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The Jesus Prayer

Today’s Reflection

FROM THE FIFTH CENTURY on, spiritual guides taught the use of the Jesus Prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” The Jesus Prayer comes from two scripture sources. One is the prayer of the tax collector in the Temple: “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” (Luke 18:13). The other is the cry of the blind man by the road near Jericho who calls out to Jesus, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Luke 18:38).

A short form of the prayer is “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.” The prayer’s shortest form is simply the name Jesus. Especially in Eastern Christianity people have been taught to repeat this prayer constantly as a way of praying without ceasing. With the help of a teacher, people learn to coordinate the prayer with breathing so as to “inhale” the presence of Christ and to “exhale” all that keeps one from loving God.

– J. David Muyskens
Forty Days to a Closer Walk with God

From page 49 of Forty Days to a Closer Walk with God: The Practice of Centering Prayer by J. David Muyskens. Copyright © 2006 by J. David Muyskens. 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 the Jesus prayer during your devotional time today.  Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

[Give] thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 5:20, NRSV

This Week: pray for church study groups and Sunday school classes. 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: Maximilian Kolbe (August 14).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2018 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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Grace at the Center

Today’s Reflection

THE CHRISTIAN FAITH teaches that God wants to save us when we are at our worst. God loves us still. God is not ignorant of our sin; God sees it more devastatingly than we do. But God loves each one of us and sees someone whom God wants to redeem and make new. Think back to the words that Paul heard from Jesus: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

It is essential to keep grace at the center of the conversation when we talk about growth in the Christian life. We must remember that grace is the major power source that gives energy to all of our efforts to grow in our faith.

A Blueprint for Discipleship

From page 16 of A Blueprint for Discipleship: Wesley’s General Rules as a Guide for Christian Living by Kevin M. Watson. Copyright © 2009 by Discipleship Resources. All rights reserved. Used by permission. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

How do you define grace? What does it mean “to keep grace at the center of conversation when we talk about growth in the Christian life?”  Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

So do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

Ephesians 5:17, NRSV

This Week: pray for church study groups and Sunday school classes. 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: Maximilian Kolbe (August 14).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2018 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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Psalm 139

Today’s Reflection

IT IS NOT YOU WHO SHAPE GOD,
it is God who shapes you.
If, then, you are the work of God,
await the hand of the artist who does all things in due season.
Offer the Potter your heart,
soft and tractable,
and keep the form in which the Artist has fashioned you.
Let your clay be moist,
lest you grow hard and lose the imprint of the Potter’s fingers.
–Psalm 139, adapted by Irenaeus (2nd century)

The Upper Room Worshipbook

“Psalm Prayer (Ps. 139)”, no. 348 in The Upper Room Worshipbook: Music and Liturgies for Spiritual Formation. Copyright © 2006 by Upper Room Books. All rights reserved. Used by permission. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Pray this psalm during your devotional time today. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy.

Psalm 111:7, NRSV

This Week: pray for church study groups and Sunday school classes. 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: Maximilian Kolbe (August 14).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2018 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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Love Your Enemies

Today’s Reflection

FOLLOWING JESUS does not mean imitating Jesus, copying his way of doing things. If we imitate someone, we are not developing an intimate relationship with that person. Instead, following Jesus means to give our own unique form, our own unique incarnation, to God’s love. To follow Jesus means to live our lives as authentically as he lived his. It means to give away our ego and follow the God of love as Jesus shows us how to do it.

Loving our enemies is the core of the Christian message and the challenge that Jesus presents us. If we want to know what Jesus is about, and what following Jesus is about, then the call to love our enemies is as close to the center as we can get.

– by Henri J. M. Nouwen, edited by John S. Mogabgab
A Spirituality of Homecoming

From page 31 of A Spirituality of Homecoming by Henri J. M. Nouwen, edited by John S. Mogabgab. Copyright © 2012 The Henri Nouwen Legacy Trust. All rights reserved. Used by permission. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

How can you show love for an enemy today? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Praise the LORD! I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation.

Psalm 111:1, NRSV

This Week: pray for church study groups and Sunday school classes. 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: Maximilian Kolbe (August 14).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2018 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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God Is with Us

Today’s Reflection

GOD IS WITH US behind our defensive walls, our locked doors. The doors are not kicked in, nor are the walls and masks torn away. God understands that our walls and masks grew from our pain and fear, from traumas that affected our ability to trust. In time the doors themselves will be healed, and our masks will become living flesh again when we realize we no longer need them for our survival. But in the meantime, the healing love shines in our defended darkness, and God’s Holy Spirit is breathed upon us.

– Flora Slosson Wuellner
Miracle: When Christ Touches Our Deepest Need

From pp. 82-83 of Miracle: When Christ Touches Our Deepest Need by Flora Slosson Wuellner. Copyright © 2008 by Flora Slosson Wuellner. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Where are you experiencing God’s healing? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

“I now do according to your word. Indeed I give you a wise and discerning mind; no one like you has been before you and no one like you shall arise after you.”

