Psalm 148:1-14 – Praise Him Sun and Moon

Psalm 148:1-14

1Praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord from the heavens;

praise him in the heights!

2Praise him, all his angels;

praise him, all his host!

3Praise him, sun and moon;

praise him, all you shining stars!

4Praise him, you highest heavens,

and you waters above the heavens!

5Let them praise the name of the Lord,

for he commanded and they were created.

6He established them forever and ever;

he fixed their bounds, which cannot be passed.

7Praise the Lord from the earth,

you sea monsters and all deeps,

8fire and hail, snow and frost,

stormy wind fulfilling his command!

9Mountains and all hills,

fruit trees and all cedars!

10Wild animals and all cattle,

creeping things and flying birds!

11Kings of the earth and all peoples,

princes and all rulers of the earth!

12Young men and women alike,

old and young together!

13Let them praise the name of the Lord,

for his name alone is exalted;

his glory is above earth and heaven.

14He has raised up a horn for his people,

praise for all his faithful,

for the people of Israel who are close to him.

Praise the Lord!

  • Light a candle to remember God’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • Bring your attention again to Praise the Creating One.
  • Let praise arise in you.
  • Name the praises that arise for the Creating One.
  • Rest in this hope and pray.
  • What hope does resurrection bring to the world today?
  • How has God been faithful to you?
  • How has God been faithful to your neighbor?
  • How has God been faithful to the world?
  • Sit in praise.
  • 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 19, the Fifth Sunday of Easter Year C

Acts 11:1-18
Psalm 148:1-14
Revelation 21:1-6
John 13:31-35

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.

Job 1:1, 2:1-10 – Shall we receive the good at the hand of God and not the bad?

Job 1:1, 2:1-10

1There was once a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job. That man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil.

2:1One day the heavenly beings came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the LORD. 2The LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the LORD, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” 3The LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man who fears God and turns away from evil. He still persists in his integrity, although you incited me against him, to destroy him for no reason.” 4Then Satan answered the LORD, “Skin for skin! All that people have they will give to save their lives. 5But stretch out your hand now and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face.” 6The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, he is in your power; only spare his life.”

7So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD, and inflicted loathsome sores on Job from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. 8Job took a potsherd with which to scrape himself, and sat among the ashes.

9Then his wife said to him, “Do you still persist in your integrity? Curse God, and die.” 10But he said to her, “You speak as any foolish woman would speak. Shall we receive the good at the hand of God, and not receive the bad?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

  • 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.
  • Recall a time it was difficult for you to not sin with your lips.
  • Were you close with God or distant from God?
  • Were you alone or surrounded by community?
  • What was your greatest temptation?
  • What sores were opened upon you?
  • How did God sustain you?
  • As you reflect on this time, where do you now see God at work?
  • What wisdom have you gained?
  • How do you reconcile with God?
  • What witness do you have to share?
  • How do you feel like Job today?
  • 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 7, 2018, the Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Job 1:1, 2:1-10
Psalm 26:1-12
Hebrews 1:1-4, 2:5-12
Mark 10:2-16

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

Mark 1:21-28 A new teaching with authority

MARK 1:21-28

21They went to Capernaum; and when the sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught. 22They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. 23Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, 24and he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.” 25But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” 26And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. 27They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, “What is this? A new teaching — with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.”28At once his fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • Remember a time when Jesus taught you with authority.
  • Remember the thought and feeling that overcame you.
  • Remember that thin space knowing you were in the presence of the Holy One.
  • Savor this thin space.
  • Believe that you will encounter Jesus Christ today.  Be open to knowing the encounter.  Be aware in mind, body, and spirit.
  • Live today in this expectancy.
  • At the end of the day, reflect on the people and the places you encountered Jesus Christ.
  • Notice any similarities of differences to the thin space you encountered in this prayer.
  • Give thanks to God for thin places, for encounters, and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, January 28, 2018, the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) 
Deuteronomy 18:15-20
Psalm 111:1-10
1 Corinthians 8:1-13
Mark 1:21-28

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

Jonah 3: 1-5, 10 – God changed.

JONAH 3:1-5, 10

1The word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time, saying, 2“Get up, go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim to it the message that I tell you.” 3So Jonah set out and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly large city, a three days’ walk across. 4Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s walk. And he cried out, “Forty days more, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” 5And the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast, and everyone, great and small, put on sackcloth.

10When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • What message is God asking you to proclaim that you have put off?
  • What obstacles are before you?
  • Who is waiting to hear God’s message through you?
  • What will change when this message is shared?
  • Begin your walk toward Nineveh.
  • How is God sustaining you on this journey.
  • Begin to proclaim God’s word.
  • Listen, respond, obey.
  • 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, January 21, 2018, the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) 
Jonah 3:1-5, 10
Psalm 62:5-12
1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Mark 1:14-20

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

Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24 I will seek the lost…

EZEKIEL 34:11-16, 20-24

11For thus says the Lord GOD: I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out. 12As shepherds seek out their flocks when they are among their scattered sheep, so I will seek out my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places to which they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. 13I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the watercourses, and in all the inhabited parts of the land. 14I will feed them with good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel shall be their pasture; there they shall lie down in good grazing land, and they shall feed on rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. 15I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down, says the Lord GOD.16I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with justice.

20Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD to them: I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep.21Because you pushed with flank and shoulder, and butted at all the weak animals with your horns until you scattered them far and wide, 22I will save my flock, and they shall no longer be ravaged; and I will judge between sheep and sheep.

23I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. 24And I, the LORD, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them; I, the LORD, have spoken.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • The Lord GOD is looking for you.
  • Are you hiding?
  • Do you want to be found?
  • Where will God find you?
  • What injuries to you need God to bind?
  • What needs to be strengthened within you?
  • Imagine God places you in a pasture with food and nourishment.
  • What do you experience there?
  • Who do you encounter there?
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • Give thanks to God for this time to be found, to be healed, and to be fed.  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, November 26, 2017, Christ the King (Reign of Christ) Sunday (Year A)
Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24
Psalm 100: 1-5
Ephesians 1:15-23
Matthew 25:31-46

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

Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7 – Is this my desire or God’s desire for me?

Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7

2:15The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it.16And the LORD God commanded the man, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden;17but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.”

3:1Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 2The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; 3but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.’” 4But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die; 5for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate. 7Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Bring your attention to the Breath.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence paying attention to the Breath.
  • What is your deepest desire?
  • Is this also God’s desire for you?
  • How do you know this?
  • Listen to the fullness of your senses.
  • Be gentle with yourself.
  • Try it on.  Just as you would put on a favorite sweater, try it on and sit with it for while.
  • Is this authentically you?
  • Is this authentically God?
  • Is this a serpent trying to get your attention?
  • Ask trusted advisors if this desire fits you.
  • Is this desire filled with the fruit of the Spirit for  you?
  • Is this desire filled with the fruit of the Spirit for the world?
  • Then maybe it is God’s desire for you.
  • How does God desire for you to respond to this desire?
  • 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, March 5, 2017, the First Sunday in Lent (Year A)

Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7
Psalm 32
Romans 5:12-19
Matthew 4:1-11

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

Matthew 5:21-37 – First be reconciled to your brother or sister

Matthew 5:21-37

21“You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not murder’; and ‘whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.’ 22But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, ‘You fool,’ you will be liable to the hell of fire. 23So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift. 25Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are on the way to court with him, or your accuser may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. 26Truly I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.

27“You have heard that it was said, ‘you shall not commit adultery.’ 28But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to go into hell.

31“It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32But I say to you that anyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

33“Again, you have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but carry out the vows you have made to the Lord.’ 34But I say to you, Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37Let your word be ‘Yes, Yes’ or ‘No, No’; anything more than this comes from the evil one.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Bring your attention to the Breath.
  • How do you carry out the vows you have made to the Lord?
  • Hod do you want to savor this at the altar today?
  • Where do you stumble and swear falsely?
  • How do you want to leave this at the altar today?
  • Embrace the reconciliation God has for you.  Leave the judgment at the altar.
  • Notice the peace that God has for you.
  • Embrace the peace.
  • 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 12, 2017, the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Deuteronomy 30:15-20
Psalm 119:1-8
1 Corinthians 3:1-9
Matthew 5:21-37

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

Job 1:1, 2:1-10 – Shall we receive the good at the hand of God and not the bad?

Job 1:1, 2:1-10

1There was once a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job. That man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil.

2:1One day the heavenly beings came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the LORD. 2The LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the LORD, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” 3The LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man who fears God and turns away from evil. He still persists in his integrity, although you incited me against him, to destroy him for no reason.” 4Then Satan answered the LORD, “Skin for skin! All that people have they will give to save their lives. 5But stretch out your hand now and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face.” 6The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, he is in your power; only spare his life.”

7So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD, and inflicted loathsome sores on Job from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. 8Job took a potsherd with which to scrape himself, and sat among the ashes.

9Then his wife said to him, “Do you still persist in your integrity? Curse God, and die.” 10But he said to her, “You speak as any foolish woman would speak. Shall we receive the good at the hand of God, and not receive the bad?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

  • 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.
  • Recall a time it was difficult for you to not sin with your lips.
  • Were you close with God or distant from God?
  • Were you alone or surrounded by community?
  • What was your greatest temptation?
  • What sores were opened upon you?
  • How did God sustain you?
  • As you reflect on this time, where do you now see God at work?
  • What wisdom have you gained?
  • How do you reconcile with God?
  • What witness do you have to share?
  • How do you feel like Job today?
  • 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 7, 2012, the Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Job 1:1, 2:1-10
Psalm 26:1-12
Hebrews 1:1-4, 2:5-12
Mark 10:2-16

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