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
James 2:1-10 (11-13) 14-17
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