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Persistent Prayer

Today’s Reflection

TO ADOPT the behavior of praying persistently, we need to pray regularly – ideally every day. If you don’t have this habit, start now. Give God ten seconds of your time right before you go to bed at night or when you first arise in the morning. Give God just ten seconds of quiet listening. Then add five seconds each day until you can give God a few minutes of quiet listening on a daily basis. Listen and talk to God every day.

– Christopher Maricle
The Jesus Priorities

From page 54 of The Jesus Priorities: 8 Essential Habits by Christopher Maricle. Copyright © 2007 by Christopher Maricle. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Do you pray every day? If so, what advice would you give others who may want to start?  Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

Matthew 2:12, NRSV

This Week: Pray for inner peace. 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: Simeon Stylites (January 5).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2018 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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{ 22 comments… add one }

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling January 7, 2018, 12:44 am

    Use a prayer journal. It helps one to be organised and when you look back you will be encouraged how faithful God is.

    Please pray for my dad. He will be having his hip operation on Monday afternoon.

    Thanks and blessings

    • Marcy January 7, 2018, 4:02 pm

      Mary, dear sweet sister, I will be praying for your father’s hip surgery tomorrow afternoon. The Great Physician Himself, will be assisting! Make sure you take care of yourself, so you can pace yourself in all the good you do! Hugs and kisses!

    • Louise January 7, 2018, 8:30 pm

      Mary a prayer journal is a great idea. I write in a journal but not everyday…I am going to start writing everyday. I will pray for your dad that his hip operation will go well. I will also keep your mum and you in my prayers.

  • Jill January 7, 2018, 5:46 am

    Prayer is hard work, at least for me. Keeping my mind empty and focused, being patient…not necessarily easy things for me to attain. My suggestion would include being fully open, honest, raw before God. I don’t believe He is in to masks. He wants to see our faces and our hearts. Indeed – “turn your eyes upon Jesus…”
    His Grace is immeasurable and He longs for communication and relationship.
    Mary – praying for your dad’s operation tomorrow, his comfort, the medical team, and you and your mom.

    • Marcy January 7, 2018, 4:07 pm

      Yes, Jill. It isn’t always an orderly process, but I do the best I can. I always look forward to your posts, they help me focus!

    • Marcy January 7, 2018, 4:18 pm

      And prayers also for your stamina holding so well with tennis. I’m so happy for this development. Prayers for your parents.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling January 7, 2018, 6:04 am

    Thanks so much Jill.

    Praying for your parents, your sister and you too

    Blessings

  • Beth Lewis January 7, 2018, 6:39 am

    Prayer doesn’t have to be on your knees, in a corner with your eyes closed and head bowed. You can pray in your car on the way to work. Just clear your mind and quiet the thoughts so you can hear GOD. A conversation with a friend….

    • Marcy January 7, 2018, 4:13 pm

      Amen to this, Beth, as I’m physically unable to be in my knees these days. The important thing is to find a quiet place when particularly concentrating on prayer. And you’re right. You can be standing in line at the grocery store, waiting your turn at an appointment or sitting in your car at lunch break!

  • robert moeller January 7, 2018, 6:54 am

    I think I go through seasons with praying. There are a lot of people and actions to pray for, I find that a daunting task. Do I believe in prayer? Absolutely. Sometimes my prayers take the form of thoughts. I do pray at the end of the day thanking God for the blessings of the day and lifting up people.
    I leave notes here so people know I am praying for them , their family, and specific needs.

    Prayers for Mary and her new job, her mum eating well, and her dad’s upcoming hip surgery. Prayers of thanks that Jill is doing well, has more energy, and can play tennis. Prayers of encouragement for her mom and dad.

    Thankful for warmth, good meals, bills paid, and Erich’s job. Prayers that Anneliese will recover from her recent severe muscle spasms, a property will sell and finances will be improved. Church and communion today, we remember the magi. Prayers for Marcy, she will go to church today.Blessings to all the UR family, you are lifted up to God and I am thankful for your posts.

    • Marcy January 7, 2018, 4:35 pm

      Thank you, so much, Robert, for continuing your prayers for me and others here in this loving UR family. I also continue to lift Annaliese up in prayer, that her painful muscle spasms will come to an end. We are all so blessed in so many ways, we must remember those blessings even as we confront uncertainty. Abba, Father, watch over us and let us support one another and remember Your Love for us.

      • robertmoeller January 7, 2018, 4:56 pm

        Marcy, thank you for your prayers for me, Anneliese, and so many others. Thankful you were able to attend worship even if it wasn’t at your home church. The Methodist church I attend most definitely celebrated Epiphany with music, scripture, and nativity figures. To my memory it was the first time I’ve had Communion on Epiphany. That was something special for me.

