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.

Christmas Joy! Isaiah 52:7-10 – Redeeming Love!

ISAIAH 52:7-10

7   How beautiful upon the mountains
are the feet of the messenger who announces peace,
who brings good news,
who announces salvation,
who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”
8   Listen! Your sentinels lift up their voices,
together they sing for joy;
for in plain sight they see
the return of the LORD to Zion.
9   Break forth together into singing,
you ruins of Jerusalem;
for the LORD has comforted his people,
he has redeemed Jerusalem.
10  The LORD has bared his holy arm
before the eyes of all the nations;
and all the ends of the earth shall see
the salvation of our God.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • As you breathe, what peace do you realize?
  • Someone has news to share with you.
  • What peace is announced?
  • What song arises within you?
  • What comfort blankets you?
  • What salvation do you see?
  • What message does God have for you in this peace?
  • What message does God have for the world in this peace?
  • Give thanks to God for this new sense of peace and for any new insights you have been given.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Tuesday, December 25, 2018, the Nativity of Jesus Christ Year B 
Isaiah 52: 7-10
Psalm 98:1-9
Hebrews 1:1-4 (5-12)
John 1:1-14

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

Mark 7:24-37 – They begged him to lay his hand upon him

Mark 7:24-37

24From there he set out and went away to the region of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know he was there. Yet he could not escape notice, 25but a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about him, and she came and bowed down at his feet. 26Now the woman was a Gentile, of Syrophoenician origin. She begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. 27He said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” 28But she answered him, “Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” 29Then he said to her, “For saying that, you may go — the demon has left your daughter.” 30So she went home, found the child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.

31Then he returned from the region of Tyre, and went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. 32They brought to him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they begged him to lay his hand on him. 33He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue. 34Then looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” 35And immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. 36Then Jesus ordered them to tell no one; but the more he ordered them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. 37They were astounded beyond measure, saying, “He has done everything well; he even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying close attention to the deep breath.
  • Open your heart and mind to God as you settle into the breath.
  • When you notice a sense of peace, scan your mind for a time when you relied on your faith to bring something before God.
  • Do you remember the feelings that captured you leading up to this time?
  • Was there an event that pushed you to seek help from God?
  • Did someone accompany you on this journey, or were you alone?
  • Remember, if you can, the first few steps.
  • How did God meet you in your need?
  • Did you hear, see, or feel the touch of God?
  • Do you remember the feelings that captured you at the time of healing?
  • On this side of the experience, what stands out the most for you today?
  • Is there something on your heart you need to bring to God today?
  • God makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.
  • Beg him to place his hand upon 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, September 9, 2018, the Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Proverbs 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23
Psalm 125:1-5
James 2:1-10 (11-13) 14-17
Mark 7:24-37

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

 

Psalm 14 – Seek after God

Psalm 14

1Fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds;
there is no one who does good.
2The LORD looks down from heaven on humankind
to see if there are any who are wise,
who seek after God.
3They have all gone astray, they are all alike perverse;
there is no one who does good,
no, not one.
4Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers
who eat up my people as they eat bread,
and do not call upon the LORD?
5There they shall be in great terror,
for God is with the company of the righteous.
6You would confound the plans of the poor,
but the LORD is their refuge.
7O that deliverance for Israel would come from Zion!
When the LORD restores the fortunes of his people,
Jacob will rejoice; Israel will be glad.

  • 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 God is looking down upon humankind from heaven.
  • Who will God see is wise?
  • Lift your face to the Lord.
  • Seek God’s favor.
  • What do you need to let go so that you may be more available to God
  • What wisdom arises in you?
  • What fear do you need to let go to be with the Lord?
  • 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, July 29, 2018, the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

2 Samuel 11:1-15
Psalm 14
Ephesians 3:14-21
John 6:1-21

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

Psalm 139 – You knit me together

PSALM

139:

1-6,

13-18

1   O LORD, you have searched me and known me.
2   You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from far away.
3   You search out my path and my lying down,
and are acquainted with all my ways.
4   Even before a word is on my tongue,
O LORD, you know it completely.
5   You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
6   Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is so high that I cannot attain it.

13  For it was you who formed my inward parts;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14  I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
that I know very well.
15       My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16  Your eyes beheld my unformed substance.
In your book were written
all the days that were formed for me,
when none of them as yet existed.
17  How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18  I try to count them — they are more than the sand;
I come to the end — I am still with you.

  • 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.
  • What word or phrase captures your attention?
  • In your life how does this word or phrase reflect God’s creation of you?
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • Reflect upon this message as you consider the word of phrase that captures you.
  • Read the Psalm one more time.
  • Is there a call to action?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and for any new insights you have gained.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, June 3, 2018, the Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) 

1 Samuel 3:1-10 (11-20)
Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18
2 Corinthians 4:5-12
Mark 2:23-3:6

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

Psalm 107 – Redeemed and Gathered

PSALM 107:1-3, 17-22

1   O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures for ever.
2   Let the redeemed of the LORD say so,
those he redeemed from trouble
3   and gathered in from the lands,
from the east and from the west,
from the north and from the south.

