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You Are Safe with Me

Today’s Reflection

SOMETIMES WE DO NOT CALL OUT IN BOLD FAITH like Bartimaeus [in Mark 4:35-39]; we scream (at least inwardly) in panic. When threatening, out-of-control events roar around us and the world rocks under our feet, we cry out in fear and outrage: “God, my life is going to pieces! Don’t you care? Are you sleeping?” …

When fear begins to overwhelm us, we can think of the living Christ, whose heart and voice are God’s heart and voice, speaking to us inwardly:

I am here. I will not leave you. Hold onto me. You are safe with me. Breathe slowly. Breathe deeply. My healing breath of life is flowing into you. Take my peace into your body. Take my peace into your heart.

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

From pages 31, 34 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

If you find that you’re afraid, pray the prayer in today’s excerpt. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

18:15 The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you shall heed such a prophet.
Deuteronomy 18:15, NRSV

This Week: Pray for world leaders. 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: Agnus (January 21).

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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Do Not Be Afraid

Today’s Reflection

WITH REMARKABLE FREQUENCY, the first word God speaks to individuals and groups poised at the edge of momentous decision or holy encounter is this: “Do not be afraid. Do not fear.” What is intended goes beyond an attitude adjustment on our part. What is intended are lives empowered by that decisive word, so that “do not be afraid” finds its fullest expression when we do not live afraid. Faith does not call us merely to live without fear inside the sanctuary. Discipleship calls us to confront appeals to fear in the world around us and to live our lives and bear our witness accordingly.

– John Indermark
Do Not Live Afraid

From page 11 of Do Not Live Afraid: Faith in a Fearful World by John Indermark. Copyright © 2009 by John Indermark. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Do you see your response fear as a witness to your faith? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

And immediately they left their nets and followed him.
Mark 1:18, NRSV

This Week: Pray for compassion. 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: Anthony of Egypt (January 17).

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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There Is No Fear in Love

Today’s Reflection

FEAR IS A GREAT MOTIVATOR, but it is not a saving one. Fear can generate many things, but it cannot generate the gospel’s core: love. First John 4:18a is not engaging in sophistry when it says, “There is no fear in love.” It is telling the truth about Christian discipleship. It is telling the truth to purveyors and provocateurs of fear, whether inside or outside the church. Fear relies on the threat of death in relationship, spirit, or body. The gospel of Jesus Christ relies on fear’s nullification: God’s gracious promise of life.

– John Indermark
Do Not Live Afraid

From page 11 of Do Not Live Afraid: Faith in a Fearful World by John Indermark. Copyright ©2009 by John Indermark. 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 are you afraid of? how does the gospel speak to that fear? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.”
Mark 1:17, NRSV

This Week: Pray for compassion. 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: Anthony of Egypt (January 17).

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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For God’s Unfailing Grace

Today’s Reflection

GOD, WE GIVE YOU THANKS for the grace
that lies at the heart of our faith.
Even as we fall short in our response
to your love and your call, your grace still abounds.
We see your grace in the sunlight that warms the earth
and in the starts that light the sky.
We see it in the manger at Bethlehem
and in the cross of Calvary.
In your grace we find peace and healing
for troubled lives.
In your grace we see promise for justice and mercy in a troubled world.
As you envelop us, enliven us, and embrace us,
we celebrate you as the God of grace. Amen.

– Mary Lou Redding
Prayers for Life’s Ordinary and Extraordinary Moments

From Prayers for Life’s Ordinary and Extraordinary Moments, compiled and edited by Mary Lou Redding. Copyright © 2012 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 today’s prayer. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”
Mark 1:14-15, NRSV

This Week: Pray for compassion. 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: Anthony of Egypt (January 17).

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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Prayer for the New Year

Today’s Reflection

LORD, I resolve to live more fully in [2018],
each day brighter, more purposeful,
full of faith and not of fear.
Give me courage to accept life’s adventures
and faith to avoid second guesses.
Grant me strength to say YES
to the life you want me to live.
Help me to hope in your promises.
If you are with me, who can be against me?
Teach me to appreciate each day
as a wonderful gift from you.
This is the day and the year that the Lord has made.
Let us rejoice and be glad in [2018]!

–Lydia Grace, 19 [Muncie, Indiana], devozine

From page 4 of devozine, January/February 2015. Copyright © 2014 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved. Used by permission. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Pray today’s prayer. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Put no confidence in extortion, and set no vain hopes on robbery; if riches increase, do not set your heart on them.
Psalm 62:10, NRSV

This Week: Pray for compassion. 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: Anthony of Egypt (January 17).

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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Listening Prayer

Today’s Reflection

AS YOU LISTEN TO OTHERS, trust that God will help you tune in to what they are really saying. Be still; allow your heart as well as your mind to open up to the person who is speaking. Pray for guidance and understanding.

– Patricia Wilson
The Mindful Manager: The God Factor at Work

From p. 130 of The Mindful Manager: The God Factor at Work. Copyright © 2009 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

Try praying as you listen today. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from him.
Psalm 62:5, NRSV

This Week: Pray for compassion. 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: Anthony of Egypt (January 17).

