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.

Acts 11 – 1-18 – The Repentance that Leads to Life

Acts 11:1-18

1Now the apostles and the believers who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also accepted the word of God. 2So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him, 3saying, “Why did you go to uncircumcised men and eat with them?” 4Then Peter began to explain it to them, step by step, saying, 5“I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision. There was something like a large sheet coming down from heaven, being lowered by its four corners; and it came close to me. 6As I looked at it closely I saw four-footed animals, beasts of prey, reptiles, and birds of the air. 7I also heard a voice saying to me, ‘Get up, Peter; kill and eat.’ 8But I replied, ‘By no means, Lord; for nothing profane or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ 9But a second time the voice answered from heaven, ‘What God has made clean, you must not call profane.’ 10This happened three times; then everything was pulled up again to heaven. 11At that very moment three men, sent to me from Caesarea, arrived at the house where we were. 12The Spirit told me to go with them and not to make a distinction between them and us. These six brothers also accompanied me, and we entered the man’s house. 13He told us how he had seen the angel standing in his house and saying, ‘Send to Joppa and bring Simon, who is called Peter; 14he will give you a message by which you and your entire household will be saved.’ 15And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as it had upon us at the beginning. 16And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17If then God gave them the same gift that he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could hinder God?” 18When they heard this, they were silenced. And they praised God, saying, “Then God has given even to the Gentiles the repentance that leads to life.”

  • 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 again to the invitation of the curtain of  re-creation.
  • What injustice and division in the world is in need of re-creation today?
  • Let your hope rest in this invitation to re-creation.
  • Rest in this hope and pray.
  • What hope does re-creation bring to the world today?
  • Rest in this hope and pray.
  • Sit in light and love.
  • 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.

Revelation 1:4-8 – The Alpha and the Omega

Revelation 1:4-8

4John to the seven churches that are in Asia:

Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, 5and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.

To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, 6and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

7Look! He is coming with the clouds;

every eye will see him,

even those who pierced him;

and on his account all the tribes of the earth will wail.

So it is to be. Amen.

8“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Focus on wholeness of the Biblical story.
  • From creation to death to resurrection.
  • From beginning to end to new beginning.
  • From Eden to Jerusalem to New Jerusalem.
  • Jesus made us priests to serve and glorify God in the fullness of the story…with hope.
  • How does the Biblical story inform your own story?
  • Where is life?
  • Where is death?
  • Where is resurrection?
  • Name the hope.
  • 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, April 28, 2019, the Second Sunday of Easter (Year C)

Acts 5:27-32
Psalm 118:14-29
Revelation 1:4-8
John 20:19-31

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

Psalm 118:14-29 – Glad Songs of Victory

Psalm 118:14-29

14The LORD is my strength and my might;

he has become my salvation.

15There are glad songs of victory in the tents of the righteous:

“The right hand of the LORD does valiantly;

16the right hand of the LORD is exalted;

the right hand of the LORD does valiantly.”

17I shall not die, but I shall live,

and recount the deeds of the LORD.

18The LORD has punished me severely,

but he did not give me over to death.

19Open to me the gates of righteousness,

that I may enter through them

and give thanks to the LORD.

20This is the gate of the LORD;

the righteous shall enter through it.

21I thank you that you have answered me

and have become my salvation.

22The stone that the builders rejected

has become the chief cornerstone.

23This is the LORD’s doing;

it is marvelous in our eyes.

24This is the day that the LORD has made;

let us rejoice and be glad in it.

25Save us, we beseech you, O LORD!

O LORD, we beseech you, give us success!

26Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the LORD.

We bless you from the house of the LORD.

27The LORD is God,

and he has given us light.

Bind the festal procession with branches,

up to the horns of the altar.

28You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;

you are my God, I will extol you.

29O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,

for his steadfast love endures for ever.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Focus on your glad song of victory.
  • Notice how you are not dying but living.
  • Notice how you both sinner and saint.
  • Notice what you know and name what you still don’t know.
  • Notice how choosing Love is your salvation.
  • Notice how you desire to rejoice.
  • 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, April 28, 2019, the Second Sunday of Easter (Year C)

Acts 5:27-32
Psalm 118:14-29
Revelation 1:4-8
John 20:19-31

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

Acts 5:27-32 – We Are Witnesses to These Things

Acts 5:27-32

27When they had brought them, they had them stand before the council. The high priest questioned them, 28saying, “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you are determined to bring this man’s blood on us.” 29But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than any human authority. 30The God of our ancestors raised up Jesus, whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. 31God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior that he might give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Scan the past few days of your life.
  • How has you experienced the resurrection of Christ in the world today?
  • Linger with this/these experiences.
  • Notice the life and light that emanates.
  • Which high council or authority is telling you that you may not teach in the name of Jesus?
  • How is this tearing you down and down your neighbor and God’s kingdom?
  • How will you speak boldly in His name?
  • 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, April 28, 2019, the Second Sunday of Easter (Year C)

Acts 5:27-32
Psalm 118:14-29
Revelation 1:4-8
John 20:19-31

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

Easter Sunday – Luke 24:13-35 – The Lord Has Risen Indeed, and He Has Appeared to Simon

The Disciples of Emmaus by Jesus Mafa

Luke 24:13-35

13Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, 14and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, 16but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17And he said to them, “What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?” They stood still, looking sad. 18Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?” 19He asked them, “What things?” They replied, “The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. 21But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. 22Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, 23and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. 24Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him.” 25Then he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! 26Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?” 27Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.

