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Focus on the Holy

Today’s Reflection

I HAVE BEEN a servant of God for over thirty years, yet I still give in to the temptation to rely on my own strength. I make decisions before taking time to listen to God. I work far more hours than I should because I believe that success depends upon me. I easily jump to action and later ask God to bless what I have done.

While I recognize this all-sufficient attitude about myself, I am also learning to trust God and to rely upon divine strength through the practice of several spiritual disciplines. In prayer I make my requests to God and wait for answers. In solitude I stay focused on God, attending to divine presence. In worship I regularly focus on God through praise, confession, and hearing the word. These spiritual practices keep me connected to the holy as I continue to learn to rely upon God.

God, help me to stay focused on you so that you may become my strength. Amen.

– Ron Hilliard

Disciplines 2011

From the reading for January 14 by Ron Hilliard, page 26 of The Upper Room Disciplines 2011: A Book of Daily Devotions. Copyright © 2010 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 the word of the LORD came to me saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
Jeremiah 1:4-5, NRSV

This Week: pray for people seeking employment. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.

Did You Know?

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Saints, Inc.:

This week we remember Prudence Crandall (January 30).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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{ 5 comments… add one }

  • Jill January 28, 2013, 3:29 am

    There it is again…the joy of the Lord is my strength. Father, as troubles come, I want to lean into You. You are my power source. There is none like You.

  • robert moeller January 28, 2013, 4:23 am

    It is very easy to be distracted, it takes some effort to keep in relationship with God. I know that I don’t want to lose that relationship.

    Lord, I thank you that unemployment here in the US is going down. I also pray for those still looking for work, many have been looking for a very long time. I pray that with your guidance and wisdom they will find the job that is right for them. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

  • Tim Etheredge January 28, 2013, 8:31 am

    As I read this reflection I see myself in someways. My struggle is that I find it very difficult to discern the will of God. First I find it difficult to be still and know. It seems like my mind always wonders to other things. And when I do get thoughts how do I know they are from God are just my own thoughts. The other day I read a reflection or the devotional that was a prayer asking God to provide more money, to use the money they had more wiselyetc. It then went on to say to share this with someone that was having financial difficulties and I did. Then the scripture came to me in James about if you tell a brother or sister God bless and do nothing then were is your faith. So the thought came to me that I should share some of what I have. I spoke with my wife and she agreed. We even came up with a similar figure, this we often do when we are considering giving. Anyway we wrote a check to our church and designated it to this family that the wife is an active member of our congregation. I typed a short and shared some scripture and did not sign it. However since I have done it I have questioned if it was the right decision, how will th family receive it was this really God speaking to me or am I just trying to build up points with God.

  • Carol January 28, 2013, 9:03 am

    We CAN know because Jesus said “my sheep hear my voice”. It’s all to do with faith. What has helped me is learning to “acknowledge Him in ALL my ways, and He WILL direct my path. As Jesus rightly tells us “without me, you can do nothing”. Once we turn our minds to Him in our everyday ways, it will get bigger and bigger and become natural.
    I don’t know about your own lives but I have someone in mine who doesn’t let me know what they are doing. Without them acknowledging me in their decisions and ways, I too “can do nothing” It’s disastrous!

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling May 13, 2013, 9:09 pm

    Yes, God help us to stay focused on you for you are our strength. Forgive me, for times when I relied on my on strength.

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