New every morning is your love, great God of light, and all day long you are working for good in the world. Stir up in us desire to serve you, to live peacefully with our neighbors and all your creation, and to devote each day to your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

"A Liturgy for Morning Prayer," Upper Room Worshipbook

Used by permission from the Book of Common Worship, © 2018 Westminster John Knox Press. All rights reserved. This prayer appears in “A Liturgy for Morning Prayer” in Upper Room Worshipbook.

Today’s Reflection

I ONCE WORKED with a church lay leader who had an annoying habit: He was perpetually positive. He wasn’t just happy or encouraging. He saw a bright spot no matter what, even when I didn’t always want to see one.

When I shared some tale of woe about matters in the church, he would listen and softly reply, “Ain’t it gonna be wonderful to see how the Lord works through all this? It wasn’t so much a question as a declaration. Count it every time. No matter how bad the tale, “Ain’t it gonna be wonderful. . . .” At times I could have gagged him! There’s a positive, and then there’s Pollyanna. I wanted someone who would climb down in the pit with me and agree that it’s dark and awful, rather than tell me how bright it is at the top. This man, however, didn’t linger long in unwanted places.

One day I got a call that his wife had received a diagnosis of terminal cancer. She had only a few months to live. I raced over to the house. After a lengthy visit we prayed together. There was no avoidance of reality. There was clear recognition of what this diagnosis meant. He walked me to the car. Before I got in, he turned to hug me and with tears rolling down his face said, “Ain’t it gonna be wonderful to see how the Lord works through all this?”

This true journeyman of faith lived as a pilgrim. He didn’t deny life’s challenges. He understood that no place in this life is permanent. We just have stopping places, not staying places.

– Rob Fuquay
The God We Can Know

From pages 43-44 of The God We Can Know: Exploring the ‘I Am’ Sayings of Jesus by Rob Fuquay. Copyright © 2014 by Rob Fuquay. 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 is your reaction to the man’s response to difficult times? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
James 1:27, NRSV

This Week: pray for those who are receiving cancer treatments. 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: Augustine of Hippo (August 28).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • Lou Posted August 31, 2018 2:59 am

    This same reflection was published 8/31/15. At that time my now ex husband had just announced to me that our marriage was “beyond repair”. I truly didn’t understand what he meant by that because I knew we were committed to each other for life. I have kept this reflection for the past three years and am struck by reading it once again. I want to have the pure joy and faith of this person who can look tradegy in the face and wonder how the Lord will work through it.
    The Lord has truly helped me work through this devastating time for me. And I know He is still working on me and through me. I remember how consumed and frozen with fear and disbelief and confusion I was – three years later I’m still standing- only with the help of the Lord. He has seen me through this difficult time. And He is still working on me- as I am awake at 2 am and turn to the UR email to see what He has to say to me today- I find my favorite reflection- and the four wonderful comments from some UR “regulars” that I didn’t get to read yesterday. God speaks to me here- I pray that I might hear him and have the positive attitude and response of the man in the reflection above.
    True joy comes from knowing God and that He loves us and will never leave us. When my heart rests there instead of on the struggle over earthly things and people- then I can find peace and true joy.
    Thankful for the reminder of that today and for this message.
    Peace to all today.

    • Lou Posted August 31, 2018 3:02 am

      * tragedy

  • Jill Posted August 31, 2018 3:27 am

    A few conversations in with my new friend last September – the one who also was diagnosed with PsA at my age – she said, “I can’t wait to see how God is going to use this in you life.” A few weeks later, while having a conversation with our common friend, I was telling her how much it meant that S had shared so deeply with me, without even knowing me at first. And how much her experience and advice had meant. The common friend – D – said “As much as this is helping you, it is also helping S so much.” I reflect on that often. Being able to help someone else through a similar situation. Just a week ago, I wrote both S and D a letter, reflecting back on a year ago, and how they joined me on my path. To S – I told her how grateful I was that God placed her on my path, to counsel and guide, and to share so deeply. I told her I was now longing for someone to come alongside me who could walk with me on my current path – the one with my mom. And, now, I am reflecting on this thought. What is God saying to me, by not sending that companion along? I think He might be saying – “Trust in Me. I am Your Source of strength. My Grace is sufficient.” And – I am also fully trusting that He is going to use this experience with my mom – in some way. Yes, He will.
    Lou – it is remarkable that this is the third anniversary for this writing and for your husband’s pronouncement. Indeed, God has been faithfully with you. That doesn’t mean it hasn’t been hard, maybe even crushing at times. Yet – you are a survivor…some would even say a thriver…stay the course, dear friend. He is with you and you are His.
    Grateful for long, deep sleep last evening. Need it for today – it has been a long first five day week of school. Grateful for a three day weekend. Grateful to get my appt moved up with my rheumatologist, saw her yesterday. It has been 2 months now I have been in a flare – and she prescribed me a 2 week cycle of a strong anti-inflammatory, to try to finally knock out the inflammation. My fingers have improved quite a bit – flexibility and strength wise. However, there is still noticeable swelling in the one and she is concerned about it. She also brought up the topic of changing meds. I am not feeling this at all. Until this flare, my meds have been wonderful. I sure hope this is not the route I have to go. Am hoping Fall weather comes soon, with cooler temps and less humidity – this will likely help matters, as well.