1 Kings 3:2, NRSV

This Week: pray for church study groups and Sunday school classes. 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: Maximilian Kolbe (August 14).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2018 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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Grant Me Grace

Today’s Reflection

GRANT ME GRACE this day
to rest and remember
that there is nothing I have to do,
nothing I have to buy or sell,
nothing I have to produce or consume
in order to become who I already am:
your beloved creation.
May your overworked creation
and those who cannot rest today
come to know the liberation of your sabbath.

– Sam Hamilton-Poore
Earth Gospel: A Guide to Prayer for God’s Creation

From page 129 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

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Ephesians 5:1-2, NRSV

This Week: pray for students starting back to school. 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: Ignatius of Loyola (August 8).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2018 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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Choose Christ

Today’s Reflection

HOW DO WE RECEIVE Christ’s presence today? We choose it. We respond to our life experiences, and we ask for Christ’s presence in our lives. Christ never coerces us but waits for our consent. When we give it, no matter how tentative or faulty, he communicates and communes with us in very personal yet profound ways. Christ comes to us with love, acceptance, grace, and goodness.

– Daniel Vestal
Being the Presence of Christ: A Vision for Transformation

From pages 17-18 of Being the Presence of Christ: A Vision for Transformation by Daniel Vestal. Copyright © 2008 by Daniel Vestal. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Remember a time when you have chosen Christ. How has Christ met you in personal and profound ways? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not make room for the devil.

Ephesians 4:26-27, NRSV

This Week: pray for students starting back to school. 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: Ignatius of Loyola (August 8).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2018 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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God Will Never Leave You

Today’s Reflection

OVER THE YEARS, you have learned this important truth: Faith does not guarantee that life will turn out the way you hoped. Even in your later years, life is not fair. But your faith offers another truth: God will never leave or forsake you. Praise God for that!

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

—1 Thessalonians 5:18

– Missy Buchanan
Spirit Boosters

From Spirit Boosters for the Journey of Aging: 366 Devotions by Missy Buchanan. Copyright © 2016 by Missy Buchanan. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

When have you felt God’s presence in difficult times? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

For 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.

1 Corinthians 1:18, NRSV

This Week: pray for students starting back to school. 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: Ignatius of Loyola (August 8).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2018 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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Unbound

Today’s Reflection

OUR RELUCTANCE to offer forgiveness…ties us to the past and impedes both the present moment and the future potential of life. My lack of forgiveness holds me captive as much as it keeps another person in subjugation to my conscious and unconscious resentment. The Latin word for mercy is very revealing in this regard. Eleison literally means to unbind, as our related English word liaison means bond. When we refuse to forgive, we hold others firmly enmeshed in the bondage of our judgment; when we forgive, we loose others from the attachments of our anger and vengefulness, freeing ourselves in the process.

– Marjorie J. Thompson
Forgiveness: Perspectives on Making Peace with Your Past

From “Our Resistance to Forgiveness” by Marjorie J. Thompson, page 60 in Forgiveness: Perspectives on Making Peace with Your Past, compiled by Amy Lyles Wilson. Copyright © 2008 by Fresh Air Books. All rights reserved. Used by permission. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Who do you need to forgive? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope.

Psalm 130:5, NRSV

This Week: pray for students starting back to school. 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: Ignatius of Loyola (August 8).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2018 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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Time Alone with God

Note: We at The Upper Room have been experiencing issues with the system we use to deliver The Upper Room Daily Reflections via email. We are working to resolve the problem. If you do not receive your daily email, you may continue to access The Daily Reflection on this website.

Today’s Reflection

WHAT HELPS CAN WE OFFER for those who struggle to find time alone with God? Consider these ideas. Choose a consistent time and place. If you know that you have a quiet place of retreat for prayer, your time with the Lord can be more inviting and meaningful. In addition, build times of Sabbath or personal retreat into your schedule. Take time, perhaps once a quarter, when you know you can break out of your everyday routine and spend concentrated time in prayer and Bible reading. This practice can really accelerate your growth in prayer and give you new insights from the Lord. Give yourself permission to have regular times of retreat for prayer. . . .

Remember that the Holy Spirit works within each of us to create change. We don’t operate on the world’s philosophy of, “try a little harder, do a little better.” Instead, we submit and surrender to the Holy Spirit daily. Make your time alone with God a priority in prayer. Ask God to carve out time each day for you to meet with him. Then, watch how God answers that prayer!

– Margie Burger
Lord, Teach Us to Pray

From pages 26-27, Lord, Teach Us to Pray: A Study of Personal Prayer by Margie Burger. Copyright © 2009 by Discipleship Resources. All rights reserved. Used by permission. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Describe your alone time with God. What practices are important to you as you pray? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications!

Psalm 130:2, NRSV

This Week: pray for students starting back to school. 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: Ignatius of Loyola (July 31).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2018 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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