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Tender Spots

Today’s Reflection

A LIFE WITH GOD invites you to be honest with yourself—to admit your weaknesses and tender spots. It also asks that you allow yourself to be shaped into the likeness of Christ in order not only to better yourself but also to better the world around you.

—Whitney R. Simpson
Holy Listening with Breath, Body, and the Spirit

From page 10 of Holy Listening with Breath, Body, and the Spirit by Whitney R. Simpson. Copyright © 2016 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Is it difficult for you to be honest about your weaknesses? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

The Spirit helps us in our weakness . . .
—Romans 8:26a, NRSV

Prayer for the Week

Inhale: Jesus
Exhale: Give me peace.
(A “breath prayer” from author Whitney Simpson). Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Something more

Invite young adults in your community to explore faith through community, conversation, and action at a Journey to the Table event. Learn more.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.

Sponsored by The Upper Room. Copyright © 2019 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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The Body Holds Wisdom

Today’s Reflection

GOD CREATED YOU as an amazing and complex human being. Science proves over and over that your body holds more wisdom than you can fathom. Your physical body also carries trauma and pain. No matter where you are on your healing journey, you are processing the traumas your body and spirit have experienced in the past. As a Christian, you look to Jesus as your model for living. Jesus not only experiences many mountaintop moments but also encounters great physical trauma and pain.

—Whitney R. Simpson
Holy Listening with Breath, Body, and the Spirit

From page 9 of Holy Listening with Breath, Body, and the Spirit by Whitney R. Simpson. Copyright © 2016 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

What does Jesus’ physical trauma and pain say to you? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being.
—Genesis 2:7, NRSV

Prayer for the Week

Inhale: Jesus
Exhale: Give me peace.
(A “breath prayer” from author Whitney Simpson). Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Something more

Invite young adults in your community to explore faith through community, conversation, and action at a Journey to the Table event. Learn more.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.

Sponsored by The Upper Room. Copyright © 2019 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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The Gift of Breath

Today’s Reflection

GOD IS THE GIVER of life and breath. Miraculously, your breath flows in and out of your body, offering life. You live in the physical sense with your body and in the spiritual sense with your spirit; yet, no life exists—either in the body or spirit—without the starting point of the breath. While there are surely moments in this life that literally take your breath away—some good, some not so good—each breathtaking moment can only occur because of the moment when God first gave you breath. Since that first breath, each moment has shaped you, molded you, and made you into the person God created—one breath at a time.

—Whitney R. Simpson
Holy Listening with Breath, Body, and the Spirit

From page 9 of Holy Listening with Breath, Body, and the Spirit by Whitney R. Simpson. Copyright © 2016 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

What are some experiences that have shaped your life the most? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

The spirit of God has made me,
and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
—Job 33:4, NRSV

Prayer for the Week

Inhale: Jesus
Exhale: Give me peace.
(A “breath prayer” from author Whitney Simpson). Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Something more

Invite young adults in your community to explore faith through community, conversation, and action at a Journey to the Table event. Learn more.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.

Sponsored by The Upper Room. Copyright © 2019 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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Breath Prayer

Today’s Reflection

EVERY BREATH you take serves as a reminder of God’s gift of life and the Spirit within. The Hebrew word ruach is used interchangeably in scripture for both breath and spirit, as is the Greek word pneuma. A breath prayer is a simple, intimate, and repetitive prayer that can be repeated during each inhalation and exhalation, drawing you nearer to the Spirit of God. This contemplative practice links prayer to the rhythm of your own breath. . . . As you focus on each breath as a gift from God, your prayer becomes a living meditation too, an opportunity to “pray continually” A breath prayer involves two steps: breathing in and breathing out. When you breathe in, call on a biblical name or image of God. When you breathe out, express the longings of your heart or a God-given desire. Don’t worry about where the words fall in your breathing pattern. Calling out to God with words may soon become as rhythmic as breathing. . . .

Each breath is an opportunity to draw nearer to God.

—Whitney R. Simpson
Holy Listening with Breath, Body, and the Spirit

From pages 27-28 of Holy Listening with Breath, Body, and the Spirit by Whitney R. Simpson. Copyright © 2016 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Repeat this week’s prayer as a “breath prayer.” When you breathe in, call on a biblical name or image of God. When you breathe out, express the longings of your heart or a God-given desire. Do you have a personal breath prayer? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Pray without ceasing.
—1 Thessalonians 5:17, NRSV

Prayer for the Week

Inhale: Jesus
Exhale: Give me peace.
(A “breath prayer” from author Whitney Simpson). Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Something more

Invite young adults in your community to explore faith through community, conversation, and action at a Journey to the Table event. Learn more.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.

Sponsored by The Upper Room. Copyright © 2019 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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God Is In.

Today’s Reflection

A note from the author: “Celtic Christians acknowledged God’s presence in every aspect of living—from waking to sleeping, from birth to death, from mundane chores to momentous celebrations. They perceived God’s creation as a holy gift. Gratitude characterized their way of being as they affirmed the source of life and gave thanks through blessings.” (p 12)

This Day

Dawn of Life,
Dawn of Love,
We greet you.

Bless us this day,
And bless all we meet:
The grieving friend,
The laughing child,
The stranger on the corner.

Fill our hearts with your light
And let that light shine through us,
Bringing friendship and hope,
Peace and presence.

We are yours.

—Beth A. Richardson
Christ Beside Me, Christ Within Me: Celtic Blessings

A Celtic blessing from page 93 of Christ Beside Me, Christ Within Me: Celtic Blessings by Beth A. Richardson. Copyright © 2016 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Where do you see God’s light shining today?  Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’
—Matthew 25:36, NRSV

Prayer for the Week

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me.
(From a prayer attributed to Saint Patrick) Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Something more

Daily Reflections readers; You might also be interested in The Upper Room daily devotional guide, distributed in 100 countries and 33 languages around the world. Subscribe here.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.

Sponsored by The Upper Room. Copyright © 2019 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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The Struggling Times

Today’s Reflection

A note from the author: “Celtic Christians acknowledged God’s presence in every aspect of living—from waking to sleeping, from birth to death, from mundane chores to momentous celebrations. They perceived God’s creation as a holy gift. Gratitude characterized their way of being as they affirmed the source of life and gave thanks through blessings.” (p 12)

FOR ONE WHO IS HURTING
God, your peace,
Your comfort,
Your healing presence.

Send them into
The places of deep sadness,
The wounds,
The disappointments,
The tears and aching hearts.

Touch the tear-lined cheeks
With your kiss of peace.
Hold your child close,
Child full of sorrow.

Hold your child close,
Child all alone.

Bring comfort and healing,
Balm for broken hearts,
Freedom from fear,
And courage to face forward.

You are the Miracle Worker,
The Great Healer,
The Mender of the Breach.

Come, now,
Come, quickly,
Come.

—Beth A. Richardson
Christ Beside Me, Christ Within Me: Celtic Blessings

A Celtic blessing from page 81 of Christ Beside Me, Christ Within Me: Celtic Blessings by Beth A. Richardson. Copyright © 2016 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Think of someone who is hurting and struggling through a difficult time. Pray today’s blessing with that person in mind.  Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Out of my distress I called on the Lord;
the Lord answered me and set me in a broad place.
—Psalm 118:5, NRSV

Prayer for the Week

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me.
(From a prayer attributed to Saint Patrick) Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Something more

Daily Reflections readers; You might also be interested in The Upper Room daily devotional guide, distributed in 100 countries and 33 languages around the world. Subscribe here.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.

Sponsored by The Upper Room. Copyright © 2019 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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Heart Prayers

Today’s Reflection

A note from the author: “Celtic Christians acknowledged God’s presence in every aspect of living—from waking to sleeping, from birth to death, from mundane chores to momentous celebrations. They perceived God’s creation as a holy gift. Gratitude characterized their way of being as they affirmed the source of life and gave thanks through blessings.” (p 12)

MAY YOU KNOW LOVE

Today, may you know love.
May you know happiness.
May you know peace.

Today, may you be open.
May you be safe.
May you be blessed.

Today, may you feel uplifted.
May you feel serene.
May you feel joy.

A thousand, thousand prayers,
A thousand, thousand blessings,
On you, and you, and you.

—Beth A. Richardson
Christ Beside Me, Christ Within Me: Celtic Blessings

A Celtic blessing from page 74 of Christ Beside Me, Christ Within Me: Celtic Blessings by Beth A. Richardson. Copyright © 2016 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

For what are you thankful?  Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his steadfast love endures forever!
—Psalm 118:1, NRSV

Prayer for the Week

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me.
(From a prayer attributed to Saint Patrick) Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Something more

Daily Reflections readers; You might also be interested in The Upper Room daily devotional guide, distributed in 100 countries and 33 languages around the world. Subscribe here.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.

