≡ Menu

The Nightly Review

Today’s Reflection

OF ALL MY PERSONAL spiritual practices, the nightly review has brought the most growth. I usually do it on my own, but it can also be done with a loved one or even the whole family. …

1. Make some time to be quiet for a few moments. Take a few deep breaths to settle down. Invite God to be with you and to shed light on the past day.

2. Ask God to bring to mind one moment of the day for which you are most grateful, the moment that gave you the most life or when you received or gave the most love. If you could recapture one moment of your day, which one would it be? Relive this moment. Breathe in again the gratitude you felt and thank God for it.

3. Ask God to bring to mind the moment you are least grateful for, the moment that drained you of life or when you received and gave the least love. Reflect on what was said and done that made it so hard. Acknowledge your feelings about this experience. Refrain from judging yourself. Share these feelings with God, and let God’s love fill you again.

– Trevor Hudson
The Serenity Prayer

From pages 59-60 of The Serenity Prayer: A Simple Prayer to Enrich Your Life by Trevor Hudson. Copyright © 2012 by Trevor Hudson. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Pick a week to practice the nightly review. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us.

Romans 8:18, NRSV

This Week: pray for unity within communities. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.

This week we remember: Dorothea Dix (July 18).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2017 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

Share
{ 9 comments }

Pray Without Ceasing

Today’s Reflection

SAINT PAUL SPEAKS OF praying “without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

It is not as hard as it sounds, really. You merely learn to be aware of God’s presence with you all the time, whatever you are doing.

A friend who commutes to work says that he sits and communes with God every time he stops at a traffic light. You can do it every time you open the refrigerator. Or when you brush your teeth.

The point is simply to turn your thoughts toward God at many specific times each day.

One way to do this is to practice remembering God when you are performing one specific action all week. When you are making the bed, for instance. Or setting the table. Or checking your mail. Or walking to school. Then, for the next week, pick another action.

– John Killinger
Beginning Prayer

From page 16 of Beginning Prayer by John Killinger. Copyright © 2012 by John Killinger. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

What do you think Paul meant when he wrote “pray without ceasing?” Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.

Romans 8:14, NRSV

This Week: pray for unity within communities. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.

This week we remember: Dorothea Dix (July 18).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2017 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

Share
{ 8 comments }

My Life As a Poem

Today’s Reflection

ETERNAL ONE, revealed in waves and in the waiting stillness, teach me to rest, content in your love. Let my life be a poem that tells of your care, always ready to rise up on trusting wings and risk the wind. Amen.

– Elizabeth J. Canham
Heart Whispers

“From page 70 of Heart Whispers: Benedictine Wisdom for Today by Elizabeth J. Canham. Copyright © 1999 by Elizabeth J. Canham. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books.
” http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Pray today’s prayer. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts.

Psalm 139:23, NRSV

This Week: pray for unity within communities. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.

This week we remember: Dorothea Dix (July 18).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2017 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

Share
{ 4 comments }

The Power of Powerlessness

Today’s Reflection

OUR SOCIETY places great value on power, which makes it difficult to relinquish. One of the hardest lessons for a follower of Christ is that visible power is not always the highest level of power. Judas never learned this lesson; he continued to goad Jesus into taking a political stance and could not understand why he chose not to do so. Both Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. recognized the power of powerlessness and used it in a potent way!

It feels better to be perceived as a powerful person than as ineffective or obsolete. The process of aging can make us feel that we have little control over our lives. Can you remember the most recent situation in which you felt powerless? What did it feel like? It is usually a frightening and frustrating experience. Yet Jesus promoted it throughout the Gospels. Here are some Gospel readings that support the strength of powerlessness:

  • Matthew 5:3,5
  • John 21:17-19

– Jane Marie Thibault
10 Gospel Promises for Later Life

From pages 52-53 of 10 Gospel Promises for Later Life by Jane Marie Thibault. Copyright © 2004 by Jane Marie Thibault. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

What is your understanding of the power of powerlessness? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

O LORD, you have searched me and known me.

Psalm 139:1, NRSV

This Week: pray for unity within communities. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.

This week we remember: Dorothea Dix (July 18).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2017 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

Share
{ 9 comments }

Fill Me with Your Grace

Today’s Reflection

YOURS THE SEED, yours the growth;
yours the water, yours the thirst;
yours the wild, yours the tame.
You are within me, O God,
and within all creation —
and you are beyond.
Shape and fill me this day
and all creation
with your grace.

Earth Gospel: A Guide to Prayer for God’s Creation

From page 67 of Earth Gospel: A Guide to Prayer for God’s Creation by Sam Hamilton-Poore. Copyright © 2008 by Sam Hamilton-Poore. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Pray today’s prayer. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Then Jacob woke from his sleep and said, “Surely the LORD is in this place–and I did not know it!”

