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

Out of Control

I’M FALLING APART TODAY; I feel out of control. My mind jumps from one thought to another like a bed full of monkeys, and I’m the one who fell off and bumped my head. I want to scream, “Mama, call the doctor,” while seriously doubting anyone can help me. A hurting soul cannot be satisfied with quick fixes. …

It is an inelegant, confusing process, this process called grief. Today I don’t feel useful anymore. I have relinquished my need to do anything purposeful, to succeed at anything, to impress anyone — including God. I must have packed my courage ad work ethic in a suitcase that got lost in the airport baggage claim.

I live with so many questions and no answers. I suppose I simply need to quit mewling, be patient with the bereavement process, and let God work out my future. But right now I just want two aspirin for my bumped head.

When feeling confused, stressed, or out of control, I go to my bedroom and sit in my overstuffed armchair. This morning I wasn’t even conscious I was doing that, and I’m not sure how long I had been sitting there. Out of habit, I reached for my Bible and my Disciple study manual and started to read. The brain fog began to lift as I read and re-read Jeremiah’s letter to the exiles in Babylon. …

That letter was for me. My future is in God’s hands; God has not forgotten me. I need to go to God in prayer again and again until my scary, out-of-control spells pass. In prayer time, something mysterious happens. God wipes away fear and brings peace to my troubled spirit.

– Nell E. Noonan
A Widow’s Prayer

From pages 41-42 of A Widow’s Prayer: Finding God’s Grace in the Days Ahead by Nell E. Noonan. Copyright © 2015 by Nell E. Noonan. 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 helps you when you experience difficulty? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Hannah made this vow: “O LORD of hosts, if only you will look on the misery of your servant, and remember me, and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a male child, then I will set him before you as a nazirite until the day of his death. He shall drink neither wine nor intoxicants, and no razor shall touch his head.”

1 Samuel 1:11 , NRSV

This Week: pray for estrange family members. 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: Gertrude the Great of Helfta (November 16).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted November 12, 2018 2:34 am

    When I experience difficulty, I cry out to God who is my ever present help. He is bigger than any problem and He is always there for me.

    Thank you God!

    Blessings to all and thank you for your prayers!

  • robert moeller Posted November 12, 2018 5:36 am

    A different title, but the same body for the reflection as I read it. Prayer, Psalms, and hymns are what I turn to when I experience difficulty. God has seen me through.

    Snow on the ground, temperatures around freezing for the next few days, winter is on the way.

    Thank you for Veterans’ Day wishes. Prayers for veterans who gave all during their service and for their families.

    Thankful for prayers for Erich, Anneliese, and me. Erich and I inch forward toward our move next year. Anneliese slowly seems to be getting the help she needs with her health and the condo sale is progressing.

    Prayers for Julie and Marcy, persistent patient prayer and God guided effort will bring you where God wants you to be. In God’s arms you are safe.

    Thankful that Jill is having safe trips and continuing favorite activities, prayers for Gloria and Larry, Jill and Becky, that many more positive days are on their way.

    Great to know that Mary’s Mum had a wonderful birthday

    I enjoyed Connie’s cozy news post, thankful for her prayers. Ice on the pond, crunchy snow underfoot, and softly falling flakes now and then, but it’s warm inside.

    Shared weather with Andrea and possibly Lou too.

    A remembered day approaches.

    Have the base for the smokebox door and work is proceeding to model the one that goes on the Bismarck. Thankfully this is a simple design.

    Most definitely prayers for estranged family members.

    Thankful that confidence to bake Mom’s Hermit cookies has returned after baking two batches with a baker from church.

    Prayers for all the UR family, God is with us always. Thank You, Lord.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted November 12, 2018 7:58 am

      Thanks Robert!

      May your move be a smooth transition with God’s blessings for a better life and better job for Erich!

    • Julie Posted November 12, 2018 8:16 am

      Thank you again, Robert, for your service. Thank you to all Veteran’s today. Because of your sacrifice we live in a free country and may join together here to worship our Lord.

  • Andrea Posted November 12, 2018 6:21 am

    I have experienced “out-of-control” periods in my life, most recently before and after my mother’s death. For me, “out-of-control” is not being able to structure my day, feeling paralyzed. I cling to prayer during those times. I still have days in which I get very little accomplished, as though my will does not connect to motivation. It is good to have a Lectio Divina passage to recite inwardly.

    Prayers for Mary, that she is enjoying her new job, and for her parents. Prayer for Robert and Erich as they plan the big transition to a new state, and for Anneliese. Prayers for all UR friends, I hold you all so close to my heart. Prayers for estranged family members; my husband and I will be celebrating Thanksgiving with my siblings this year, the first holiday celebration with them in five years, and I ask for your prayers.



    Yesterday, I performed with a bell choir at a small church about 15 miles from home. I get such joy from music.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted November 12, 2018 7:55 am

      Thanks dear Andrea!

      So glad to hear that you are enjoying your music ministry.

      May God bless your ministry abundantly!

  • Betsy Posted November 12, 2018 6:53 am

    I haven’t receive posts from UR Devotional in the past few days, so I’m feeling a little disconnected. Don’t know why. Like Andrea, I’ve felt out of control and lost from God after the loss of loved ones. Christian friends were a great help, and reading my Bible, especially the Gospels and Psalms helped.

    As the holidays approach, I pray for family members that are estranged. My siblings and I will all be traveling to a family wedding next weekend. It will be both a joyous occasion and a stressful one. This is my sister Grace’s son who is marrying. Grace lost her husband last summer, so it will be bittersweet for her. Praying that families can all put aside differences as they join together during the holidays.

    Andrea, so glad you were able to bring music to the worship service through you bell choir. Robert, prayers for your continued work with Erich. You are such a support and strength for him. Safe travels for Jill and continued success for Mary’s job.

    Winter is also setting in here in the heartland. Freezing temperatures tonight and chilly days ahead. Blessings to all

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted November 12, 2018 7:53 am

      Thanks dear Betsy!

      May you and your family have a safe and good trip!


  • Julie Posted November 12, 2018 8:13 am

    I, like Betsy, did not receive yesterday’s reflection and have not been able to find it using several methods of retrieval.
    I related when we first commented on this passage that I turn to several scripture verses. One is Jeremiah and another is 2 Timothy 1:7.
    Prayers for Mary and her family. Thankful for Nary’s joy and her parents continued good health.
    Prayers for Robert and Erich. Prayers for Erich and his new job and Robert and his cookie baking. Prayers for Anneliese.
    Prayers for Andrea and her bell ringing success.
    Prayers for Betsy. Prayers for safe travel and a joy filled celebration. Prayers for Grace and her family on the wedding day. May they feel the presence of loved ones past.
    Prayers for Jill and her family and continued sharing of good times.
    Prayers for Connie and her family as cold weather approaches.
    Prayers for Marcy. May her help arrive today and may her pain be less.
    Thank you for your prayers, they help me cope with my situation.
    Prayers dear UR faithful

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted November 12, 2018 6:49 pm

      Thanks Julie!

      May you have a blessed week ahead filled with love, joy and peace!

  • Connie Posted November 12, 2018 8:46 am

    Never could receive yesterday’s Reflection…it leaves an “undone day”. Sometimes when I experience difficulty, I kind of shut down…freeze, but it passes.
    Thankful for:
    Everyone’s posts.
    Love to all as we start the new week. God is with us.

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