2 Corinthians 6:1-13 – Now is the acceptable time

2 Corinthians 6:1-13

1As we work together with him, we urge you also not to accept the grace of God in vain. 2For he says,
“At an acceptable time I have listened to you,
and on a day of salvation I have helped you.”
See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation! 3We are putting no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, 4but as servants of God we have commended ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, 5beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; 6by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, holiness of spirit, genuine love, 7truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; 8in honor and dishonor, in ill repute and good repute. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; 9as unknown, and yet are well known; as dying, and see — we are alive; as punished, and yet not killed; 10as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything.

11We have spoken frankly to you Corinthians; our heart is wide open to you. 12There is no restriction in our affections, but only in yours. 13In return — I speak as to children — open wide your hearts also.

  • 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.
  • Scan your mind.
  • What is keeping you from opening your heart?
  • Let this obstacle be your focus.  Find where you are holding this obstacle in your body.
  • Imagine gently taking this obstacle out of your body and holding it before you.  Take any preparation time you need.
  • As you hold this obstacle before you, decide if you want to set it aside.
  • As you look at the obstacle, where do you see God in the obstacle?
  • Allow  God to hold the obstacle for you.
  • Notice the space that is created within you that once held the obstacle.  What do you notice about this space?
  • Do you feel light or heavy?  Tension or freedom?  Cold or warm?
  • Breathe into this space that has been created.
  • Savor the space that has been created.
  • Listen to what arises from within you.
  • What message do you hear from God?
  • Return to the obstacle that God is holding for you.
  • You may allow God to continue holding this obstacle or you may imagine yourself placing the obstacle within 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 24, 2018, the Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

I Samuel 17:(1a, 4-11, 19-23) 32-49
1 Samuel 17:57-18:5, 10-16
Psalm 9:9-20
2 Corinthians 6:1-13
Mark 4:35-41

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings. (c) 2018 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

Numbers 21:4-9 Impatientience

NUMBERS 21:4-9

4From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; but the people became impatient on the way. 5The people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we detest this miserable food.”6Then the LORD sent poisonous serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many Israelites died.7The people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned by speaking against the LORD and against you; pray to the LORD to take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. 8And the LORD said to Moses, “Make a poisonous serpent, and set it on a pole; and everyone who is bitten shall look at it and live.” 9So Moses made a serpent of bronze, and put it upon a pole; and whenever a serpent bit someone, that person would look at the serpent of bronze and 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.
  • How are you in the wilderness today?
  • Are you becoming impatient with God?
  • How have you acted out away from God?  Or how do you feel you might act out away from God?
  • Set the cross before you.
  • All who have turned away from God will live through the cross.
  • Look at the cross, and live.
  • As you gaze at the cross.  What do you notice in your body?
  • Do you feel freedom or tension?
  • As you gaze at the cross, gain strength of perseverance, patience and reconciliation as you rely on the strength of Christ.
  • Give thanks to God for this time at the cross and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, March 11, 2018, the Fourth Sunday in Lent Year B 
Numbers 21:4-9
Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22
Ephesians 2:1-10
John 3:14-21

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings
(c) 2018 The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

1 Corinthians 6: Glorify God in your body

12“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are beneficial. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. 13“Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food,” and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is meant not for fornication but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14And God raised the Lord and will also raise us by his power. 15Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Should I therefore take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 16Do you not know that whoever is united to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For it is said, “The two shall be one flesh.” 17But anyone united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 18Shun fornication! Every sin that a person commits is outside the body; but the fornicator sins against the body itself. 19Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.

  • 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.
  • Pay attention to your body as you breath.
  • What tension do you feel?
  • Send the breath to this place of tension, inviting the tension to leave your body.  Continue to send the breath to this place until you feel freedom from the tension.
  • Name the freedom you feel?
  • Allow the breath to carry this freedom through your body.
  • Where does the freedom flow?
  • Where is the Holy Spirit in this freedom?
  • What is the Holy Spirit building in the temple within you?
  • Is there a call to action?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer, reflecting upon the temple of the Holy Spirit within you.  Give thanks for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, January 14, 2018, the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) 
1 Samuel 3:1-10 (11-20)
Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18
1 Corinthians 6:12-20
John 1:43-51

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings 
(c) 2018 The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

Matthew 14:22-33 -You of little faith, why did you doubt?

Matthew 14:22-33

22Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them. 25And early in the morning he came walking toward them on the sea. 26But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. 27But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.”

28Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. 30But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

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

  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Let the breath lead you to focus on your interior space.
  • Notice the storm brewing in you.
  • Describe the storm.
  • What fear/anxiety/worry is stirring with the storm?
  • When Jesus comes toward you, what is keeping you from knowing him?
  • Hear the words of Jesus, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.”
  • What proof do you still need to know Jesus is near?
  • Do you walk out on the water?
  • What doubts arise from within?
  • How do you need Jesus to save you?
  • What do you need to let go to embrace your faith?
  • What is your message from God?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, August 13, 2017, the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28
Psalm 105:1-6, 16-22, 45b
Romans 10:5-15
Matthew 14:22-33

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

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

Exodus 24:12-18 Moses was on the mountain for 40 days and 40 nights

Exodus 24:12-18

12The LORD said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain, and wait there; and I will give you the tablets of stone, with the law and the commandment, which I have written for their instruction.” 13So Moses set out with his assistant Joshua, and Moses went up into the mountain of God. 14To the elders he had said, “Wait here for us, until we come to you again; for Aaron and Hur are with you; whoever has a dispute may go to them.”

15Then Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. 16The glory of the LORD settled on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days; on the seventh day he called to Moses out of the cloud. 17Now the appearance of the glory of the LORD was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel. 18Moses entered the cloud, and went up on the mountain. Moses was on the mountain for forty days and forty nights.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Bring your attention to the Breath.  Inhale freedom and exhale unfreedom.  Continue this exercise for 5 to 10 minutes.  With each breath, imagine you are ascending the mountain to be with God.
  • Notice the life that the freedom gives you.
  • Notice any resistance, tension, or obstacles that impede your ascent.  Allow the breath to reach these places and exhale the unfreedom.
  • When you reach the place on the top of the mountain, sit and wait for God.
  • What do you notice?
  • What do you need?
  • What do you anticipate?
  • What do you resist?
  • Return to the Breath.
  • Sit and wait.
  • 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, February 26, 2017, the Transfiguration of the Lord (Year A)

Exodus 24:12-18
Psalm 2
2 Peter 1:16-21
Matthew 17:1-9

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

2 Corinthians 6:1-13 – Now is the acceptable time

2 Corinthians 6:1-13

1As we work together with him, we urge you also not to accept the grace of God in vain. 2For he says,
“At an acceptable time I have listened to you,
and on a day of salvation I have helped you.”
See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation! 3We are putting no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, 4but as servants of God we have commended ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, 5beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; 6by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, holiness of spirit, genuine love, 7truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; 8in honor and dishonor, in ill repute and good repute. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; 9as unknown, and yet are well known; as dying, and see — we are alive; as punished, and yet not killed; 10as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything.

11We have spoken frankly to you Corinthians; our heart is wide open to you. 12There is no restriction in our affections, but only in yours. 13In return — I speak as to children — open wide your hearts also.

  • 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.
  • Scan your mind.
  • What is keeping you from opening your heart?
  • Let this obstacle be your focus.  Find where you are holding this obstacle in your body.
  • Imagine gently taking this obstacle out of your body and holding it before you.  Take any preparation time you need.
  • As you hold this obstacle before you, decide if you want to set it aside.
  • As you look at the obstacle, where do you see God in the obstacle?
  • Allow  God to hold the obstacle for you.
  • Notice the space that is created within you that once held the obstacle.  What do you notice about this space?
  • Do you feel light or heavy?  Tension or freedom?  Cold or warm?
  • Breathe into this space that has been created.
  • Savor the space that has been created.
  • Listen to what arises from within you.
  • What message do you hear from God?
  • Return to the obstacle that God is holding for you.
  • You may allow God to continue holding this obstacle or you may imagine yourself placing the obstacle within 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 24, 2012, the Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

I Samuel 17:(1a, 4-11, 19-23) 32-49
1 Samuel 17:57-18:5, 10-16
Psalm 9:9-20
2 Corinthians 6:1-13
Mark 4:35-41

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.

Numbers 21:4-9 Becoming Impatient

NUMBERS 21:4-9

4From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; but the people became impatient on the way. 5The people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we detest this miserable food.”6Then the LORD sent poisonous serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many Israelites died.7The people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned by speaking against the LORD and against you; pray to the LORD to take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. 8And the LORD said to Moses, “Make a poisonous serpent, and set it on a pole; and everyone who is bitten shall look at it and live.” 9So Moses made a serpent of bronze, and put it upon a pole; and whenever a serpent bit someone, that person would look at the serpent of bronze and 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.
  • How are you in the wilderness today?
  • Are you becoming impatient with God?
  • How have you acted out away from God?  Or how do you feel you might act out away from God?
  • Set the cross before you.
  • All who have turned away from God will live through the cross.
  • Look at the cross, and live.
  • As you gaze at the cross.  What do you notice in your body?
  • Do you feel freedom or tension?
  • As you gaze at the cross, gain strength of perseverance, patience and reconciliation as you rely on the strength of Christ.
  • Give thanks to God for this time at the cross and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, March 18, 2012, the Fourth Sunday in Lent Year B 
Numbers 21:4-9
Psalm 107:103, 17-22
Ephesians 2:1-10
John 3:14-21

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