God’s PresenceNew Every Morning | May 31, 2020
Words of Hope During COVID-19
Steve Harper, author of this week’s featured book, Talking in the Dark, has been quarantined with his wife in Sevilla, Spain, during the COVID lockdown. The practice he has found most helpful is practicing the presence of God, living in the here and now, enjoying this moment.
Over the last few months, family and friends of The Upper Room have been sharing how they are creating daily life with God during these strange times. If you have found these videos to be meaningful, we invite you to subscribe to our YouTube Channel.
Christianity is not an immunization against disease; it is an insight into life when we are afflicted. We may get hurt, cry out, or become depressed. But we do this as those who believe in a God who is really present, and that our misfortunes matter to him. We cannot escape “the valley of the shadow of death” (Ps. 23:4, NIV), but we do not have to walk through it alone. For reasons we can never fully understand, God may not provide what we ask for, but God will never be absent when we ask for God’s presence.
—Steve Harper, Talking in the Dark: Praying When Life Doesn’t Make Sense (Upper Room Books, 2007)
What comfort do you find in the assurance of God’s presence? Join the conversation.
The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?
—Psalm 27:1 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
God! Please hurry to my rescue!
Yahweh, come quickly to my side!
—from Psalm 70
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
No matter what we are feeling—distress, trust, anger, or delight—we find the words of the Psalms accompany us into God’s presence. Pray with the Psalms.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
- Acts 2:1-21 or Numbers 11:24-30
- Psalm 104:24-34, 35b
- 1 Corinthians 12:3b-13
- John 20:19-23 or 7:37-39
Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.
I absolutely love this excerpt from his book. Indeed, He does not spare us from all that we ask, but He does walk along beside us through it all. I was listening to a podcast yesterday while out for my walk – and the person referenced the verse from Psalm 23…”shadow of death”. In order for there to be a shadow, there must be light. I had never thought about this, but so very true. I believe the light is Him, His Presence, His Peace. I can testify to the truth of this in my life. Praise God.
Yes, Andrea, thank you for your insights into your Twin Cities. I sense your discomfort. I find myself watching tv, the riots in various cities – hitting my state yesterday – and I finally must shut it off – because it is too much. So much wisdom is needed for local community, state and federal leaders. I pray you will be able to comfort your grandson and that your family will be out of harm’s way.
Praying, Marcy, that you will get the needed medical attention this week, and relief from the discomfort in your legs.
I can’t believe it is the last day of May. Father God – continue to protect us as we enter the summer months. Protect our families. Show us how to assist others. Lead us in Your ways.
The only way I am able to get through each day is by God’s strength. My days are fraught with stress and fear and his presence sustains me.
H threatened me today. He said he would have me commited to a mental hospital (302’d). I am going to call my lawyer tomorrow. He also said that the coronavirus is no longer here or a threat. That is why he threatened to have me commited, because I continue to insist that he keep a distance from me and I disinfect surfaces. I am frightened.
Prayers for Jill and her sensible understanding of her personal limits on news watching. May everyone be so sensible and self aware. I pray the unrest ceases and we can work together to address issues.
Prayers for Marcy, please see a doctor or go to the emergency room as early as possible on Monday. If your ankles and feet turn cold or blue please call 911. I came close to losing my leg and ended up with a PE that was also life threatening. This is nothing to take lightly.
Prayers for Andrea and her family, may they be safe amongst the unrest and may her grandson find emotional relief.
Prayers for Ally and David, may the PT and medication help David recover completely and may Ally rely on God’s presence to meet her many responsibities.
Prayers for Robert and his family and all he prays for, may all be safe and healthy.
Prayers and thank you and good health dear UR