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The Nearness of God

Today’s Reflection

OUR QUEST TO UNDERSTAND God’s greatness can consume us to the point that we forget God’s nearness. We ask the wise ones in our midst, “Where is God?” When they answer, “God is present in the ordinary events of our everyday lives,” we are tempted to swim away disappointed.

“But this is just me and my humdrum life,” we respond, perplexed. “I am seeking something much greater than this!” We turn away and search elsewhere for that which is before our very eyes — that is, if only we had the eyes to see. God’s loving presence is the sacred water in which we swim.

Without the eyes to see, we continue searching for a spectacular moment of divine revelation. We busy ourselves looking for God on the mountaintop, and we fail to see God right beside us — at work, in traffic, at the grocery store, in the school pickup line, or at our own kitchen table. We long for the indisputable affirmation of God’s presence in a “burning bush” moment. We want the heavens to open, the angels to sing, and God’s voice to offer comfort, clarity, and wisdom. We forget that the ordinary stuff of daily life is extraordinarily sacred. God is in all things — if only we would open our eyes to see.

– Sharon Seyfarth Garner
Praying with Mandalas

From page 103 of Praying with Mandalas: A Colorful, Contemplative Practice by Sharon Seyfarth Garner. Copyright © 2016 by Sharon Seyfarth Garner. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Look for God’s presence as you go about your day. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers, constantly remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Thessalonians 1:2-3, NRSV

Today’s Question

As you begin prayer time today, become aware of your breath. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

The LORD is king; let the peoples tremble! He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake!
Psalm 99:1, NRSV

This Week: pray for community 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: Ignatius of Antioch (October 17).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


{ 7 comments… add one }

  • Louise October 20, 2017, 4:00 am

    I see God in the beauty of the sunrise. I hear God as the birds talk amongst themselves outside my window. I hear the silence of the still morning as I begin my prayers. Meditation has become part of my morning. Stillness…silence…mediation…prayer
    = God’s presence and peace.
    I feel God and see Him everyday in the eyes of the children that I teach. He is there when we help the poor…their smiles, hugs, and conversation are ways that God shines through. I consider myself blessed now at this point in my life because I did not always listen and see God right in front of me but now I do and I am so blessed. I pray for all at this wonderful God filled place The UR. His presence is definitely felt here. I pray for all who struggle mentally, physically, and spiritually. I pray God will guide me today and help me to be the best version of myself that I can be. Peace to all.

  • Jill October 20, 2017, 4:48 am

    I will look for God throughout my day. Ahhh – a day off of school. And bountiful sunshine is promised and very warm temperatures. Fall colors abound. Lunch with Suzanne, as we now share this new path (for me) together.
    Grateful for these three days, full of warmth and much unscheduled time. Grateful for strength to get through the four days of school – which were busier than usual. Grateful for continued relief from meds…today I have another injection. Body seems to be acclimating pretty well. Father – thank You.

  • robert moeller October 20, 2017, 5:26 am

    Great to read that Jill is getting relief through those injections, a day off from school should be helpful too. Added to that time with Suzanne. God’s presence is there.

    Up very early, checking to make sure the alarm clock on my cell phone works,
    ate breakfast, reviewed my bank account, sent and read emails. God is there too guiding my preparation for the day’s activities. Will be off to heart rehab and today’s health class soon.

    Thankful for the UR, all of you who come, share, read, and pray. God is here.
    God has our attention and thanks.

  • Lou October 20, 2017, 6:18 am

    God is near. Help us to see you here with us today Lord. Help us to feel you and hear you. We need you God more than ever. Bless all who come here today searching for Your love and peace. Prayers for all. We need you Lord.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling October 20, 2017, 7:05 am


      May the nearness of God be with all of us!

      Blessings to all!

  • Andrea October 20, 2017, 7:31 am

    If I remember that God is in everything, then God is always close. I am reminded of the Navajo prayer, “I walk in beauty.”

    A joy in my life – at my 50th high school reunion in August, I reconnected with my best friend from childhood. She lives across the country. We are staying in touch now and planning our next meeting. I feel so blessed to have this restored friendship.

    Gracious God, what would You have me do today?

    Prayers for my UR friends, for your health and concerns, and for the people you name.

  • Julie October 20, 2017, 7:57 am

    When I focus on my surroundings, outside of myself I see God clearly. I echo the thoughts of those above, God dwells here among these loving believers. I pray each day for each of you and your concerns. The love and concern among the members of this group is palpable. It is amazing how much my life in general and my spiritual life in particular have improved since I found this group
    my humble thanks
    Blessings to all
    I would not have been so cognizant of God’s presence in my life if it were not for this group of mentors. Now I see God in all places and all areas

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