    • Lou Posted August 31, 2018 3:36 pm

      Thank you Jill – I pray for relief from your symptoms- blessings to you-

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted August 31, 2018 3:45 am

    It is good to see the good in everything.

    I know someone who lost his wedding ring. We thought he would be sad but he said, it is ok. He did not lose his wife, just the ring.

    It is amazing how we can be grateful for what we have even if we lost some things.


    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted August 31, 2018 4:08 am

      Grateful to see and hear from my ex students

      Thank you God for my ex students’ progress!

  • robert moeller Posted August 31, 2018 5:42 am

    While I don’t have a phrase I use, at least I can’t think of anything at the moment, I readily identify with the eternal optimist in this reflection. If you trust in God all will be well, it may not be what you hoped for, wanted, but with God it will be the best it could be.

    Thankful that God has seen me through another month and new resources are available Erich made it through a tough day at work, they were short handed since a person needed his appendix removed. His wife who also works there was gone to care for him. This is a busy weekend and there were seemingly endless questions from customers asking about things for which Erich had no answers. He was clearly frustrated, but ate a good supper, and watched some movies. Thankful especially today that there will be a great improvement in my finances since two debts will be paid. Thank You, Lord. Thankful for UR family prayers.

    Prayers for Jill’s hands, hope no new meds are needed, but will be thankful , that if needed, they do the job. Prayers fir Gloria and Larry, Marcy, Julie, and Mary and the challenges they face. Praying for God’s comfort, care, presence,
    healing, and guidance as God does what God does best.

    Blessings to all and my you all have a great Labor Day weekend.

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

      May God grant Erich perseverance and strength for the challenges in life and at work.


  • April Posted August 31, 2018 7:52 am

    I have 2 phrases that come to mind:
    This too shall pass.
    Offer what you can.
    Wishing everyone a blessed Labor Day weekend.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted August 31, 2018 8:26 am

      One of my favourite phrases is also ‘this too will pass” when facing difficult time.


  • Julie Posted August 31, 2018 8:06 am

    I grew up with my mother’s refrain of “life’s a b, then you die.” So life ws something difficult that one endured and the end “reward” was just death. I have not totally obliterated this mindset from my baackground voices. I always think the worst, like h just left, so I immediately think “Is he going to his divorce lawyer to begin the filing process?” He could be just going to get breakfast but I think the most dire things.
    Prayers for Lou, may she sleep better tonight.
    Prayers for Jill, may the swelling in her hands subside. Sometimes our bodies acclimate to a med and a switch is needed.
    Prayers for Mary and her joy found in her former students. It is obvious that Mary was given the gift of teaching and mentoring.
    Prayers for Robert. Prayers of thanks for resources and debts paid. Prayers for Erich, may he persevere in his new job despite trying circumstances that could not be avioded.
    Prayers for April, may she have a wonderful and safe Labor Day weekend.
    Prayers for Marcy.
    Please pray for me that I may know what to do in my very difficult and stressful situatiion.
    Prayers and blessings for all UR family

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted August 31, 2018 8:28 am

      Thanks Julie and keeping you in prayers.

      May the difficult time in your life pass soon and may your faith continue to grow despite the trials in life!


    • Andrea Posted August 31, 2018 3:10 pm

      I have you in my prayers, too, Julie. May you feel our prayers wrapping around you.

    • Lou Posted August 31, 2018 3:38 pm

      Thank you Julie
      I understand your unrest- praying for you.

      • Julie Posted August 31, 2018 6:02 pm

        Thank you so much everyone for your prayers and kind words
        I feel your love surround me with support and strength

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