Genesis 28:16, NRSV

This Week: pray for unity within communities. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.

This week we remember: Dorothea Dix (July 18).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2017 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

Share
{ 4 comments }

Meditation Exercise

Today’s Reflection

Sitting in Solitude
IN A QUIET PLACE where you can be alone, focus on one thing: a bird at the feeder, the ripples on a watery surface, the shape of a cloud, a favorite icon, a cross at the altar, even your own hand. Allow your breathing to become progressively slower and deeper until you relax to a pace that permits listening for God’s guidance. Don’t try to direct or manipulate your thoughts; simply allow yourself to be in God’s presence, using the object you’ve selected to guide you into a sense of peace, a surprising insight, or wherever it might lead you.

Praying in the Messiness of Life

From page 67 of Praying in the Messiness of Life: 7 Ways to Renew Your Relationship with God by Linda Douty. Copyright © 2011 by Linda Douty. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Practice the meditation exercise described above. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

Matthew 13:8, NRSV

This Week: pray for unity within communities. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.

This week we remember: Kateri Tekakwitha (July 14).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2017 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

Share
{ 5 comments }

Prayer Connects Us

Today’s Reflection

PEOPLE WHO ENGAGE IN PRAYER PRACTICES naturally begin to slow down and look around them, see and appreciate their community and those in it. They become curious about one another and about God. They also have the space to begin to notice how God is working in them; their desire to follow these leadings grows.

Leading a Life with God

From page 156 of Leading a Life with God: The Practice of Spiritual Leadership by Daniel Wolpert. Copyright © 2006 by Daniel Wolpert. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

How is prayer connecting you to others? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:1, NRSV

This Week: pray for unity within communities. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.

This week we remember: Kateri Tekakwitha (July 14).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2017 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

Share
{ 5 comments }

Blessed to See

Today’s Reflection

MAY GOD,
who comes to us
in the things of this world,
bless your eyes
and be in your seeing.

May Christ,
who looks upon you
with deepest love,
bless your eyes
and widen your gaze.

May the Spirit,
who perceives what is
and what may yet be,
bless your eyes
and sharpen your vision.

May the Sacred Three
bless your eyes
and cause you to see.

– Jan L. Richardson
In the Sanctuary of Women

From pages 192-193 of In the Sanctuary of Women: A Companion for Reflection and Prayer by Jan L. Richardson. Copyright © 2010 by Jan L. Richardson. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Pray today’s blessing. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Your decrees are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart.

Psalm 119:111, NRSV

This Week: pray for unity within communities. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.

This week we remember: Kateri Tekakwitha (July 14).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2017 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

Share
{ 8 comments }

Seeing the Marginalized

Today’s Reflection

IT SOUNDS TRITE but it is true: If you want to move from handout to ministry, if you eschew the world of “drive by charity,” if you are ready to stop “playing church” and want to “be the church,” then pray about it. If you belong to a local congregation that wants to make a difference, and you wonder what God has in store for your future, then pray about it. Pray for God to direct your congregation to ministry with, not to, the poor and marginalized. Pray for God to open your eyes and the eyes of your congregation to see those who experience marginalization among you.


Not Just a One-Night Stand

“From page 63 of Not Just a One-Night Stand: Ministry with the Homeless by John Flowers and Karen Vannoy. Copyright © 2009 Discipleship Resources. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Discipleship Resources.
“http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

When do you encounter folks who are marginalized? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Accept my offerings of praise, O LORD, and teach me your ordinances.

Psalm 119:108, NRSV

This Week: pray for unity within communities. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.

This week we remember: Kateri Tekakwitha (July 14).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2017 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

Share
{ 6 comments }

Embraced in Warm Cotton

Today’s Reflection

JESUS CHRIST said, “I will not leave you orphaned.” He said, “God is your Father.” He would not treat God and people differently. He did not speak of people and the transcendent God as separated. He did not teach that God is far off and to be feared. He did not teach that God had cast us off. Always God is the Comforter. God would have us feel that we are embraced in warm cotton.

– Toyohiko Kagawa
Writings of Toyohiko Kagawa

From page 67 of Writings of Toyohiko Kagawa, edited by Keith Beasley-Topliffe. Copyright ©1998 by Upper Room Books. All rights reserved. Used by permission. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

How would you describe God’s presence in your life? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Psalm 119:105, NRSV

This Week: pray for unity within communities. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.

This week we remember: Kateri Tekakwitha (July 14).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2017 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

Share
{ 5 comments }