17  Some were sick through their sinful ways,
and because of their iniquities endured affliction;
18  they loathed any kind of food,
and they drew near to the gates of death.
19  Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress;
20  he sent out his word and healed them,
and delivered them from destruction.
21  Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love,
for his wonderful works to humankind.
22  And let them offer thanksgiving sacrifices,
and tell of his deeds with songs of 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.
  • Consider today how God has redeemed you from trouble.
  • From which cries of distress did the Lord rescue you?
  • What word healed you?
  • How were you delivered from destruction?
  • What love do you feel?
  • What space is created in this saving love?
  • How will you share this love in thanksgiving today?
  • 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 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

The Presentation of the Lord

MALACHI 3:1-4

1See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight — indeed, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. 2But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap; 3he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, until they present offerings to the Lord in righteousness. 4Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.

 PSALM 84:1-12

1   How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord of hosts!
2   My soul longs, indeed it faints
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh sing for joy
to the living God.

3   Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may lay her young,
at your altars, O Lord of hosts,
my King and my God.
4   Happy are those who live in your house,
ever singing your praise.                          Selah

5   Happy are those whose strength is in you,
in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
6   As they go through the valley of Baca
ithey make it a place of springs;
ithe early rain also covers it with pools.
7   They go from strength to strength;
ithe God of gods will be seen in Zion.

8   O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer;
give ear, O God of Jacob!                          Selah
9   Behold our shield, O God;
look on the face of your anointed.

10  For a day in your courts is better
than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than live in the tents of wickedness.
11  For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
he bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does the Lord withhold
from those who walk uprightly.
12  O Lord of hosts,
happy is everyone who trusts in you.

SECOND READING HEBREWS 2:14-18

14Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death. 16For it is clear that he did not come to help angels, but the descendants of Abraham. 17Therefore he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people. 18Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.

GOSPEL LUKE 2:22-40

22When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23(as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord”), 24and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtle-doves or two young pigeons.” 25Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. 26It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, 28Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying,
29  “Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace,
according to your word;
30  for my eyes have seen your salvation,
31       which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
32  a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and for glory to your people Israel.”

33And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. 34Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed 35so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed — and a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

36There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day. 38At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem. 39When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth.40The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit is silent meditation five to fifteen minutes paying attention to the deep breath.
  • As you pay attention to your deep breath, lower or close your eyes as you feel led, focusing on the inward voice.
  • Seek the truth of the Lord within you.
  • What word of Christ lives within you?
  • Savor this word of Christ.
  • What word of truth within you is Christ calling you to share?
  • Who will receive this word of truth?
  • What is Christ’s message for you?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in seeking the Truth and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Friday, February 2, 2018, the Presentation of the Lord Year B 
Malachi 3:1-4
Psalm 84:1-12
Hebrews 2:14-18
Luke 2:22-40

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

Psalm 111 …the works of his hands are faithful and just…

PSALM 111:1-10

1   Praise the LORD!
I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart,
in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
2   Great are the works of the LORD,
studied by all who delight in them.
3   Full of honor and majesty is his work,
and his righteousness endures forever.
4   He has gained renown by his wonderful deeds;
the LORD is gracious and merciful.
5   He provides food for those who fear him;
he is ever mindful of his covenant.
6   He has shown his people the power of his works,
in giving them the heritage of the nations.
7   The works of his hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are trustworthy.
8   They are established forever and ever,
to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.
9   He sent redemption to his people;
he has commanded his covenant forever.
Holy and awesome is his name.
10  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;
all those who practice it have a good understanding.
His praise endures forever.

  • 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 power of God’s works captures your attention in this Psalm?
  • How is this power present in your life?
  • How is this power present in the world?
  • What heritage is promised to you?
  • What heritage is promised to the world?
  • What redemption is sent for you?
  • What redemption is sent for the world?
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • Allow this message to drench you.
  • Is there a call to action?
  • Give thanks to God for this time to be in God’s hands 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

Psalm 139 – Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

PSALM 139:1-6,13-18

1   O LORD, you have searched me and known me.
2   You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from far away.
3   You search out my path and my lying down,
and are acquainted with all my ways.
4   Even before a word is on my tongue,
O LORD, you know it completely.
5   You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
6   Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is so high that I cannot attain it.

13  For it was you who formed my inward parts;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14  I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
that I know very well.
15       My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16  Your eyes beheld my unformed substance.
In your book were written
all the days that were formed for me,
when none of them as yet existed.
17  How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18  I try to count them — they are more than the sand;
I come to the end — I am still with you.

  • 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.
  • What word or phrase captures your attention?
  • In your life how does this word or phrase reflect God’s creation of you?
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • Reflect upon this message as you consider the word of phrase that captures you.
  • Read the Psalm one more time.
  • Is there a call to action?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and for any new insights you have gained.
  • 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