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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Your Image of God

Today’s Reflection

THE IMAGE YOU HOLD of God can affect your desire to answer the call of God in your life. For example, if you feel God is to be feared, you are unlikely to enthusiastically seek a way to use the gifts God has bestowed on you. You will be too concerned about putting a foot wrong.

If you see God as an angry God, you may be so worried about making a mistake that you cannot focus on gaining a clearer vision of life’s calling.

If, on the other hand, you see God as compassionate, you will have the freedom to explore various pathways toward clarifying that calling. Knowing God is compassionate encourages you to understand that God is patient with growing things. God is patient with you.

– Ann Siddall and Gary Stuckey
Tending the Seed

From page 24 of Tending the Seed: Nurture Your God-Given Potential by Ann Siddall and Gary Stuckey. Copyright © 2005 by Ann Siddall and Gary Stuckey. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Describe your image of God. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it.
Jonah 3:10, NRSV

This Week: Pray for compassion. 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: Anthony of Egypt (January 17).

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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Courage for Our Day

Today’s Reflection

ADORNING THE WALLS of my pastoral study are pictures of such icons as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and Malcolm X. Also included is a picture of three young people shielding themselves from authorities who are force-spraying them with fire hoses in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963. Emblazoned above the image of the three young people is COURAGE. Surely it took great courage to stand for justice in those days.

Truthfully, even today, it takes courage to stand up for justice in its various expressions: economic, educational, environmental, human rights, and the list goes on. … In reminiscing over the courage of previous generations anchored by their faith in God and in sharing these stories, I pray that we too will rise within this generation to meet the challenges of our day.

Prayer
Dear God, help my generation rise to meet the challenges of our day with courage and integrity. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Freestyle

From pages 25-26 of Freestyle: Reflections on Faith, Family, Justice, and Pop Culture by Michael W. Waters. Copyright © 2014 by Michael W. Waters. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Fresh Air 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

The word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time, saying, “Get up, go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim to it the message that I tell you.”
Jonah 3:1-2, NRSV

This Week: Pray for compassion. 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: Anthony of Egypt (January 17).

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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The Blessing Box

Today’s Reflection

FOR ME, the issue of homelessness hits close to home. Many people in our area who have no place to live congregate and camp along the nearby Puyallup River. To “take care of the problem,” members of the community have tried to force these people to leave. But where can they go? Shelters in the area are always overflowing with people who need housing. As the homeless population — and the controversy — have continued to grow in the Tacoma and Puyallup areas, so has my vision to create change within my community.

My passion for helping others was sparked by my volunteer work with Freezing Nights, a program my church participates in to help feed and house people during the colder winter months. The longer I volunteered, the more stories I heard about how people had ended up on the street. I came face to face with people who truly know what it’s like to have lost everything. Realizing the hardships our homeless community faces all year long really opened my eyes. ….

Feeling compelled to help, I began doing online research about blessing bags, boxes, and donation sites in general. Soon, I clicked a link for “Blessing Boxes” and started looking at the pictures. Before I knew it, I was writing down measurements to begin construction.

I wasn’t sure if a Blessing Box would be possible in my area because of the way some people view homelessness. I decided to talk with my pastor, Karen Yokota Love, about my vision that our neighborhood’s homeless population might have a place to go for resources, without being chastised for the way they live. I explained that I wanted to build a “Blessing Box” to offer a take-what-you-need and donate-what-you-can type of investment in and by the community. For example, if someone forgot a side dish for dinner, she could check the Blessing Box; if it’s cold, someone might look for gloves or a sweater; if it is 10 o’clock at night and someone is out of dog food, he can stop by the Blessing Box for essentials! …

I’m amazed by what has happened since I stopped dreaming about creating change and started working to make my vision a reality. Still actively involved in my community, I want to give back and help others, not just those who are homeless but anyone in need. I am so appreciative of my church’s encouragement, and I hope the Blessing Box will be an inspiration to other communities.
—Kheira Bach, age 18

devozine, July/Aug. 2017

From pages 17-19 of devozine, the devotional lifestyle magazine for teens, July/August 2017. Copyright © 2017 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved. Used by permission. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Is there homelessness in your area? What opportunities are there to help? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

And [Jesus] said to him, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

John 1:51, NRSV

This Week: Pray for new beginnings. 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: Emily Balch (January 9).

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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Bring Light

Today’s Reflection

PART OF BEING LIGHT to the world is treating all people with respect — recognizing that all people are made by God and that God wants us to treat them kindly.

In your prayer time, ask God to help you see ways to bring light to someone in your family or someone in your school or neighborhood.


Pockets, Jan./Feb. 2018

From page 20 of Pockets, the devotional magazine for children, January/February 2018. Copyright © 2018 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved. Used by permission. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Who can you bring light to today? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

1:46 Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.”

John 1:46, NRSV

This Week: Pray for new beginnings. 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: Emily Balch (January 9).

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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