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

ADORNING THE WALLS of my pastoral study are pictures of such icons as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and Malcolm X. Also included is a picture of three young people shielding themselves from authorities who are force-spraying them with fire hoses in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963. Emblazoned above the image of the three young people is COURAGE. Surely it took great courage to stand for justice in those days.

Truthfully, even today, it takes courage to stand up for justice in its various expressions: economic, educational, environmental, human rights, and the list goes on. … In reminiscing over the courage of previous generations anchored by their faith in God and in sharing these stories, I pray that we too will rise within this generation to meet the challenges of our day.

Dear God, help my generation rise to meet the challenges of our day with courage and integrity. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


From pages 25-26 of Freestyle: Reflections on Faith, Family, Justice, and Pop Culture by Michael W. Waters. Copyright © 2014 by Michael W. Waters. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Fresh Air Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Pray today’s prayer. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

The word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time, saying, “Get up, go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim to it the message that I tell you.”
Jonah 3:1-2, NRSV

This Week: Pray for compassion. 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: Anthony of Egypt (January 17).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • Jill Posted January 15, 2018 6:27 am

    O – how so many of our youth today need strong, integrity laden role models. This popped quickly to mind, surely tainted by what I see day in and day out in an inner city school. I am so concerned about the entitlement they display and their short-sightedness when it comes to work ethic and respectfulness.
    I was very encouraged recently (within the past few weeks?) by the school who was seeking male role models for children who lacked a father figure in the home…I think they were having a breakfast. And some 500-600 men from the community showed up (was this in Texas???). I do believe there is an immense space for volunteerism – but it can’t be a one time thing. Too many of these young people have had people walk in and out of their lives. We need Big Brother/Big Sister types who will commit to mentoring these young lives. The Church can certainly play a role in this.
    My folks, sister and I were together for 6+ hours yesterday, lunch and playing bridge. My parents really enjoyed it. Grateful for this. Grateful for church, the message received, the freedom to worship when, where and however I choose. Thank You, Father.

  • Trackback: Courage for Our Day – College United Methodist Church
  • Julie Posted January 15, 2018 8:07 am

    Yes, it is sad to think that after so many years, racism exists still. We see it displayed in the oval office which emboldens others to more publicly proclaim their beliefs. Until those spreading hatred are brought to justice we must at least be voices of love and acceptance.
    Today’s upper room reflection resonated with me. It regarded hardships and how they build perseverance, etc. Much pain through the years has indeed honed many of the traits Paul lists in Romans 5.
    Please know each prayer concern has been noted aand I am praying for one all
    Blessings and prayers to my fellow oasis dwellers

  • Connie Posted January 15, 2018 8:38 am

    It’s a snowy Monday. I am going to try to see the beauty in it as I did when I was younger. Pictures in my mind of my children sliding down the hill on their disks and coming in all snow-covered will be my happiness today.

    • Marcy Posted January 15, 2018 7:06 pm

      That sounds like fond and fun memories, Connie! God bless you and keep you safe and well!

  • Andrea Posted January 15, 2018 10:24 am

    It snowed all day yesterday here, too, and it was and still is lovely. I found this scripture, from Mark, capturing the snow’s great beauty:
    “Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and led them up on a high mountain apart by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His clothes became shining, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them. And Elijah appeared to them with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus.”

    I worked with innercity kids most of my career, and so many of them lived in heartbreaking circumstances. I kept the hope that their lives might be transformed at some point in their future. One never knows the seeds one plants. Jill, you sound like a very talented teacher to keep your classroom in such good order. What a blessing for those kids.

    I pray to become more patient, more centered, and more compassionate.

    Prayers for my UR friends and for the people and concerns you name here. Thank you for your prayers, dear friends.

    • Marcy Posted January 15, 2018 6:54 pm

      Andrea, what a beautiful comparison! And thank you for your work with inner city kids. They are behind the eight ball, so to speak, in so many ways. Not enough funding for their education smearing early on, quite a few are homeless with not enough to eat, don’t get enough sleep. The economic disadvantages and food deserts.

      I continue to lift you, Lowell, your daughter, son-in-law and grandson up in prayer to Jesus Christ, the Perfector and Finisher of our faith, that your daughter will relent and let you see your grandson soon. I pray also for your grandson as he recuperates from the asthma attack that landed him in the ER. Thank you for keeping me in your prayers. Much love and peace to you, Andrea.

    • robert moeller Posted January 16, 2018 4:01 am

      A wonderful post Andrea, I like your snow and Jesus’ transfiguration comparison.Prayers for your grandson, I had asthma as a kid; your daughter, her husband, Lowell and you. Glad you have internet connection with your daughter, that’s helpful, it takes some of the tension out. Very glad she and her family live closer to you. Hope you get to see your grandson soon. Keep praying, I do.

      For more than half of my teaching career I was in inner city schools. While my school was not one with the toughest kids, they were challenging to reach and teach. Even though I taught kids from different cultures while overseas, I found teaching in America more challenging. Developing a positive attitude toward education and the enabling power it has was always a goal.

  • robert moeller Posted January 15, 2018 10:29 am

    Posting later than usual, today’s reflection came when I needed to drive. Now I’m back from a good long up and down hill walk. Brisk, but beautiful this morning. Thank You, Lord.

