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Silent Prayer

Today’s Reflection

SILENT PRAYER will help you to focus clearly on God. The constant stream of thoughts that run through your mind is like [trying to herd a] hundred cats [up a hill]. At first you go chasing after them, lost in the intrigue of where they go and whether we can catch them. But the more you practice silent contemplation, the less tempted you will be by their antics. Eventually you will barely notice them at all, and when you are distracted by them, you can return more quickly to the open space of the silence where you wait for God.

– Daniel Wolpert
Leading a Life with God

From pages 54, 55 of Leading a Life with God: The Practice of Spiritual Leadership by Daniel Wolpert. Copyright © 2006 by Daniel Wolpert. 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 spend time in silent prayer? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

8But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”

Mark 8:33, NRSV

This Week: Pray for victims of gun violence. 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: Jacinta Marto, Francisco Marto, and Lucia dos Santos (February 20).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


{ 18 comments… add one }

  • Jill February 23, 2018, 2:19 am

    Yes, I spend a great deal of time in silent prayer throughout the day. When I have a moment at school I find myself doing this with much frequency. These last few days at the hospital, where time moves like sludge.
    Mom has colon cancer and will have surgery this afternoon to remove part of her colon. Additionally, there are lesions on her liver which will be biopsied as well. Wave after wave of emotions yesterday. Grateful for the care pastor from my folk’s church who came in the afternoon yesterday, spent some time in the Word and in prayer with us. He will be with us today as well.
    Father – I lift mom to You. She is so scared, so weak…I know that You are holding her – may she sense You and find comfort in You.

    • Francesca February 23, 2018, 5:40 am

      Lord, please lift up Jill’s mom in Your arms as she goes through this challenging time. Let her feel Your strength and courage. Let Your light of comfort and peace shine on the family.
      Jill, continue to have faith. Your words have encouraged and reminded me to have faith many times.

    • Betsy February 23, 2018, 7:22 am

      Praying for you and with you, Jill, as you disgest this news. You have a strength that will carry you through this. Praying for the wisdom of the doctors and treatment for your mom that will offer her healing.

    • robert moeller February 23, 2018, 7:26 am

      Prayers that there is successful surgery for your Mom, I pray that this colon cancer has been discovered early. Continued recovery for your Dad, and God’s strength for you and your sister. Prayers for your former student teacher and the school. The families, students, and teachers there need prayers. This is a very extraordinarily prayer filled Lent with lots of focus on schools in many places.

      Yes, silent prayer is very much a part of my life. I suspect this is true of the UR family.

    • Andrea February 23, 2018, 7:53 am

      Jill, my heart goes out to you, your parents and your sister and I will keep you in prayer. You are a person of deep faith and know that God will be with you every step on the path ahead. You will be strong. You are a blessing to your family and all who know you. Be sure to take in all the support that is offered and to ask for it when you need it. We here at UR will walk with you through this.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling February 23, 2018, 5:57 am

    So glad another overwhening day is over. First i was asked to take a colleague’s class cause my students were having school activities. The students in this class is totally new to me. They have many problem sums that need help to solve. The next class teacher kept sending students to me to help them with their mother tongue homework. One student has comprehension and could not read the passage. After reading for her, she still could not answer the wuestions. After explaining to her question by question, still dont know how to answer. After completing one set of homework, she told me there is another set of homework. The rest are all waiting for my help.

    It is like doing the impossible.

    May God help me!

    Blessings to all

    Please pray with me whether i should resign from this job. Thank you.

    • robert moeller February 23, 2018, 7:35 am

      Mary, this “school” seems to be in chaos and you are being asked to be the emergency rescuer. I don’t wonder why others have left. Why are parents sending their children here? Something is very wrong. Is there any unity among the teachers? Together all of you could make a difference. As it is you have no voice, no strength. What little administration there is needs to step up and improve the situation. Education does not do well in this environment.

      If no change, improvement is forthcoming, resigning for your own health is certainly an option. I pray for God’s strength and wisdom for you, the school, students, and parents.

