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.

This week, Upper Room Daily Reflections features excerpts from One Breath at a Time by J. Dana Trent.

Today’s Reflection

A DEVOTIONAL MEDITATION practice is one that focuses on God through adoration—love and respect—as well as gratitude, reverence, and veneration. We already practice devotion to God through our worship experiences in our own faith communities. Devotional meditation uses scripture, prayer, mantras, hymns, and Taizé songs to offer humble obeisance to God.

Why do we need a devotional meditation practice? Because most of our thoughts and actions revolve around us. Devotion helps us recalibrate ourselves toward God, who is our rightful Center. It helps us engage in the contemplative practice of theoria (“gazing”). When God is our North Star, we can more easily calm our minds and draw nearer to our Creator. In doing so, we become attuned to God’s voice and will for our lives. There’s no shortage of ways to do this, but here are some examples of devotional meditation.

—J. Dana Trent
One Breath at a Time: A Skeptic’s Guide to Christian Meditation

From page 82 of One Breath at a Time: A Skeptic’s Guide to Christian Meditation by J. Dana Trent. Copyright © 2018 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

What does it mean to be devoted? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’
—Mark 12:30, NRSV

This Week: Give thanks to God for giving you the breath of life. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

Practice seeing blessings all around you! Upper Room Books author Beth A. Richardson invites us to practice the Celtic way of seeing God in everyday life. Receive 20% off of the eCourse Christ Beside Me, Christ Within Me: Celtic Blessings.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.

Sponsored by The Upper Room. Copyright © 2019 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA


  • Jill Posted January 17, 2019 3:46 am

    Devotion, to me, must involve intentionality. I can so easily exist on auto-pilot. But, devotion is intentionally giving my attention, my passion. An essential outcome of devotion is obedience. How patient God is with me. For my obedience isn’t always congruent with the level of devotion I intend. Father, take me deeper.
    Well – my morning run yesterday was very short as I quickly found out the roads were very icy. I ended up on my elliptical – which I do not like. Will try again this morning, a bit colder, but better than a second consecutive day on the elliptical. Grateful to make it to school safely yesterday morning. There were schools closed in my area, but not mine.
    A four day weekend ahead, with a significant snow storm forecasted for Saturday. I am looking forward to being house-bound on Saturday. Hopeful that roads will be ok on Sunday, as that is the first meeting of the cancer support group at the church nearer to me.

  • Rusty Posted January 17, 2019 5:41 am

    Jill, prayers for you and your family and that the Sunday support group meeting will provide comfort and encouragement. Thank you for all you do for your Mom and Dad.

    I’m surprised to realize through this reading that I’ve never carefully thought about the meaning of the word devotion in the context of devotional prayer and study. I’ve always had the sense that “devotionals” that I read, for example, in my men’s devotional Bible, were for my benefit and growth. Someone else helping me to have a better Christian life. How humbling to realize that somewhere In that I lost the true and rightful focus of devotional reading — to make me a more devoted worshipper of God. Thank you, Lord, for providing me this simple reminder. “Devotionals” should be about my devotion to you! Amen.

  • robert moeller Posted January 17, 2019 7:13 am

    I think devoted involves commitment that doesn’t give up, is lasting, enduring. Here on earth is is often used with parents, especially mothers to their children, with those concentrating on their studies, work, or ethic.
    Spiritually being devoted to God is the ultimate devotion for we owe our livs to God.

    Thankful to report that Arnolds had successful surgery on Monday and is at home resting. Thank You, Lord.

    Hopefully the paperwork mixup relating to Erich’s job will be resolved soon and he can go to work. He filled out the paperwork, once at home, and again at the job site. Had a confirmation email from the at home transmission. Received a phone call yesterday, the problem is being worked on.

    The long awaited condo closing is coming up soon. That will be a great help.

    Prayers for safe travel for everyone affected by the ice and snow now and upcoming.

    Thank you Jill and Rusty for helpful informative perspectives on devotion.
    I agree with them. I think when we become believers our sense and practice of devotion to God begins. We do what we do because we are or are trying to be
    devoted followers of Christ.

    Prayers that the predicted snow storm does not prevent the first meeting of the cancer support group that Jill and her Mom want to attend.

    Amazing the size of this snow storm and the area that it covers. Prayers for safety.

    Prayers for Joan Duffy as her time with us ends.Thankful that there is life everlasting with the Lord.

    Prayers for Marcy and Mary, Julie, and all who have health issues. Thankful that God is with all of us always.

    God’s peace to all of the UR family and the world. Thank You, Lord.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted January 17, 2019 7:19 am

    To be devoted simply means to be committed. When we love God, we are committed to Him.

    Thank you God for giving us the breath of life. May we be devoted to you and become attuned to your voice and will for our lives.


    May all be well and be in the center of God’s will!

  • Julie Posted January 17, 2019 8:14 am

    I agree with everyone’s posts. I thought right away that the scripture following the reflection succinctly describes devotion to God. This week has shown me how far I still need to go in deepening my worship practices.
    I, too, will be dealing with the big storm this weekend. Unfortunately, staying home is not an option. Prayers for all who will be in the path of this storm.
    Prayers for Jill and prayers that Gloria and Larry attend the support group meeting.
    Prayers for Rusty and his realization which is similar to mine regarding devotions.
    Prayers for Robert and Erich, may the paperwork snafu be resolved quickly so that Erich can begin working.
    Prayers for Mary and her family and their joy in one another.
    Prayers for Connie and her family and her example of gratitude.
    Prayers for Lou and her children, may her stress be less.
    Prayers for Andrea and Lowell and their physical therapists who are working as God’s healing hands.
    Prayers for Betsy and Kelsey. May Betsy have safe travel and may Kelsey have a safe delivery.
    Prayers for Marcy and Lucy, may they be safe and well.
    Thank you for your prayers, the weather is wreaking havoc with my fingers and toes. I had the pleasure of talking to an old friend yesterday for the first time in years. She was a christian mentor to me and she picked up right where we left off. She is a warm and loving friend and I thank God for her.
    Prayers dear UR family

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted January 17, 2019 8:34 am

      Thank you Julie for all your prayers!

      May God bless and keep you safe!


  • Connie Posted January 17, 2019 9:01 am

    I love the words “Devoted” and “Beloved”. I am completely devoted to God and my family. They are beloved to me.
    Slippery, slippery……I guess another day inside. My errands will have to wait. Take care, friends.
    I love Robert’s description of devoted. I also have many who receive my “unconditional” love.
    I laughed at myself when I read Jill ended up on her elliptical, for a second I forgot it was a form of machine!

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *