Psalm 104:1-9, 24, 35c – You make the wind your messengers

Psalm 104:1-9, 24, 35c

1Bless the LORD, O my soul.
O LORD my God, you are very great.
You are clothed with honor and majesty,
2wrapped in light as with a garment.
You stretch out the heavens like a tent,
3you set the beams of your chambers on the waters,
you make the clouds your chariot,
you ride on the wings of the wind,
4you make the winds your messengers,
fire and flame your ministers.
5You set the earth on its foundations,
so that it shall never be shaken.
6You cover it with the deep as with a garment;
the waters stood above the mountains.
7At your rebuke they flee;
at the sound of your thunder they take to flight.
8They rose up to the mountains, ran down to the valleys
to the place that you appointed for them.
9You set a boundary that they may not pass,
so that they might not again cover the earth.
24O LORD, how manifold are your works!
In wisdom you have made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
35Let sinners be consumed from the earth,
and let the wicked be no more.
Bless the LORD, O my soul.
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 settle into the breath, consider how God is very great.
  • Which description of God stands out for you?
  • How has God revealed this to you in your life?
  • Savor knowing God’s greatness in your life.
  • God continues to create in the world and in you.
  • Consider how you are keeping God from working greatness in your life.
  • What prayer arises in you as you consider this.
  • Offer your prayer to God.
  • Invite the greatness of God to break through into this place.
  • 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 21, 2018, the Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Job 38:1-7 (34-41)
Psalm 104:1-9, 24, 35c
Hebrews 5:1-10
Mark 10:35-45

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

James 1:17-27 – Let everyone be quick to listen, slow to anger

James 1:17-27

17Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. 18In fulfillment of his own purpose he gave us birth by the word of truth, so that we would become a kind of first fruits of his creatures.

19You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness. 21Therefore rid yourselves of all sordidness and rank growth of wickedness, and welcome with meekness the implanted word that has the power to save your souls.

22But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. 23For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; 24for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like. 25But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act-they will be blessed in their doing.

26If any think they are religious, and do not bridle their tongues but deceive their hearts, their religion is worthless. 27Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

  • 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, consider the breath as a gift from God.
  • Every generous act of giving is from above.
  • What generous acts of giving has God worked through you?
  • Give thanks to God for being a vessel of grace.
  • Return to the breath.
  • Be open to God to hear the next act of giving God has for you.
  • Let go of any anger or toxic thought keeping you from God.
  • Notice, then let go of any tension you encounter.
  • Be as free as possible to hear God.
  • 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 2, 2018, the Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Song of Solomon 2:8-13
Psalm 45:1-2, 6-9
James 1:17-27
Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

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

Mark 3:20-35 – Whoever Blasphemes Against the Holy Spirit Cannot be Forgiven

MARK 3:20-35

20… and the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat. 21When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, “He has gone out of his mind.” 22And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He has Beelzebul, and by the ruler of the demons he casts out demons.” 23And he called them to him, and spoke to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? 24If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. 26And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but his end has come. 27But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his property without first tying up the strong man; then indeed the house can be plundered.

28“Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter; 29but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin” — 30for they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.”

31Then his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him. 32A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.” 33And he replied, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” 34And looking at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”

  • 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, chant “Come Holy Spirit.”
  • As you exhale, chant “Renew me.”
  • Review the past day. Name the blasphemies for which you seek forgiveness.
  • Review the past day. Name the blasphemies for which the world seeks forgiveness.
  • Review the past day. Where do you notice the movement of the Holy Spirit?
  • Review the past day.  What do you idolize? How does the Holy Spirit desires transformation?
  • Review the past day.  What does the world idolize?  How does the Holy Spirit desires transformation?
  • How do you desire to respond to the Holy Spirit?
  • How will this bring together the House of 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 10, 2018, the Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) 
1 Samuel 8:4-11 (12-15), 16-20(11:14-15)
Psalm 138:1-8
2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1
Mark 3:20-35

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 1 – Prospering

PSALM 1:1-6

1   Happy are those
who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
or take the path that sinners tread,
or sit in the seat of scoffers;

2   but their delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law they meditate day and night.
3   They are like trees
planted by streams of water,
which yield their fruit in its season,
and their leaves do not wither.
In all that they do, they prosper.

4   The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
5   Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6   for the LORD watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.

  • 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.
  • Consider the ways in which you prosper.
  • What fruit is growing?
  • What nutrients are infused from the soil?
  • How does the water quench you?
  • Remember over the past week.
  • What times are more fruitful for you than others?
  • Do you notice a trend?
  • What do you wish to change to allow more moments of prospering?
  • How can Christ help 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 13, 2018, the Seventh Sunday of Easter Year B

Acts 1:15-17, 21-26
Psalm 1:1-6
1 John 5:9-13
John 17:6-19

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 8:31-38 Take up your cross and follow me

MARK 8:31-38

31Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”

34He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. 36For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? 37Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? 38Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

