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Signs of God with Us

Today’s Reflection

PRAYER BEADS … can help us find our way to God. They serve as a visual tool on many levels. On one hand, they can remind us to pray. I have heard many people attest to this fact.

In the middle of a busy day or at bedtime, they will look down, see their prayer beads, and be reminded to pray. They will bring to mind God’s presence, which calls them into an encounter. Such a visual cue has distinct importance for someone in the midst of crisis or doubt. In that moment of darkness, the beads can serve as a powerful reminder that God is present, encouraging that person to “fear not.”

Along with the visual cue, we cannot deny the tangible effect of the beads. We can touch them, hold on to them. We can close our eyes and feel the shape and texture of the beads. We can follow the path of the beads as they guide us up and away from the cross, around the circle, and finally to rest back at the cross.

This benefit should not be quickly dismissed. It offers a valuable way to focus our minds if our thoughts are scattered or we are praying in a noisy environment. Should our minds start to wander during prayer, the feel of the beads can bring us back to the moment at hand: connection with God. In those moments of darkness, when we wonder about God’s presence, the beads serve as a concrete sign of God with us.

– Kristen E. Vincent
A Bead and a Prayer

From pages 32-33 of A Bead and a Prayer: A Beginner’s Guide to Protestant Prayer Beads by Kristen E. Vincent. Copyright © 2013 by Kristen E. Vincent. 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 other ways do you experience concrete signs of God with us? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, so that they may also obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.

2 Timothy 2:10, NRSV

This Week: pray for someone who feels abandoned. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.

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: Jerome (September 30).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2016 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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{ 7 comments… add one }

  • Jill October 7, 2016, 3:17 am

    Nature, for sure. Especially this time of year. Leaves are starting to change – and they catch my eye on the way home. I go to work in the dark – so they do not grab my attention. But they spark me from my tiredness at the end of the day…a panorama of warm colors along the roadside. The weather here has been stunning for almost a month…only a few overcast days. When I go out to run in the darkness – the stars and moon in the sky have been amazing – this array also brings to mind God’s awesomeness.
    Francesca – your husband’s situation will remain in my prayers – as decisions are made moving forward. Prayers too for Annaliese and her frustration.
    Grateful for an underlying feeling of contentment – stronger than usual – it was with me all day yesterday at school – I was aware of it and lingered in it. Grateful for a few moments with a colleague yesterday afternoon. With the move to a new school – I just don’t see the people I used to see. I used to be in the middle of the science department and now I am in the middle of the english department. Grateful for today being Friday.

  • CONI October 7, 2016, 4:34 am

    comment by Coni
    Daily Devotional
    Signs of God with Us
    Posted: 06 Oct 2016 10:01 PM PDT
    Joseph’s brothers wanted to execute him. He was thrown into a pit feeling abandoned and lost. He was sold to a caravan of Ishmaelites who always had foul-smelling wagons. However, this time there was a pleasant smell. He understood the message: God was telling him that all of these events were part of the plan: “Don’t worry, I’m holding your hand the whole way through.”
    Sometimes we may go through very hard periods, but throughout them we see seemingly random events that appear unusual – almost like a miracle. It’s God telling us, “Don’t worry, I’m orchestrating all these events and there’s a plan behind everything. You’re in safe hands!”

  • r0bertmoeller October 7, 2016, 5:20 am

    Yes, God put us on an earth that continually reminds us of a creator beyond imagination. The tops of mountains, trails through the woods, the rim of a canyon, and rock formations all physically remind me of God. The maple trees with their variety of bright colors in the fall and their wonderful syrup in the spring fit it here too.

    Thankful for the progress made with Anneliese’s heart. Until the doctor can actually see it, all the scans, x-rays, and other means of monitoring the heart are only partially helpful. Thankful that God sees and knows our hearts.

    Yes, Francesca your husband is in our prayers. God is with both of you.

    Blessings to all, it’s Friday and soon we will be in worship.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling October 7, 2016, 7:05 am

    Answered prayers are signs of God with us. Yesterday and today were two Long and tiring days. Today, we had lunch with the children to celebrate children’s day after which I had combined classes all the way to six in the evening. Without the one hour lunch break, it is indeed tiring. Needed strength from God and God’s presence made the difference cause the students were well behaved and this too come to pass. Grateful for the weekends. Next week’s schedule is very tight with four mornings staff training and five afternoons teaching. There should be a test coming up too for the staff training.

    May God bless everyone a refreshing weekend!

  • Gail Churchill October 7, 2016, 7:57 am

    Thankful for all who share their concerns and prayer requests. There are many concerns that are not spoken, and I appreciate your willingness to share.

    A friend at church makes prayer beads. Writer Kate Unruh says that intentional remembering calls forth praise, like the writer above. The beads are also a concrete sign that you can touch, and they help you focus on God.

    Conversely, are there things in my life that should be eliminated, because they bring to mind something that is not consistent with God?

  • Edy October 7, 2016, 9:16 am

    I can NEVER go to sleep without my prayer beads. I have been using them for the last 20 or so years to lull me into sleep. And praise God we survived hurricane Matthew with just a few minor problems. Thank you, Jesus, my Lord and saviour. He said ” I’am your refuge and strength”. God is good!

  • Sara October 7, 2016, 9:28 am

    I also love the little surprises in nature that I wasn’t expecting and sometimes the little happenings in life that come my way. Just makes me stop and pause and thank God.

    Prayers today for those experiencing the dangers of the hurricane. Prayers for their safety and safe return to their homes when the storm subsides. Prayers also for those here at the UR and the struggles they may be facing. May God be with them and calm any anxieties they may be facing. Amen

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