Advent: Are you the One Who Is to Come? Matthew 11:2-11

Matthew 11:2-11

2When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples 3and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” 4Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: 5the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. 6And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.”

7As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? 8What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces. 9What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10This is the one about whom it is written,
     ‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
          who will prepare your way before you.’
11Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • As we wait for Jesus to born into the world again, ask the question, “Are you the One who is to come?”
  • What are you experiencing in the world that reflects the Light?
  • Who is receiving sight?
  • Who is receiving healing and walking?
  • Who is being cleansed?
  • Who is being raised from death?
  • Who is receiving the good news for the poor?
  • How are you being blessed by the coming of the Christ child?
  • What message to you have to share that will prepare the way?
  • 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, December 15, 2019, the Third Sunday of Advent (Year A)

Isaiah 35:1-10
Psalm 146:5-10
Luke 1:47-55
James 5:7-10
Matthew 11:2-11

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2019 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

Rev. Dr. Lil Smith is a trained spiritual director, supervisor, and co-founder of Retreat House Spirituality Center in Richardson, TX.  Upon completion of her spiritual direction certification, Lil began Praying the Lectionary in 2011 as a spiritual practice for her morning prayer time.  Instead of reading about someone else’s experience of God, it was important for her to create a prayer practice that would encourage felt sense experience of the Holy emerging from within.  It dawned on her others might enjoy the practice, as well.  So she began to share them on this site.

As you experience the practice of Praying the Lectionary, adopt a loving, caring, and compassionate stance.  If the end of your prayer and meditation time is not pointing to love and hope, there is more work to do.  Keep wrestling.  God is faithful to your journey.  Love and hope will emerge.  Be gentle with yourself and befriend any judgment that arises in you.

Advent: Patient Waiting – James 5:7-10

James 5:7-10

7Be patient, therefore, beloved, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. 8You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. 9Beloved, do not grumble against one another, so that you may not be judged. See, the Judge is standing at the doors! 10As an example of suffering and patience, beloved, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.

  • Light a candle to remember of Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Let you attention be with the part of you that is waiting.
  • How do you need to be patient in this waiting?
  • Embrace patience
  • How do you notice God accompanying you in this waiting?
  • Embrace God’s presence, love, compassion and caring.
  • Who is judging you in this waiting?
  • How do you befriend the judge?
  • 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, December 15, 2019, the Third Sunday of Advent (Year A)

Isaiah 35:1-10
Psalm 146:5-10
Luke 1:47-55
James 5:7-10
Matthew 11:2-11

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2019 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

Rev. Dr. Lil Smith is a trained spiritual director, supervisor, and co-founder of Retreat House Spirituality Center in Richardson, TX.  Upon completion of her spiritual direction certification, Lil began Praying the Lectionary in 2011 as a spiritual practice for her morning prayer time.  Instead of reading about someone else’s experience of God, it was important for her to create a prayer practice that would encourage felt sense experience of the Holy emerging from within.  It dawned on her others might enjoy the practice, as well.  So she began to share them on this site.

As you experience the practice of Praying the Lectionary, adopt a loving, caring, and compassionate stance.  If the end of your prayer and meditation time is not pointing to love and hope, there is more work to do.  Keep wrestling.  God is faithful to your journey.  Love and hope will emerge.  Be gentle with yourself and befriend any judgment that arises in you.

Advent: Praise the Lord, O my soul! Psalm 146:5-10

Psalm 146:5-10

5Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob,

whose hope is in the LORD their God,

6who made heaven and earth,

the sea, and all that is in them;

who keeps faith forever;

7who executes justice for the oppressed;

who gives food to the hungry.

The LORD sets the prisoners free;

8the LORD opens the eyes of the blind.

The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down;

the LORD loves the righteous.

9The LORD watches over the strangers;

he upholds the orphan and the widow,

but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.

10The LORD will reign forever,

your God, O Zion, for all generations.

Praise the LORD!

  • 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 inhale say, “Praise the Lord!”
  • As you exhale say, “Praise the Lord, O my soul!”
  • Continue this exercise and notice how your body desires to praise the Lord.
  • Where do you feel freedom?
  • Is there any tension you need to let go?
  • Recognize the tension.  Offer praise to God through this place in you.
  • Name the ways the Lord sets you free.
  • Name the ways the Lord feeds  you.
  • Name the ways the Lord opens your eyes to see.
  • Name the ways the Lord embraces the stranger, the widow, the orphan in you.
  • What praises arise within you?
  • Offer these to the Lord.
  • Savor these praises.  Keep them on your tongue that you might lift these praises again and again throughout the day.
  • 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, December 15, 2019, the Third Sunday of Advent (Year A)

Isaiah 35:1-10
Psalm 146:5-10
Luke 1:47-55
James 5:7-10
Matthew 11:2-11

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2019 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

Rev. Dr. Lil Smith is a trained spiritual director, supervisor, and co-founder of Retreat House Spirituality Center in Richardson, TX.  Upon completion of her spiritual direction certification, Lil began Praying the Lectionary in 2011 as a spiritual practice for her morning prayer time.  Instead of reading about someone else’s experience of God, it was important for her to create a prayer practice that would encourage felt sense experience of the Holy emerging from within.  It dawned on her others might enjoy the practice, as well.  So she began to share them on this site.

