I Will Gather the Remnants – Jeremiah 23:1-6

Jeremiah 23:1-6

1Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! says the LORD. 2Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who shepherd my people: It is you who have scattered my flock, and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. So I will attend to you for your evil doings, says the LORD. 3Then I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the lands where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. 4I will raise up shepherds over them who will shepherd them, and they shall not fear any longer, or be dismayed, nor shall any be missing, says the LORD.

5The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 6In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. And this is the name by which he will be called: “The LORD is our righteousness.”

  • 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 place in the world where your flock has been destroyed and the sheep are scattered.
  • Imagine how God will gather the sheep, restore the flock, and raise up a shepherd over them.
  • How does God need you to be part of the restoration?
  • What message does God have 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 24, 2019, Christ the King (Reign of Christ) Sunday (Year C)
Jeremiah 23:1-6
Luke 1:68-79
Colossians 1:11-20
Luke 23:33-43

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.

One Generation Shall Laud Your Works to Another -Psalm 145:1-5, 17-21

Psalm 145:1-5, 17-21

1I will extol you, my God and King,

and bless your name forever and ever.

2Every day I will bless you,

and praise your name forever and ever.

3Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;

his greatness is unsearchable.

4One generation shall laud your works to another,

and shall declare your mighty acts.

5On the glorious splendor of your majesty,

and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.

17The Lord is just in all his ways,

and kind in all his doings.

18The Lord is near to all who call on him,

to all who call on him in truth.

19He fulfills the desire of all who fear him;

he also hears their cry, and saves them.

20The Lord watches over all who love him,

but all the wicked he will destroy.

21My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord,

and all flesh will bless his holy name forever and ever.

  • 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 place in you that desires intergenerational connection.
  • Listen to the words of hope for this desire in you:  
    • The Lord is
      • near
      • fulfills desires
      • hears cries
      • saves
      • watches over all who love
  • How do past, present, and future generations witness (laud) this hope?
  • 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 10, 2019, the Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)
Haggai 1:15b-2:9
Psalm 145:1-5, 17-21
Psalm 98:1-9
2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17
Luke 20:27-38

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.

Give Me Understanding that I May Live – Psalm 119:137-144

Psalm 119:137-144

137You are righteous, O LORD,

and your judgments are right.

138You have appointed your decrees in righteousness

and in all faithfulness.

139My zeal consumes me

because my foes forget your words.

140Your promise is well tried,

and your servant loves it.

141I am small and despised,

yet I do not forget your precepts.

142Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness,

and your law is the truth.

143Trouble and anguish have come upon me,

but your commandments are my delight.

144Your decrees are righteous forever;

give me understanding that I may live.

  • 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 the part of you that is noticing trouble and anguish.
  • Be gentle with this part of you.
  • Invite God’s healing to this place.
  • Delight in God’s commandments.
  • Delight in God’s truth.
  • Delight in God’s righteousness.
  • Discover understanding that brings you life.
  • 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 3, 2019, the Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)
Habakkuk 1:1-4, 2:1-4
Psalm 119:137-144
2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11-12
Luke 19:1-10

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.

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.

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.

Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21 – The Water of Life as a Gift

Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21

12“See, I am coming soon; my reward is with me, to repay according to everyone’s work. 13I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

14“Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they will have the right to the tree of life and may enter the city by the gates.”

16“It is I, Jesus, who sent my angel to you with this testimony for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” 17The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let everyone who hears say, “Come.” And let everyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who wishes take the water of life as a gift.

20The one who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

21The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • Bring your attention to a place in you that is waiting for God to show up.
  • Go and sit by the water noticing how your thirst desires to be quenched.
  • Drink the water as the gift that God intends it to be.
  • Come, Lord Jesus!
  • Bring your attention to a place in the world that is waiting for God to show up.
  • Go and sit by the water noticing how the world’s thirst desires to be quenched.
  • Drink the water as the gift that God intends it to be.
  • Come, Lord Jesus!
  • 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, June 2, the Seventh Sunday of Easter Year C

Acts 16:16-34
Psalm 97:1-12
Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21
John 17:20-26

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.

Revelation 21:10, 21:22-22:5 – Water of Life, Tree of Life, Healing the Nations

Revelation 21:10, 21:22-22:5

10And in the spirit he carried me away to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God.

22I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. 23And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. 25Its gates will never be shut by day-and there will be no night there. 26People will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. 27But nothing unclean will enter it, nor anyone who practices abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

1Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3Nothing accursed will be found there any more. But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him; 4they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5And there will be no more night; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • Bring your attention to God as your light.
  • Notice how the light shines upon you.
  • Notice how the light warms you.
  • Notice how the light emanates within you.
  • Let God’s light emanate to fill the space around you.
  • Let God’s light emanate to include your neighbors.
  • Let God’s light emanate to include the world.
  • Let God’s light emanate in abundance.  How far does God’s light shine?
  • 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, May 26, the Sixth Sunday of Easter Year C

Acts 16:9-15
Psalm 67:1-7
Revelation 21:10, 21:22-22:5
John 14:23-29
John 5:1-9

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.

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.

Monday of Holy Week: Hebrews 9:11-15 – Mediator of a new covenant

During Holy Week, readings and meditations will be posted up to four times a day around  6 am, 12 pm, 3 pm, 6 pm

Hebrews 9:11-15

11But when Christ came as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation), 12he entered once for all into the Holy Place, not with the blood of goats and calves, but with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. 13For if the blood of goats and bulls, with the sprinkling of the ashes of a heifer, sanctifies those who have been defiled so that their flesh is purified, 14how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to worship the living God!

15For this reason he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, because a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions under the first covenant.

Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.

  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Christ came to earth to redeem you.
  • How do you want to honor this today?
  • Christ became the new covenant for you.
  • How do you want to honor this today?
  • Christ is your inheritance.
  • How do you want to honor this today?
  • 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 Monday, April 15, 2019, the Monday of Holy Week (Year C)

Isaiah 42:1-9
Psalm 36:5-11
Hebrews 9:11-15
John 12:1-11

(c) 2019 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD.  Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  Please give credit to author.