        You certainly were blessed and blessed others at worship today. That is wonderful news. It comes from your years helping others. When you have the spirit there is always a way to reach out and help.

        Anneliese’s muscle spasms have eased on the left side but are moving to the right side. Thankfully her driveway and paths to sheds have been cleared of snow. Sadly, tenants above are keeping the furnace running with open windows on frigid days.

        The Central Vermont boxcars are now Canadian National Red #11-mineral red. Trucks and couplers are being painted. Decals have been selected. The article was sent in to the editor. Almost done.

  • Connie January 7, 2018, 8:32 am

    Yes, I pray every day. I prayed here today as I scrolled through the posts. I thank God for answered ones also. I am thankful for prayers offered up for me.

    • Marcy January 7, 2018, 4:40 pm

      Connie, you are a regular on my UR family prayer list. Christian hugs and kisses to daily. Thank you for your prayers for myself and others.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling January 7, 2018, 8:33 am

    Thanks so much Robert!

    Blessings

  • Julie January 7, 2018, 10:28 am

    Prayers for Mary and her parents.
    Very helpful advice above.
    I tie prayer to specific daily tasks. Which sets a habit
    Blessings to all who visit this group of supportive and loving believers
    Please pray for my knee which is severely swollen

    • robert moeller January 7, 2018, 2:02 pm

      Prayers for your knee Julie, what can be done and what are you doing to help it? God most certainly knows of your problem, prayers lift you up. God gives us wisdom to do what we can. Hope the swelling goes down soon.

    • Marcy January 7, 2018, 4:44 pm

      Julie, praying the swelling on your knee goes down. Have you applied ice? Also, don’t ignore this for too much longer see a doctor as this could make treatment take longer.

    • Louise January 7, 2018, 8:40 pm

      Julie I pray that your knee will heal and give you some relief.

  • Julie January 7, 2018, 2:39 pm

    Thank you for your prayers, Robert.
    Your words encourage me and even help me feel better.
    I wrapped it with an ace bandage.
    When I get home I’m going to soak it in Epsom salt.
    Thank you again for your concern

    • robert moeller January 7, 2018, 3:01 pm

      Julie, those actions sound good. What about ice, cold packs, if it is swollen?
      I’m no doctor, first aid at best. Any sound medical practice to help it would be good.

  • Marcy January 7, 2018, 3:49 pm

    Oh, blessed day! Epiphany Sunday wasn’t part of the non-denominational service, but it is part of my own blessed day! This being a rehabilitation facility, I was reminded of my work as a healthcare associate, and the services are made simple. This was a husband and wife team and the people who live here permanently, have many different issues. There was a man, who just lit up the room. He speaks English and Spanish and his praise during the Spanish – speaking parts needed no translation. I reached out and held the hands of the woman across the table from me, as she shook with emotion, and then the lady next to me did the same. The message was about Nicodemus coming to see Jesus, after dark and asking about being reborn. Also, the husband’s message was about how God only cares about what is inside of us, not our outward appearance. I was moved to comfort others, making sure to look everyone in the eye and smile, as they also smiled at me and now, of course, I’m reminded of how naturally I gravitated to put forth the Spirit of our heavenly Father, just holding someone’s hand, giving them a hug, on and on. Oh how I love the Father of us all, His Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and the Holy Spirit Who indwells within us. This is only a small part of what God was doing in that room today. He was doing so much more among the believers gathered together. Jesus, I will always love You, with every breath I take. Heal me, Lord, so I can serve You in whatever capacity You have planned for me.

    My prayer practice remains a mixture of different parts. I pray for my Pastors and each of you, my siblings in God, first, as you have filled my heart to overflowing with your prayers for me. I feel them, deep in my soul, strengthening me, encouraging me to keep going, staying strong in the faith of our Father God. Then I move on to those I took care of, living or asleep, their families, my friends in faith who have passed, then intercessory prayer for all kinds of people everywhere. It takes time and dedication and I’ve actually fallen asleep and picked up wherever I left off. Yes, it’s hard to focus on some days, but this is no sin. I do my very best to be mindful of you here in the UR family and thank God every day that He led me to you. I genuinely love and care about each of us and pray prayers of gratitude and thankfulness.

    Praying for all of us to have inner peace as we deal with physical, emotional, mental and spiritual complexities, that our Savior, Jesus Christ will provide us our victory, as we believe He will. Rejoicing with those who have found the right path and are in harmony, hand in hand. Lord, we want to emulate You. Lead us in Your ways.

    Christian Love and kisses to all in the UR family and beyond, those whose prayers are unspoken, God knows your needs.

    And these three remain: Faith, Hope and Love, and the greatest of these is LOVE!

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