28As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. 29But they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.” So he went in to stay with them. 30When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. 32They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?” 33That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. 34They were saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!” 35Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Scan the past few days of your life.
  • What grief do you desire to bring with you as you walk with a friend and Christ today?
  • Let the grief flow as you cry with your companions.
  • Let the questions flow as you wonder with your companions.
  • Let the laments flow as you share with your companions.
  • Let the memories flood back as you remember with your companions.
  • Hear the words of a trusted friend as Christ teaches you again all that has transpired in his life as a gift for you.
  • Invite your companions for a meal.
  • What is it that Jesus reveals to you in the breaking of the bread?
  • 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, April 21, 2019, the Resurrection of the Lord (Easter Day) (Year C)

Acts 10:34-43
Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24
1 Corinthians 15:19-26
Luke 24:13-49

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

2 Corinthians 5 – If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation…

2 Corinthians 5:6-10 (11-13) 14-17

6So we are always confident; even though we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord — 7for we walk by faith, not by sight. 8Yes, we do have confidence, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10For all of us must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense for what has been done in the body, whether good or evil.

11Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we try to persuade others; but we ourselves are well known to God, and I hope that we are also well known to your consciences. 12We are not commending ourselves to you again, but giving you an opportunity to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast in outward appearance and not in the heart. 13For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14For the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. 15And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them.

16From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. 17So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!

  • 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.
  • As you pay attention to your breath, allow your wings to expand you, as a butterfly opens and closes its wings.
  • Allow the breath to reach the tips of your fingertips.
  • Feel the expanse of breath in your chest.
  • Consider how you are in Christ today.
  • Acknowledge the old that has passed away.
  • Embrace the new that has been born.
  • Is there part of you that needs to die to self?
  • So that Christ can make you new today?
  • Let go of what you can.  Christ will take it from you.
  • Feel the new spots of color that brighten your wings.
  • What new color do you see?
  • Christ continues to create new things in you each day.  Thanks be to 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, June 17, 2018, the Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

I Samuel 15:34-16:13
Psalm 20
2 Corinthians 5:6-10 (11-13) 14-17
Mark 4:26-34

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

Luke 24:13-35 – Their eyes were opened

The Disciples of Emmaus by Jesus Mafa

Luke 24:13-35

13Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, 14and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, 16but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17And he said to them, “What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?” They stood still, looking sad. 18Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?” 19He asked them, “What things?” They replied, “The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. 21But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. 22Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, 23and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. 24Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him.” 25Then he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! 26Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?” 27Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.

28As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. 29But they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.” So he went in to stay with them. 30When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. 32They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?” 33That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. 34They were saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!” 35Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Scan the past few days of your life.
  • What grief do you desire to bring with you as you walk with a friend and Christ today?
  • Let the grief flow as you cry with your companions.
  • Let the questions flow as you wonder with your companions.
  • Let the laments flow as you share with your companions.
  • Let the memories flood back as you remember with your companions.
  • Hear the words of a trusted friend as Christ teaches you again all that has transpired in his life as a gift for you.
  • Invite your companions for a meal.
  • What is it that Jesus reveals to you in the breaking of the bread?
  • 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, April 30, 2017, the Third Sunday of Easter (Year A)

Acts 2:14a, 36-41
Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19
1 Peter 1:17-23
Luke 24:13-35

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

Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19 – O Lord, I pray, save my life!

Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19

1   I love the LORD, because he has heard
my voice and my supplications.
2   Because he inclined his ear to me,
therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
3   The snares of death encompassed me;
the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me;
I suffered distress and anguish.
4   Then I called on the name of the LORD:
“O LORD, I pray, save my life!”

12  What shall I return to the LORD
for all his bounty to me?
13  I will lift up the cup of salvation
and call on the name of the LORD,
14   I will pay my vows to the LORD
in the presence of all his people.
15   Precious in the sight of the LORD
is the death of his faithful ones.
16  O LORD, I am your servant;
I am your servant, the child of your serving girl.
You have loosed my bonds.
17  I will offer to you a thanksgiving sacrifice
and call on the name of the LORD.
18  I will pay my vows to the LORD
in the presence of all his people,
19  in the courts of the house of the LORD,
in your midst, O Jerusalem.
Praise the LORD!

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • O Lord, I pray, save my life.
  • Recall the things that are threatening your life  today.
  • Hold them before you.
  • As you hold these things that take life from you, repeat a breath prayer:  inhale “O, Lord,” and exhale “Save my life.”
  • Repeat this prayer as you seek freedom the life-threatening things.
  • The Lord hears your voice and supplications.
  • What new life does God have for you 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 Sunday, April 30, 2017, the Third Sunday of Easter (Year A)

Acts 2:14a, 36-41
Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19
1 Peter 1:17-23
Luke 24:13-35

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

Acts 2:14a, 36-41 – Save yourselves from this corrupt generation

Acts 2:14a, 36-41

14aBut Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them,

36“Therefore let the entire house of Israel know with certainty that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified.”

37Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” 38Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.” 40And he testified with many other arguments and exhorted them, saying, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41So those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • As you consider Peter’s message for the Israelites, where do you see corruption in today’s generation?
  • The promise is for you, for your children, for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.
  • What is the message we need to hear again?
  • Why do we need to hear this again today?
  • Listen to the message that arises within you.
  • What words of compassion and love to you have to share with the world around you?
  • Who needs to hear 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 Sunday, April 30, 2017, the Third Sunday of Easter (Year A)

Acts 2:14a, 36-41
Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19
1 Peter 1:17-23
Luke 24:13-35

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