build and to plant, says the LORD. 29In those days they shall no longer say: “The parents have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.” 30But all shall die for their own sins; the teeth of everyone who eats sour grapes shall be set on edge.

31The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 32It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt — a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the LORD. 33But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.34No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the LORD,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • God’s law is written on your heart.
  • Search your heart.
  • What is written on your heart?
  • What word written on your heart captures your attention today?
  • Focus on this word.
  • What feelings are heightened as you focus on this word?
  • What do you know about God as you stay with the focus?
  • What message does God have for you?
  • Is there a call to action?
  • 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 20, 2019, the Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)
Jeremiah 31:27-34
Psalm 119:97-104
2 Timothy 3:14-4:5
Luke 18:1-8

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.

Were Not Ten Made Clean? Luke 17:11-19

Ten Lepers, Bill Hoover

Luke 17:11-19

11On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. 12As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, 13they called out, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” 14When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were made clean. 15Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. 16He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. 17Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? 18Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19Then he said to him, “Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.”

  • 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.
  • Remember a recent time when you were made clean with your brothers and sisters and you returned to Jesus to give thanks.
  • How is it to lay prostrate, submit, and let praise and joy emerge from you?
  • Notice the release and freedom that brings you to wholeness, completeness, shalom.
  • If there is any lingering judgment in you, name this and be freed from its grip on you.
  • Rest in the freedom and embrace of the love of God.
  • Remember a recent time when you were made clean with your brothers and sisters and you missed the opportunity to lay prostrate at the feet of Jesus.
  • Name the feelings residing in you.
  • Resist the temptation to let judgment overtake you. Lay prostrate at the feet of Jesus, submit, and let praise and joy emerge from you?
  • Notice the release and freedom that brings you to wholeness, completeness, shalom.
  • If there is any lingering judgment in you, name this and be freed from its grip on you.
  • Rest in the freedom and embrace of the love of God.
  • 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 13, 2019, the Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7
Psalm 66:1-12
2 Timothy 2:8-15
Luke 17:11-19

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.

The Word of God Is Not Chained – 2 Timothy 2:8-15

2 Timothy 2:8-15

8Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David-that is my gospel, 9for which I suffer hardship, even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But the word of God is not chained. 10Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, so that they may also obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory. 11The saying is sure: If we have died with him, we will also live with him; 12if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he will also deny us; 13if we are faithless, he remains faithful-for he cannot deny himself.

14Remind them of this, and warn them before God that they are to avoid wrangling over words, which does no good but only ruins those who are listening. 15Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved by him, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly explaining the word of truth.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Let your attention move to an experience or place in your life where you are suffering hardship because of your believe in the Gospel.
  • Sit in the message of the Gospel.
  • Rest in the love of the Word.
  • Be showered with encouragement to share truth in the Gospel.
  • Notice how you are released false imprisonment.
  • As you encounter words and places that deny, be bearers of truth and light.
  • Let the fruit of the Spirit be your guide as you witness to the truth and light of the Gospel.
  • 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, October 13, 2019, the Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7
Psalm 66:1-12
2 Timothy 2:8-15
Luke 17:11-19

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.

You Have Brought Us Out to a Spacious Place – 66:1-12

Psalm 66:1-12

1Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth;

2sing the glory of his name;

give to him glorious praise.

3Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!

Because of your great power, your enemies cringe before you.

4All the earth worships you;

they sing praises to you,

sing praises to your name.”

Selah

5Come and see what God has done:

he is awesome in his deeds among mortals.

6He turned the sea into dry land;

they passed through the river on foot.

There we rejoiced in him,

7who rules by his might for ever,

whose eyes keep watch on the nations-

let the rebellious not exalt themselves.

Selah

8Bless our God, O peoples,

let the sound of his praise be heard,

9who has kept us among the living,

and has not let our feet slip.

10For you, O God, have tested us;

you have tried us as silver is tried.

11You brought us into the net;

you laid burdens on our backs;

12you let people ride over our heads;

we went through fire and through water;

yet you have brought us out to a spacious place.
  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • What spacious spaces have you encountered recently?
  • How do you experience God in spacious places?
  • Where do you need spaciousness in your life today?
  • How do you need God to bring you into spaciousness?
  • Offer this prayer to God.
  • Where does the world need spaciousness today?
  • How does the world need God to bring the world into spaciousness?
  • Offer this prayer to 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, October 13, 2019, the Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7 Psalm 66:1-12 2 Timothy 2:8-15 Luke 17:11-19 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.

Seek the Welfare of the City – Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7

Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7

1These are the words of the letter that the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to the remaining elders among the exiles, and to the priests, the prophets, and all the people, whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon.

4Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat what they produce. 6Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. 7But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Let you focus shift to an exile experience you are having today.
  • Seek the welfare of the city in this exile.
  • Notice how you are planting roots and living.
  • What life is growing here?
  • Notice how you are afraid and anxious to plant roots and live here.
  • What life are you missing here?
  • 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, October 13, 2019, the Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7
Psalm 66:1-12
2 Timothy 2:8-15
Luke 17:11-19

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.