  • Light  a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • Scan your mind to let go of human things.
  • If you need to write them down, keep a pad of paper next to you.  Write it down and let it go as you make yourself more available to the Holy.
  • Continue this exercise until you feel freedom and light.  Remain in freedom and light as you pay attention to the deep breath.
  • What cross do you need to take up today to follow Christ?
  • What will you deny in you to take up this cross?
  • What is God’s message for you in this cross?
  • Is there a call to action?
  • Take up the cross.  Carry it today.  Follow Christ.  Share the Gospel.
  • Give thanks to God for the good news of the Gospel 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 4, 2012, the Second Sunday in Lent Year B 
Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16
Psalm 22:23-31
Romans 4:13-25
Mark 8:31-38

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

Ephesians 1 – Christ head over all things for the church…

“The Return” by Jim Janknegt

EPHESIANS 1:15-23

15I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason 16I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. 17I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, 18so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, 19and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. 20God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come.22And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Spend five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying close attention to the deep breath.
  • Find the eyes of your heart within you.
  • What enlightenment is waiting to be revealed to you?
  • To which hope is Christ calling you?
  • Allow these visions of your heart to rise up within you.
  • How do these visions shine forth from you?
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • Give thanks to God for the eyes of your heart, the visions you see, the light that shines forth, and all new things revealed to you.
  • 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

Matthew 25:14-30 – To all those who have more will be given

GOSPEL MATTHEW 25:14-30

14“For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; 15to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. 17In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. 18But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. 20Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying ‘Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.’ 21His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ 22And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.’ 23His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ 24Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; 25so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ 26But his master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? 27Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. 28So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. 29For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. 30As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Spend five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation, paying attention to the deep breath.
  • What account do you need to settle with your Master?
  • What is it that you have been given.
  • How have you grown this gift?
  • What abundance do you notice?
  • What freedom has grown with the gift?
  • What unfreedom have you discovered?
  • What new growth is your Master calling you to tend?
  • What do you need from your Master to move toward this new growth?
  •  Give thanks to God for this time to consider the gifts you have been given and the growth that has occurred with these gifts.  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 19, 2017, the Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Judges 4:1-7
Psalm 123:1-4
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
Matthew 25:14-30

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 119:1-8 – O that my ways may be steadfast

119:1-8

1   Happy are those whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the LORD.
2   Happy are those who keep his decrees,
who seek him with their whole heart,
3   who also do no wrong,
but walk in his ways.
4   You have commanded your precepts
to be kept diligently.
5   O that my ways may be steadfast
in keeping your statutes!
6   Then I shall not be put to shame,
having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.
7   I will praise you with an upright heart,
when I learn your righteous ordinances.
8   I will observe your statutes;
do not utterly forsake me.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Imagine your Christian community is with you in your meditation today.
  • Notice how you are walking together in the way of the Lord.
  • Notice how you seek God together with your whole heart.
  • Notice how you feel an intimate connection to your Christian community and to God.
  • Savor the blessing of your community.
  • In he midst of the community that embraces your true self, how do you wish enter into a deeper relationship with God?
  • How do you need your community to help you in this journey?
  • Is there a trusted advisor you may call upon to help you?
  • Notice your desire and God’s desire for 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, 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

1 Corinthians 1:10-18 Let there be no divisions among you

1 Corinthians 1:10-18

10Now I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in agreement and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same purpose. 11For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there are quarrels among you, my brothers and sisters. 12What I mean is that each of you says, “I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,” or “I belong to Cephas,” or “I belong to Christ.” 13Has Christ been divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15so that no one can say that you were baptized in my name. 16(I did baptize also the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.) 17For Christ did not send me to baptize but to proclaim the gospel, and not with eloquent wisdom, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its power.

18For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying close attention to the deep breath.
  • Scan your body.  Notice any tension that is binding you.
  • What is this division in you that is keeping you from being united with Christ?
  • Let the feelings of the division come.  Give the division a name.
  • Bring this division to the cross and invite Christ into this space.  Do not hide it any longer.  Let the Compassionate Christ remove this burden from you so that you may be freed for Christ in Christ.
  • Where do you feel the freedom in you?
  • How does Christ ask you to respond?
  • 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, January 22, 2017, the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Isaiah 9:1-4
Psalm 27:1, 4-9
1 Corinthians 1:10-18
Matthew 4:12-23

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 27:1,4-9 He will set me high on a rock

Psalm 27:1, 4-9

1   The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?

4   One thing I asked of the LORD,
that will I seek after:
to live in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of the LORD,
and to inquire in his temple.

5   For he will hide me in his shelter
in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
he will set me high on a rock.

6   Now my head is lifted up
above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the LORD.

7   Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud,
be gracious to me and answer me!
8   “Come,” my heart says, “seek his face!”
Your face, LORD, do I seek.
9        Do not hide your face from me.

Do not turn your servant away in anger,
you who have been my help.
Do not cast me off, do not forsake me,
O God of my salvation!

  • 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 setting you high on a rock.  Imagine in this place you are in the fullness of God’s light.
  • Look down at the path you have traveled.  From the high rock you can see the path that God cleared for you.
  • Let your eyes see, let your heart beat with joy, let your love flow, be with God in this place, high upon a rock.
  • Savor this face-to-face time with God.
  • 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, January 22, 2017, the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Isaiah 9:1-4
Psalm 27:1, 4-9
1 Corinthians 1:10-18
Matthew 4:12-23

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