As you experience the practice of Praying the Lectionary, adopt a loving, caring, and compassionate stance.  If the end of your prayer and meditation time is not pointing to love and hope, there is more work to do.  Keep wrestling.  God is faithful to your journey.  Love and hope will emerge.  Be gentle with yourself and befriend any judgment that arises in you.

Advent: Mary and a Magnificent Response – Luke 1:47-55

LUKE 1:47-55

46b My soul magnifies the Lord,
47       and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48  for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49  for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
50  His mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
51  He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
52  He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
53  he has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.
54  He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
55  according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to his descendants 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 song is being born in you?
  • How does this song reflect God’s faithfulness.
  • What promise will God fulfill?
  • What surprises you?
  • What hope is being turned into joy?
  • What mercy have you experienced?
  • Give thanks to God for this time to recognize the song arising in you and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, December 15, 2019, the Third Sunday of Advent (Year A)

Isaiah 35:1-10
Psalm 146:5-10
Luke 1:47-55
James 5:7-10
Matthew 11:2-11

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2019 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

Rev. Dr. Lil Smith is a trained spiritual director, supervisor, and co-founder of Retreat House Spirituality Center in Richardson, TX.  Upon completion of her spiritual direction certification, Lil began Praying the Lectionary in 2011 as a spiritual practice for her morning prayer time.  Instead of reading about someone else’s experience of God, it was important for her to create a prayer practice that would encourage felt sense experience of the Holy emerging from within.  It dawned on her others might enjoy the practice, as well.  So she began to share them on this site.

As you experience the practice of Praying the Lectionary, adopt a loving, caring, and compassionate stance.  If the end of your prayer and meditation time is not pointing to love and hope, there is more work to do.  Keep wrestling.  God is faithful to your journey.  Love and hope will emerge.  Be gentle with yourself and befriend any judgment that arises in you.

Advent: Blooming in the Desert – Isaiah 35:1-10

Isaiah 35:1-10

1   The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad,
          the desert shall rejoice and blossom;
     like the crocus 2it shall blossom abundantly,
          and rejoice with joy and singing.
     The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
          the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.
     They shall see the glory of the LORD,
          the majesty of our God.

3   Strengthen the weak hands,
          and make firm the feeble knees.
4   Say to those who are of a fearful heart,
          “Be strong, do not fear!
     Here is your God.
          He will come with vengeance,
     with terrible recompense.
          He will come and save you.”

5   Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
          and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
6   then the lame shall leap like a deer,
          and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy.
     For waters shall break forth in the wilderness,
          and streams in the desert;
7   the burning sand shall become a pool,
          and the thirsty ground springs of water;
     the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp,
          the grass shall become reeds and rushes.

8   A highway shall be there,
          and it shall be called the Holy Way;
     the unclean shall not travel on it,
          but it shall be for God’s people;
          no traveler, not even fools, shall go astray.
9   No lion shall be there,
          nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;
     they shall not be found there,
          but the redeemed shall walk there.
10  And the ransomed of the LORD shall return,
          and come to Zion with singing;
     everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
          they shall obtain joy and gladness,
          and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

  • Light a candle to remember of Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Imagine your surprise to find the blooming cactus in the desert.
  • In the midst of a parched, weary journey, new life shimmers before you.
  • Let the new life renew you.
  • Look for sources of water to quench your thirst.
  • Deep wells and springs are close by.
  • Embrace God’s invitation to the Holy Way.
  • 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, December 15, 2019, the Third Sunday of Advent (Year A)

Isaiah 35:1-10
Psalm 146:5-10
Luke 1:47-55
James 5:7-10
Matthew 11:2-11

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2019 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

Rev. Dr. Lil Smith is a trained spiritual director, supervisor, and co-founder of Retreat House Spirituality Center in Richardson, TX.  Upon completion of her spiritual direction certification, Lil began Praying the Lectionary in 2011 as a spiritual practice for her morning prayer time.  Instead of reading about someone else’s experience of God, it was important for her to create a prayer practice that would encourage felt sense experience of the Holy emerging from within.  It dawned on her others might enjoy the practice, as well.  So she began to share them on this site.

As you experience the practice of Praying the Lectionary, adopt a loving, caring, and compassionate stance.  If the end of your prayer and meditation time is not pointing to love and hope, there is more work to do.  Keep wrestling.  God is faithful to your journey.  Love and hope will emerge.  Be gentle with yourself and befriend any judgment that arises in you.

