≡ Menu

Care for Our Bodies

Today’s Reflection

IN CARING FOR OTHERS we use up a great deal of physical and mental energy. If we do not replenish these limited resources, we run the risk of compassion fatigue. We cannot fulfill our God-given callings to be compassionate human beings in bodies that are constantly neglected and overextended. How we feed, exercise, relax, listen to, and nourish our bodies are matters relevant to faithful discipleship. As Francis of Assisi lay dying, someone asked if he would have changed anything in his ministry. Significantly he responded, “I would have been more kind to my body.”

– Trevor Hudson
A Mile in My Shoes: Cultivating Compassion

From pages 88-89 of A Mile in My Shoes: Cultivating Compassion by Trevor Hudson. Copyright © 2005 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

What do you do to take care of yourself physically? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

But the people thirsted there for water; and the people complained against Moses and said, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?”
Exodus 17:3, NRSV

This Week: pray for victims of natural disasters. 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: Leoba, September 28).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

Share
{ 0 comments }

Have Mercy on Me

Today’s Reflection

A MOTHER MAY ALLOW a child to fall sometimes and be distressed in various ways for its own benefit, but out of love can never allow any kind of danger to come to her child. And though our earthly mother may allow her child to perish, our heavenly Mother Jesus can never allow us who are his children to perish. For he is almighty and all wisdom and all love and none is like him, may he be blessed.

Often when our falling and our wretchedness are shown to us, we are so fearful and greatly ashamed of ourselves that we scarcely know where to hide. But then our courteous Mother does not want us to flee away. Nothing would suit him less. He wants us then to act like little children. For when they are distressed and afraid, they run quickly to their mother. If they can do no more, they cry to their mother for help with all their might. That is what he wants us to do, like a meek child, saying, “My kind Mother, my gracious Mother, my beloved Mother, have mercy on me. I have made myself foul and displeasing to you, and I cannot change it except with your help and grace.”

– Keith Beasley-Topliffe
Writings of Julian of Norwich

From pages 58-59 of Writings of Julian of Norwich, 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 is Christ’s love like a mother’s love? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

“So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
Matthew 20:16, NRSV

This Week: pray for Bible study and Christian fellowship groups. 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: Matthew/a> September 21).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

Share
{ 11 comments }

Praise

Today’s Reflection

OPEN MY MOUTH, LORD, that praise may flow more easily than requests, thanks more readily than complaints.
Praise be to you, O Lord, for life and my intense desire to live.
Praise be to you for the mystery of love and for my intense desire to be a lover.
Praise be to you for this day, for life and another chance to live, love, and be loved. Amen.


The Africana Worship Book, Year C

Prayer by Ray C. Jordan. From page 32 of The Africana Worship Book: Year C, edited by Valerie Bridgeman Davis and Safiyah Fosua. Copyright © 2008 by 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

Pray today’s prayer. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard.”
Matthew 20:1, NRSV

This Week: pray for Bible study and Christian fellowship groups. 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: Matthew/a> September 21).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

Share
{ 11 comments }

Compassion

Today’s Reflection

THE CULTIVATION OF COMPASSION is really a process of recovery – of retrieving an inherent capacity that has become, either in the moment or over time, buried and obscured. Jesus’ knowledge, which is grounded in the Hebrew scriptures, tells him that each person is created in the image of God – a God of infinite and extravagant compassion. (See Genesis 1:27; Exodus 34:6.) This image dwells unmarred within each soul. As such, we know how to care. We are wired for connection. We are born to love and to be loved. In truth, our deepest core is naturally compassionate. This compassionate core is our true self – our true face. We are most fully human when we live from this essence. We are most fully our true selves when we love.

– Frank Rogers Jr
Compassion in Practice

From page 67 of Compassion in Practice: The Way of Jesus by Frank Rogers Jr. Copyright © 2016 by Frank Rogers Jr. 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 do you see opportunity to be compassionate? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain.
Philippians 1:21, NRSV

This Week: pray for Bible study and Christian fellowship groups. 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: Matthew/a> September 21).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

Share
{ 10 comments }

Praying the Mysteries of Life

Today’s Reflection

MYSTERIES DO NOT YIELD to quick fixes and simple formulas, and sometimes they never yield at all. Prayer is no different. You can have a prayer life and choose to avoid the mysteries. Or you can include the mysteries in your praying, knowing that even when you do, some will remain.

– Steve Harper
Talking in the Dark

From page 15 of Talking in the Dark: Praying When Life Doesn’t Make Sense by Steve Harper. Copyright © 2007 by Steve Harper. 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 identify as mysteries? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Remember the wonderful works he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he uttered,.
Psalm 105:5, NRSV

This Week: pray for Bible study and Christian fellowship groups. 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: Matthew/a> September 21).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

Share
{ 10 comments }

Freedom from Worry

Today’s Reflection

PROFESSIONAL-GRADE WORRIERS don’t limit their worrying to any particular time or place. They worry about yesterday, full of regret and guilt. They worry about today, what each moment will bring. They worry about tomorrow, fearful of the dangers that lie in wait for them. For such worriers – like you even! – there is no moment free from doubt or fear. …

You’ve overlooked one thing: “‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty” (Rev. 1:8). You’re always in God’s presence because God is everywhere – in the past, in the present, and in the future. With God, time does not exist as you know it. There is no “time,” but rather, an eternal dwelling place that encompasses all time and space without boundaries or limits. ….

