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Today’s Reflection

“I THINK I’M ADDICTED TO LONGING,” my friend Daniel once said to me. We talk about longing from time to time, how we are drawn to it, how it fuels us. …

Desire can offer clues to God’s longing for our lives. Yet I’ve known the times when it has provided less of a map than a dwelling, a residence, a space where I have invited my longings in, entertained them lavishly, fed them well, and wound up being consumed in return. . . .

That’s why it’s crucial to learn to pray with our desires, to sit with what we think we want. Longing bids us to a kind of lectio [sacred reading/hearing of the scriptures] in which we approach our desire as a sacred text, that we may discern where God is stirring within it and what God desires for us.

– Jan L. Richardson
In the Sanctuary of Women

From page 288 of In the Sanctuary of Women: A Companion for Reflection & Prayer by 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

What do you do when you feel a sense of longing? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

“For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”

Matthew 18:20, 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: Mother Teresa of Calcutta (August 13).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


{ 15 comments… add one }

  • Gerri September 10, 2017, 5:20 am

    Good morning everyone.When I feel a sense of longing I seek the Lord. I quiet my self in his presence. I listen and learn and grow in the truth of his wisdom. The Lord puts things in perspective for me and I move on in peace.

  • Jill September 10, 2017, 5:50 am

    When in a state of longing – I cry out to God. He knows, He hears, His Spirit is near. As I read yesterday’s posts – I sense the longing of physical comfort from Julie, Francesca and Marcy. O, Father – I pray for mercy and gentleness for these ladies. As I timidly enter into this area, I know there are times when my brain wrestles with the thought of You, Father, allowing these circumstances. How I struggle to understand this. But two Bible passages this week have provided some guidance…Psalm 31 and the end of Romans 8 (v. 28 and on). Father, You are our Hope, our Rock, our Sustainer. Thank You for Your Presences through these circumstances. Without You, we would have no hope.
    Father – I pray for mercy for the people in Florida. My best friend’s father is riding it out as well as her aunt and uncle. They are on the gulf side and today looks to be brutal. A former (retired) colleague of mine managed to leave the Bradenton area and got to north Georgia. Her daughter, son-in-law and grand daughter remained behind as the daughter is in health care and will be assisting throughout the devastation.
    I can’t help but ask myself, amidst all these natural disasters and struggles, are we in the end times. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

    • Louise September 10, 2017, 8:31 pm

      Read Luke…there are answers there

    • Louise September 10, 2017, 8:32 pm

      Read Luke…there are answers there!

  • Betsy September 10, 2017, 7:27 am

    When I feel a sense of longing, I turn to God and name all the blessings in my life. This helps to quiet the inner stirrings and calm my heart.

    Lord, I pray for all those affected by the disasters that are affecting our planet right now. We struggle with the reasons why and often want to assign blame. Please allow us to just be your hands and feet to the hurting and displaced. Thank you for all the first responders and volunteers who hear the call and go where they are needed. We are blessed to have those who care and act on it. Throughout all the misery in the images of Texas and Florida, there are helping people. I have an aunt, my dad’s only living sister, in an assisted living facility in central Florida; praying the she and all those residents stay safe; also Jill’s friend’s family members and all the others who are in the path of this destructive storm. Lord, hear our prayers.

  • robert moeller September 10, 2017, 7:34 am

    Longing – a strong, persistent desire or craving, especially for something or someone unattainable or distant. Was compelled to look up this word. I do think there have certainly been times in my life when I had a longing. After my army time in Korea I had a longing to go there again. The same is true for
    Germany. I also think I have learned that I can’t have things I want, that I have to be satisfied with what I have, and even give up on dreams and hopes.
    Having God in my life, however, is a longing I can not give up. No one knows us as well as God who is the ultimate friend.

    Prayers for those affected by natural disasters. Hurricanes and earthquakes come immediately to mind. I know someone in Irma’s path. Prayers for safety. May quick and good restoration come once the storm has passed. Not a believer my son asks,”If God loves us why does God allow such disasters?”
    Like Jill, I wonder if these events signal the end times. Have to keep the faith, it will bring is through. Jesus said, “Do not be afraid.” In God We Trust. Thank You, Lord.

    Thankful to have all of you here at the UR. Your witness helps, supports, teaches, and strengthens all who come for when we are gathered in Jesus’ name Jesus is with us. Jesus saves. Thanks be to God.

    • Louise September 10, 2017, 8:39 pm

      Read Luke for an explanation of why this is all happening.

      • robert moeller September 11, 2017, 3:48 am

        Am reading Luke, thank you for suggesting this gospel. Prayers for Texas, Mexico, and Florida, areas where Irma hit in the Caribbean, and where it’s headed next. Two other hurricanes also doing damage. Lord, You are with us always. Thank You, Lord.

  • Connie September 10, 2017, 8:13 am

    When I feel a sense of longing I close my eyes and remember happy memories. For quite awhile I would pray to God to “bring her back to me”, but that is better now.
    We have a boy (man) in Tampa and I hope Irma “passes by” and saves him
    and others and has mercy on the State of Florida and those already having been hit there and in Texas.
    “If my people who are called by my name shall humble themselves and pray……….”
    I thank God for all the prayerful people in my life.

  • Julie September 10, 2017, 8:33 am

    I have both a longing for things or circumstances that are of this world and also more spiritual longings. My worldly longings reflect those above. My spiritual longings are to overcome my mental and emotional roadblocks so that I may return to church and volunteering.
    Blessing to all who visit this group of supportive and loving believers.
    Please God be with those in Texas, Florida and Mexico.

  • Marcy September 10, 2017, 10:18 am

    I used to long for times, places and people long gone. I learned, of course, that this is fruitless. Longing has me turning to God every morning, asking instead for what is actually attainable, caring for others in some different form. “With God, it is possible” has become my mantra. I want to get back to church also, Julie, and help out and cook for the homeless shelter, visit with the people I took care of. I immerse myself in God’s Word and read about those who have overcome mental, physical and spiritual struggles, both then and now.Trying to be confident that in time all will become clear. But my greatest longing is to be home with God, when the day comes, rejoicing with loved ones again. I mean this in an uplifting way, the belief that we are assured of this.
    Thank you, Julie and Jill for your prayers and your words of encouragement, love and acceptance. Please know that they have touched me in ways I can’t express, all teary-eyed all over again. Faith, hope and love but most of all, love. Thank you, Jill, for sharing the Bible passages. 1 Cor. 13 and Psalm 91 are also good.
    Fervent prayers for all experiencing the effects if Irma and the aftermath when the storm is over. Almighty God, please be with everyone in the midst of the multiple disasters and watch over them, keeping them safe. Prayers for all the brave men and women working as responders and healthcare providers.
    Thank you and bless you all here in the UR family, reading and/or posting, I am blessed to be here. My prayers for God’s love to all!

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling September 10, 2017, 11:39 pm

    Lord, grant me the joy of contentment. Thank you God that i am easily contented, living a simple life and enjoying it.

    • Connie September 11, 2017, 3:37 pm

      Mary, I just bought a towel set (potholders, dishcloths) with two birds on them and the set says “Live Simply”. I don’t buy many “frills”, but couldn’t resist.

      • Mary Ng Shwu Ling September 11, 2017, 11:41 pm

        Yes, Connie, that will be a wonderful reminder to live simply.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling September 10, 2017, 11:50 pm

    I mean Lord, thank you for the joy of contentment.

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