    • Andrea February 23, 2018, 8:02 am

      Reading about your work days fills me with dismay at the impossible tasks placed on your shoulders. I will keep you in prayer, Mary. I know teaching is a demanding profession in the best of circumstances. The circumstances at your school sound like the opposite end of the spectrum. May God guide you as you contemplate what to do. Bless you for what you give of yourself to your family and your profession. Take care.

      • Mary Ng Shwu Ling February 23, 2018, 8:14 am

        Thanks Robert and Andrea.

        One of my colleagues told me today she has sent in her resignatiion and is leaving for a librarian job.

        Maybe i should also do that partly because i felt that my centre manager is not fair, keeps letting me do the dirty job and giving my malay colleagues lighter jobs cause she herself is malay.

  • Betsy February 23, 2018, 7:19 am

    It is so hard to chase all those random thoughts from my mind. Praying specifically for someone or some event often brings up other thoughts about them, but I breathe deeply and Center myself again. Silence is so rare that early morning is my best time to pray fervently and to rest on you here at the Upper Room, my oasis.

    Praying for all those affected by school violence. I’ve been so impressed with the young people of Florida who have decided to stand up for their own safety and are engaging the politicians in enacting legislation to do what is right for all our young people. “The children shall lead them.”

    • robert moeller February 23, 2018, 7:42 am

      I’m in agreement with you Betsy. Thankful for quiet, still mornings.

      The Florida students are being joined by students from around the country. They have strength they are just learning to use and they can and will bring about change. I support their efforts.

      Hope you are getting the rest you need, seek. God’s rest is very strong, but gentle.

    • Andrea February 23, 2018, 8:08 am

      I echo your thoughts. I pray for school teachers and for all school staff who work with students. I believe the gun violence is a dreadful symptom of something drastically off in our society. I pray that community and political leaders devise solutions that ameliorate the epidemic and I pray for a stronger safety net for populations at risk.

  • Julie February 23, 2018, 8:13 am

    Prayers for Jill’s mother. I pray for God to give her health care workers the knowledge and skills they need so that through them He can effect His outcome for her.
    Prayers for Mary and her work situation, though I have been praying morning, noon, and night for resolution of this situation. Thankful Robert, with his education experience, provided sound advice, as he always does.
    I, too, am heartened by the response of our youth to the recent violence against them. I am angered by local school administrators who have disciplined their students who left school to quietly protest in a public square regarding the issue. I believe their social activism should be applauded.
    Blessings and prayers for all those in this oasis of friendship and love
    Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard
    Shreya character from “Wonder”

    • Andrea February 23, 2018, 8:28 am

      Julie, i appreciate your faith- filled comments and the quotations with which you end them. I pray for you to have strength and an uplifted spirit in your difficult home situation as well as for your physical comfort. Blessings.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling February 23, 2018, 8:31 am

      Thanks Julie!

      My dad finally came back from the hospital today.

      Thank you everyone for all your prayers!

      Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

  • Andrea February 23, 2018, 8:20 am

    All my prayer is silent and I am fortunate at this stage of life to have time for it during the daytime, although sometimes it is not until I go to bed that I pray. I fall asleep praying, I pray when I awaken during the night, and I pray before getting up in the morning.

    I am thankful that my husband sounds like he is getting better. I am still in CA. I was a bit afraid to leave him but I see he takes good care of himself when I am not hovering over him and I am thankful for that.

    Rusty, it was wonderful to hear from you. Many of us have been praying for you and K and we will continue to do so. I hope you will keep us posted, as you are able, from time to time. Edy asked about you a couple months ago, wondering how you are and missing you in the Bible study group you were in with her. Blessings, Rusty and K.

  • Lou February 23, 2018, 8:36 am

    Prayers for Jill, her mother and father, and her sister- prayers for the medical staff that will take care of her mother. Being with parents in crises is difficult. May God bring you all strength and peace.
    Prayers for Mary in a very difficult job situation.
    Continued prayers for Julie, Marcy, Andrea, Betsy, Francesca, Paige, Chloe, April, Robert, Louise, Connie, and all who come to this place-
    Faith, hope and love be with you all.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling February 23, 2018, 2:58 pm

    Thanks Lou!


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