Sponsored by The Upper Room. Copyright © 2019 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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Passages

Today’s Reflection

A note from the author: “Celtic Christians acknowledged God’s presence in every aspect of living—from waking to sleeping, from birth to death, from mundane chores to momentous celebrations. They perceived God’s creation as a holy gift. Gratitude characterized their way of being as they affirmed the source of life and gave thanks through blessings.” (p 12)

FOR A HOME

Bless this house, its windows, its rooms.
May those who live here
Know happiness and safety.

Bless this house, its roof, its doors.
May all who enter here
Be welcomed with generous hospitality.

Bless this house, its hearth, its heart.
May light and love
Live in this place.

—Beth A. Richardson
Christ Beside Me, Christ Within Me: Celtic Blessings

A Celtic blessing from page 67 of Christ Beside Me, Christ Within Me: Celtic Blessings by Beth A. Richardson. Copyright © 2016 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Ask for God’s blessing for the place where you are at this moment. What  Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

“As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
—Joshua 24:15b, NRSV

Prayer for the Week

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me.
(From a prayer attributed to Saint Patrick) Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Something more

Daily Reflections readers; You might also be interested in The Upper Room daily devotional guide, distributed in 100 countries and 33 languages around the world. Subscribe here.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.

Sponsored by The Upper Room. Copyright © 2019 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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Seasons

Today’s Reflection

A note from the author: “Celtic Christians acknowledged God’s presence in every aspect of living—from waking to sleeping, from birth to death, from mundane chores to momentous celebrations. They perceived God’s creation as a holy gift. Gratitude characterized their way of being as they affirmed the source of life and gave thanks through blessings.” (p 12)

WELCOME, SPRING

Long nights and cold days,
Fallow fields and dormant trees,
A journey of the inner world.

I open my eyes and see light.
Warmth breaking through,
Promise of new life
Coming out of death.
Resurrection.

Welcome, beauty.
Welcome, buds.
Welcome, newness.
Inside and all around me.

You, God, source of hope,
Source of healing,
Source of life.
Welcome, welcome.
Make your home in me.

—Beth A. Richardson
Christ Beside Me, Christ Within Me: Celtic Blessings

A Celtic blessing from page 49 of Christ Beside Me, Christ Within Me: Celtic Blessings by Beth A. Richardson. Copyright © 2016 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Does awareness of God’s presence in everything and in every moment come naturally to you?  Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.
—Ecclesiastes 3:1, NRSV

Prayer for the Week

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me.
(From a prayer attributed to Saint Patrick) Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Something more

Daily Reflections readers; You might also be interested in The Upper Room daily devotional guide, distributed in 100 countries and 33 languages around the world. Subscribe here.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.

Sponsored by The Upper Room. Copyright © 2019 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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Holy Moments

Today’s Reflection

A note from the author: “Celtic Christians acknowledged God’s presence in every aspect of living—from waking to sleeping, from birth to death, from mundane chores to momentous celebrations. They perceived God’s creation as a holy gift. Gratitude characterized their way of being as they affirmed the source of life and gave thanks through blessings.” (p 12)

A BLESSING OF A SUMMER DAY

Bless this day,
All plants and creatures, All people near and far.

Bless the flowers
That sing praises with their beauty, The grass
That cushions my step.

Bless those who stand
With loved ones who are sick,
With friends or family who are lost.
Bring healing, bring wholeness.

Bless the world,
Its war-torn places,
Its broken villages,
Its frightened children.

Bless our bodies,
Our hearts,
Our hands,
That we may be blessings
To all we meet.

—Beth A. Richardson
Christ Beside Me, Christ Within Me: Celtic Blessings

A Celtic blessing from page 40 of Christ Beside Me, Christ Within Me: Celtic Blessings by Beth A. Richardson. Copyright © 2016 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

How might pausing for prayers of blessing help change your frame of mind?  Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
—Matthew 5:4, NRSV

Prayer for the Week

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me.
(From a prayer attributed to Saint Patrick) Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Something more

Daily Reflections readers; You might also be interested in The Upper Room daily devotional guide, distributed in 100 countries and 33 languages around the world. Subscribe here.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.

Sponsored by The Upper Room. Copyright © 2019 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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