    Erasing racism is an ongoing process, there have been huge strides as well has huge recessions. There are times when we are more aware of it. Most recently it has raised up and been a force to reckon with. Lord, help us bring Your justice to this world.

    Those of us in more dire circumstances seem to have more of the spirit than others. When we are weak, God is strong, when the devil goes low, we go high.
    Thank You, Lord, for enabling Your Word to be spread and Your work to be done.

    Prayers for and thanks to Marcy, Julie, Jill, Connie, Andrea, Mary, and Betsy for yesterday’s comprehensive posts and prayers.

    Thankful Erich is back at work, has a day off, but is scheduled for a 40 hour work week. His earnings will definitely help him make great and good progress.

    There is a Blessings Box at my church and it will go to a shelter this week.

    In my little section of the model railroad world a Saint Johnsbury & Lake Champlain (St.J&LC) combine (post office-baggage-coach) and a Canadian National café grill car are on the agenda. Not sure if I rode in this combine, but certainly rode in a St. J&LC combine as a kid. The café grill car was a signature car on the Ambassador, a train between Montreal and Boston.

    Stay warm and safe, be healthy, and abide in the Lord. Blessings to all of the UR family on a day when we remember Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted January 15, 2018 5:34 pm

      Glad to hear Erich’s progress, Robert.


    • Marcy Posted January 15, 2018 7:49 pm

      Robert, how true and discouraging it all is. Which is why I’m going to involve myself in some way, shape or form to work at getting men and women elected to office locally, statewide and nationally so that hopefully, nothing like the current state of affairs happens again. I believe people who did not vote may have learned a very hard lesson. Thank goodness, the younger generation seems to be engaged.

      Sounds like you had an invigorating walk! And I love this, “When we are weak, God is strong, when the devil goes low, we go high.”

      Good to hear Erich has recovered and is back at work. That was fast work on the Blessings Box. PTL! Did your church already have one, or the idea of one? The days kind of run together and I can’t go back and look at other days while I’m typing on my phone or I’ll lose my whole post÷

      Thank you for your prayers, Robert. And oh boy! More model train details, some completely new, I’ll be sure to space my energetic questions and not rattle them off. This is such a nice diversion for me. Robert, and brings back happy memories with my Dad. God bless you, Erich and Annaliese and am praying for relief from pain for her.

      • robert moeller Posted January 15, 2018 10:51 pm

        Marcy, I’m thankful for the very personal emails you send to different members of the UR family. Somewhat captive at the rehab you use your time and internet capability very well. You reach out and touch each of us with a warm heart. I’m very sure it is God inspired, empowered. Prayers that your treatment and situation there improves and the day comes soon when you are able to be doing more of what God calls you to do.

        The church I attend already had a box called a blessings box and it is off to a local shelter this week. The UR post and knowledge of the blessings box at church came almost at the same time.

        Thankful that you appreciate model railroading news. My Dad was into trains as a boy, met my Mom on a train, and came to see her before they were married on a train. I grew up close to one railroad and went with my Dad to see trains at two other locations in town. As a result I have been interested in trains all my life, but particularly the trains I saw or would have seen( some trains were night time) as a boy growing up in northwestern Vermont 10 miles from Canada.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted January 15, 2018 5:38 pm

    Yes, God, grant us courage and integrity to meet the challenges in our lives

    Blessings to all and have a great week ahead

    • Marcy Posted January 15, 2018 7:09 pm

      Sweet sister Mary, you are always in my prayers as you work so hard at your job teaching while taking such good care of your Dad in the hospital and your Mum at home. You are such a blessing!

      • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted January 15, 2018 8:25 pm

        Thanks Marcy for your kind comments.

        I try my best with God’s help.


  • Marcy Posted January 15, 2018 6:40 pm

    The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was one of a kind. We’ll never see another such as he. We are in great need of him now. The hatred and racism has been simmering away, I believe, for some time now, especially during the eight years we had President Barack Obama in the Oval Office. How I miss him! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not worshipping him, but I believe he’s one of the best Presidents we’ve ever had. The current administration seems to give permission to those who hate, so these people are saying what they want when they want, led by #45. So, my job is to figure out how to LOVE them, in hopes of creating compassion, goodwill, harmony and equality for everyone regardless of their attitudes. It seems we’ve lost so much ground, in such a short time and it continues getting worse daily. Father God, please heal Your people, bring us all together under Your never-ending LOVE, open closed minds, and let us love our neighbors.

    I’m so thankful to all my loving UR siblings and family for the support you provide me with daily. We are all so blessed to have one another to pray for each other, keep each other in our thoughts and to those who read only, with unspoken prayer requests, God knows your needs.

    I continue to pray for you, Jill, your parents and your sister. It sounds like you were very mindful, Jill. You must be happy your parents had such a great visit!

    Julie, I agree with you on all points you made in your post. And yes, the Upper Room fit in perfectly with today’s subject and talked about how our brokenness can make us stronger. Not only that, but there is beauty to be found, even in that which is not perfect. Thank you for your prayers, Julie. I pray for you to find relief from the pain of the sores on your hands but know you have told us the weather must get warmer. Praying nonetheless. Lucy is eating canned food like there’s no tomorrow, but at least she’s eating. I miss her so much!!

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