Whatever your worries might be, the God of everywhere is there, wanting to free you from bondage to fear, doubt, anxiety, guilt, and oppression. All you have to do is ask.

– Patricia Wilson
Freedom from Worry

From page 28 of Freedom from Worry: 28 Days of Prayer by Patricia Wilson. Copyright © 2012 by Patricia Wilson. 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 advice would you give a friend who worries? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually.
Psalm 105:4, NRSV

This Week: pray for Bible study and Christian fellowship groups. 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: Matthew/a> September 21).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

Share
{ 15 comments }

Risks for the Kindom

Today’s Reflection

FOLLOWING JESUS is risky. We probably will have to step out of our comfort zones. And loving the world with God is iffy business. We will face frustrations, questions, and discouragement.

What if we give our time and energy to others in need, but we don’t see any results? What if we work hard for mercy and justice, and it doesn’t seem to make a difference? What if we get up at four o’clock in the morning to provide breakfast at a shelter, and no one thanks us? What if we spend all day building a wheelchair ramp for an elderly couple, and they never smile at us? …

To put it plainly, taking risks for God’s kingdom will frustrate and discourage us. But taking risks in response to God’s love and the needs of other will change the world. Following Jesus into the world will challenge us emotionally, physically, relationally, and spiritually. We’re likely to feel overwhelmed or even disillusioned. We may feel inadequate or ill-equipped. And we’re right. We will be inadequate and ill-equipped if we forget that God works alongside us.

– Rebecca Dwight Bruff
Loving the World with God

From pages 64-65 of Loving the World with God by Rebecca Dwight Bluff. Copyright © 2014 by Rebecca Dwight Bruff. 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 experienced disappointment as you work for God’s justice? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

O give thanks to the LORD, call on his name, make known his deeds among the peoples.
Psalm 105:1, NRSV

This Week: pray for Bible study and Christian fellowship groups. 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: Matthew/a> September 21).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

Share
{ 10 comments }

Creation Remembers

Today’s Reflection

EACH DAY, every moment,
you place your hand of blessing
upon the brow of creation.
In your touch, in your words,
everything flowers,
everything remembers
the deep, perfect loveliness within.
The deep, perfect loveliness of you.

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

From page 57 of Earth Gospel by Sam Hamilton-Poore. Copyright © 2008 by the author. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Spend time outside today and think about God’s presence in creation. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

When the Israelites saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, “It is the bread that the LORD has given you to eat.
Exodus 16:15, NRSV

This Week: pray for Bible study and Christian fellowship groups. 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: Matthew/a> September 21).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

Share
{ 13 comments }

Go with God

Today’s Reflection

SOMETIMES IT TAKES going into the wilderness to learn who we are and what we need. From time to time, God draws us toward a terrain where the familiar contours of our lives disappear, where we leave our landmarks behind, where we let go the people and patterns and possessions that orient us. It doesn’t often require taking ourselves to a literal wilderness in the manner that Jesus did. But his sojourn there reminds us there is wisdom in knowing when to turn toward a place, a person, or a practice that can help us see what we cannot always see under our own power.

BLESSING
In this and every season,
may you travel toward the place
God desires for you.
May you walk in the company
of those who know the way.
May you go well.

– Jan L. Richardson
In the Sanctuary of Women

From pages 142-143 of In the Sanctuary of Women: A Companion for Reflection and Prayerby 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

“…So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
Matthew 18:25, NRSV

This Week: pray for those affected by natural disasters. 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: Catherine of Genoa September 15).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

Share
{ 20 comments }

God in the Unexpected

Today’s Reflection

Finding God in the Unexpected

I FIND GOD in the unexpected,
the unexpected places
where I least expect to find
the presence of the Living God.

It is in these unlikely places
that the undeniable sense of
holy-overwhelming arrests my attention.

I find God in the unexpected,
the unexpected times
when I would rather
wallow around in the muddle of my mind
and rehash old, unresolved issues.

God pierces through the wall of my wailing
and shines glory on my being
so I can see a new path,
a new direction,
a new purpose.

I find God in the unexpected,
in people whose lives seem so fractured.
Yet they, like shards of a mirror,
reflect the image of God so clearly
and profoundly
that God becomes flesh again.

I find God in the unexpected,
those situations that seemed trivial:
a passing comment,
a line from a movie,
an image on a screen.
Serendipity turns spiritual in unguarded moments
because God chooses to speak to me
through the unexpected.

I find God in the unexpected.
Slowly, I’m beginning to learn
to expect God – in the unexpected.

The Africana Worship Book, Year C

“God in the Unexpected” by Kwasi Kena. From pages 56-57 of The Africana Worship Book, Year C, edited by Valerie Bridgeman Davis and Safiyah Fosua. Copyright © 2008 by Discipleship Resources. All rights reserved. Used by permission. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Where have you encountered God unexpectedly? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.
Matthew 18:21-22, NRSV

This Week: pray for those affected by natural disasters. 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: Catherine of Genoa September 15).

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 }