Advent: Baptized with the Holy Spirit and Fire – Matthew 3:1-12

Matthew 3:1-12

1In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming, 2“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” 3This is the one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke when he said,
“The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight.’”
4Now John wore clothing of camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. 5Then the people of Jerusalem and all Judea were going out to him, and all the region along the Jordan, 6and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

7But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8Bear fruit worthy of repentance. 9Do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. 10Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

11“I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and will gather his wheat into the granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

  • 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 feel freedom in the Breath, let your focus be on the fire of baptism.
  • This fire both consuming and unquenchable.
  • What part of you, like the chaff, desires the transformation of the consuming fire to bring new life to you?
  • What are you letting go for God to transform into something new?
  • Are there any obstacles to letting go?
  • Embrace these obstacles.  Listen to them.  Invite them to be transformed with you.
  • Trust the God of transformation.
  • What part of you, like the wheat, desires the unquenchable, unconsuming fire that fills the granary with nourishing light?
  • Welcome this Hospitality.
  • 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, December 8, 2019, the Second Sunday of Advent (Year A)

Isaiah 11:1-10
Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19
Romans 15:4-13
Matthew 3:1-12

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2019 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

Rev. Dr. Lil Smith is a trained spiritual director, supervisor, and co-founder of Retreat House Spirituality Center in Richardson, TX.  Upon completion of her spiritual direction certification, Lil began Praying the Lectionary in 2011 as a spiritual practice for her morning prayer time.  Instead of reading about someone else’s experience of God, it was important for her to create a prayer practice that would encourage felt sense experience of the Holy emerging from within.  It dawned on her others might enjoy the practice, as well.  So she began to share them on this site.

As you experience the practice of Praying the Lectionary, adopt a loving, caring, and compassionate stance.  If the end of your prayer and meditation time is not pointing to love and hope, there is more work to do.  Keep wrestling.  God is faithful to your journey.  Love and hope will emerge.  Be gentle with yourself and befriend any judgment that arises in you.

Advent: Give Deliverance to the Needy – Psalm 72:1-7,10-14

Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14

1   Give the king your justice, O God,
and your righteousness to a king’s son.
2   May he judge your people with righteousness,
and your poor with justice.
3   May the mountains yield prosperity for the people,
and the hills, in righteousness.
4   May he defend the cause of the poor of the people,
give deliverance to the needy,
and crush the oppressor.
5   May he live while the sun endures,
and as long as the moon, throughout all generations.
6   May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass,
like showers that water the earth.
7   In his days may righteousness flourish
and peace abound, until the moon is no more.

18   Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel,
          who alone does wondrous things.
19   Blessed be his glorious name forever;
          may his glory fill the whole earth. Amen and Amen.

  • 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 settle into your breath, let your attention shift to the children of God who need to be defended and delivered from injustice.
  • Hold these children of God in your awareness as you walk toward the light during Advent.
  • How might you bring this light to them?
  • How might you be the hands and feet of Christ to the world, shining love into their darkness?
  • 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, December 8, 2019, the Second Sunday of Advent (Year A)

Isaiah 11:1-10
Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19
Romans 15:4-13
Matthew 3:1-12

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2019 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

Rev. Dr. Lil Smith is a trained spiritual director, supervisor, and co-founder of Retreat House Spirituality Center in Richardson, TX.  Upon completion of her spiritual direction certification, Lil began Praying the Lectionary in 2011 as a spiritual practice for her morning prayer time.  Instead of reading about someone else’s experience of God, it was important for her to create a prayer practice that would encourage felt sense experience of the Holy emerging from within.  It dawned on her others might enjoy the practice, as well.  So she began to share them on this site.

As you experience the practice of Praying the Lectionary, adopt a loving, caring, and compassionate stance.  If the end of your prayer and meditation time is not pointing to love and hope, there is more work to do.  Keep wrestling.  God is faithful to your journey.  Love and hope will emerge.  Be gentle with yourself and befriend any judgment that arises in you.

Advent: They Will Not Hurt or Destroy – Isaiah 11:1-10

Isaiah 11:1-10

1   A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse,
          and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
2   The spirit of the LORD shall rest on him,
          the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
          the spirit of counsel and might,
          the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.
3   His delight shall be in the fear of the LORD.

     He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
          or decide by what his ears hear;
4   but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
          and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
     he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
          and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
5   Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist,
          and faithfulness the belt around his loins.

6   The wolf shall live with the lamb,
          the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
     the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
          and a little child shall lead them.
7   The cow and the bear shall graze,
          their young shall lie down together;
          and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
8   The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp,
          and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den.
9   They will not hurt or destroy
          on all my holy mountain;
     for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD
          as the waters cover the sea.10On that day the root of Jesse shall stand as a signal to the peoples; the nations shall inquire of him, and his dwelling shall be glorious.

  • Light a candle to remind you of Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Bring your attention to a place in the world that needs to be freed from harm.
  • Embrace the need for this shift.
  • How do you desire to hold this in Advent anticipating a new creation to emerge?
  • Is there an invitation for you?
  • Bring your attention to a place in you that needs to be freed from harm.
  • Embrace the need for this shift.
  • How do you desire to hold this in Advent anticipating a new creation to emerge?
  • 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, December 8, 2019, the Second Sunday of Advent (Year A)

Isaiah 11:1-10
Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19
Romans 15:4-13
Matthew 3:1-12

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2019 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

Rev. Dr. Lil Smith is a trained spiritual director, supervisor, and co-founder of Retreat House Spirituality Center in Richardson, TX.  Upon completion of her spiritual direction certification, Lil began Praying the Lectionary in 2011 as a spiritual practice for her morning prayer time.  Instead of reading about someone else’s experience of God, it was important for her to create a prayer practice that would encourage felt sense experience of the Holy emerging from within.  It dawned on her others might enjoy the practice, as well.  So she began to share them on this site.

As you experience the practice of Praying the Lectionary, adopt a loving, caring, and compassionate stance.  If the end of your prayer and meditation time is not pointing to love and hope, there is more work to do.  Keep wrestling.  God is faithful to your journey.  Love and hope will emerge.  Be gentle with yourself and befriend any judgment that arises in you.

Advent: Stay Awake, Be Ready – Matthew 24:36-44

Matthew 24:36-44

36“But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, or the Son, but only the Father. 37For as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, 39and they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away, so too will be the coming of the Son of Man. 40Then two will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. 41Two women will be grinding meal together; one will be taken and one will be left. 42Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 43But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. 44Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.”

  • Light a candle to remind you of Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Bring your attention to something that is keeping you from being awake and alert to hear God.
  • Embrace this. Let it speak.
  • What words emerge?
  • Let them teach you about the desire beneath these words.
  • Be freed from the old and make room for the new.
  • What hidden desire is waiting to emerge into the light?
  • 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, December 1, 2019, the First Sunday of Advent (Year A)

Isaiah 2:1-5
Psalm 122:1-9
Romans 13:11-14
Matthew 24:36-44

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2019 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

Rev. Dr. Lil Smith is a trained spiritual director, supervisor, and co-founder of Retreat House Spirituality Center in Richardson, TX.  Upon completion of her spiritual direction certification, Lil began Praying the Lectionary in 2011 as a spiritual practice for her morning prayer time.  Instead of reading about someone else’s experience of God, it was important for her to create a prayer practice that would encourage felt sense experience of the Holy emerging from within.  It dawned on her others might enjoy the practice, as well.  So she began to share them on this site.

As you experience the practice of Praying the Lectionary, adopt a loving, caring, and compassionate stance.  If the end of your prayer and meditation time is not pointing to love and hope, there is more work to do.  Keep wrestling.  God is faithful to your journey.  Love and hope will emerge.  Be gentle with yourself and befriend any judgment that arises in you.

Thanksgiving: I Am the Bread of Life – John 6:25-35

John 6:24-35

25When they found him on the other side of the lake, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” 26Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 27Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal.” 28Then they said to him, “What must we do to perform the works of God?” 29Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” 30So they said to him, “What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? 31Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'” 32Then Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”

35Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

  • 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 the breath, name the bread Jesus has given you to eat.
  • How does this satisfy your hunger?
  • Who delivered this  bread for you?
  • Does Jesus have bread for you to deliver to someone else?
  • Keep open to the bread crumbs Jesus leaves out for you.
  • Have you missed some bread crumbs that need to be collected?
  • How does the bread give you life?
  • Give thanks to God for the bread, for the Bread of Life, and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Thursday, November 28, 2019, Thanksgiving Day (Year C)

Deuteronomy 26:1-11
Psalm 100:1-5
Philippians 4:4-9
John 6:25-35

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

Rev. Dr. Lil Smith is a trained spiritual director, supervisor, and co-founder of Retreat House Spirituality Center in Richardson, TX.  Upon completion of her spiritual direction certification, Lil began Praying the Lectionary in 2011 as a spiritual practice for her morning prayer time.  Instead of reading about someone else’s experience of God, it was important for her to create a prayer practice that would encourage felt sense experience of the Holy emerging from within.  It dawned on her others might enjoy the practice, as well.  So she began to share them on this site.

As you experience the practice of Praying the Lectionary, adopt a loving, caring, and compassionate stance.  If the end of your prayer and meditation time is not pointing to love and hope, there is more work to do.  Keep wrestling.  God is faithful to your journey.  Love and hope will emerge.  Be gentle with yourself and befriend any judgment that arises in you.