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 Loving the World with God: Fourth Day Living by Rebecca Bruff.

Today’s Reflection

THE BODY OF CHRIST is a community infused with God’s power by the Holy Spirit and commissioned by Jesus to love the world with God. Experiencing a community working together on behalf of others can be life-giving and life-altering. On the other hand, if community life is not carefully nurtured, participating in a mission experience may result in little more than a nice service project. Following Jesus into the world entails a journey that may take us to unfamiliar people and places and lead us to a deeper understanding of ourselves. This journey is too challenging and too important to walk alone.

—Rebecca Bruff
Loving the World with God: Fourth Day Living

From page 57 of Loving the World with God: Fourth Day Living by Rebecca Bruff. Copyright © 2014 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Where will you find community today? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.
—Romans 15:7, NRSV

This Week: pray to love others as Jesus loves. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

On March 1, 2019, the World Day of Prayer, you are invited to join the staff of The Upper Room in responding to the prayer requests submitted on The Upper Room Prayer Wall. Mark your calendar and sign up to receive updates, tips, and tools as we approach this day of prayer with prayer partners around the world. Sign up here.

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 25, 2019 3:55 am

    Right now, I receive incredible support from a few dear friends, as we traverse paths God has ordained for us. Surely not paths we would have chosen on our own. Yet, we are determined to walk them well, even though we may feel heavily burdened. I am grateful for my current “community” – I am thinking of friends in my small group who live life deeply and share unabashedly.
    When reading the excerpt above – I thought of the “community” of leaders for the young moms group. Yes, we had a purpose and we got involved in the lives of those struggling young moms. The sacrifice of time and emotions was well given, and our reward was seeing God move.
    Mom continues to present with more symptoms, more frequently. I would say there are more bad days than good right now, with much discomfort in her stomach. I encouraged them to reach out to her doctor, but they are hmming and hawing about it. I discuss it with my sister and it is just a hard thing to grasp. On the one hand, mom opted for chemo last year, when the doctor was hesitant about recommending it. And now, she won’t even reach out to the doctor to see if there is some type of relief she can get for her discomfort. I find it confounding…but nevertheless, the reality she is choosing to exist in. She is becoming “shut in” – because she doesn’t want to be away from the bathroom and the pain, at times, overcomes her. Of course, this forces dad to be “shut-in” for the most part as well. I appreciate your prayers for my mom’s comfort, for dad’s perseverance and for my ability to tend to them and love them well – so that they feel supported and loved. Thank you, UR family. You all are a treasure.

    • Betsy Posted January 25, 2019 6:47 am

      Your strong love for your parents and their well-being is strong, Jill. Your mom is hesitant to seek medical help after the attempt with chemo. That is understandable. I’m hopeful and praying that your dad can love her into seeking some help for her discomfort. Praying for you and your sister as you support your folks.

      • Andrea Posted January 25, 2019 8:28 am

        Jill, I pray for your mother and father in this difficult time, and for you and your sister. I wonder if your mother’s actions, (or non-action) are driven by fear and mistrust of doctors and cancer treatment/medications, and fear of loss of control? I recall my grandfather who died of cancer and refused treatment of any kind the last year or more of his life. For many reasons, he did not trust doctors or Western medicine, he did not want anyone messing with his body, he hated the hospital, treatments, any medication. He was fiercely independent. Your mother is blessed that you love her and your father with such devotion and are so present to them; God is surely with your mother in her suffering. God is with you, your father, and sister. I pray for your mother’s comfort and for support for all of you.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted January 25, 2019 4:07 am

    Father God, we uplift Jill and her parents into your hands. May you comfort her mum, grant her dad perseverance and Jill the ability to tend to them and love them well so that her parents feel supported and loved.


    My community consists of a few good friends and all of you here.

    Thank you for the joy of walking with me and sharing my life journey!

  • Connie Posted January 25, 2019 8:10 am

    My community was much larger a few years ago, but is somewhat limited now. However, I am thankful for every single one of them….and all of you.
    I can sympathize with Jill’s Mother. It is very hard to know what to do when you’re in that situation. I will pray for her (relief from that pain she is having) and Jill’s Dad.
    Thankful for:
    A restful sleep.
    Hope of getting out and getting some things done.
    Warmth in below zero readings.
    Mary sharing her “life journey” with us. She is loved.
    Have a blessed weekend.
    God, let the warmth of your love keep people safe in these frigid days. Amen

  • Julie Posted January 25, 2019 8:14 am

    My community is this wonderful group of supportive and insightful Christ followers. I also related last week that I reconnected with an old friend who speaks to me of Christ and her faith. I need to call her today to chat as I promised to do so weekly and I have yet to do this.
    My fingers are far worse this year than they have been in a while. Thank you for your prayers.
    Prayers for Jill, Gloria, Larry and Becky. Perhaps after the problems with the chemo our mother is reluctant to try anything else that may produce adverse effects or not work for her situation. Perhaps Larry can run short errands and meet friends for quick coffee breaks. Prayers for Gloria and her pain, I understand not wanting to go out as I feel this way now as well.
    Prayers for Betsy and her family. May Kelsey and Harrsison continue to be healthy and well and may her brother’s MS symtoms be relieved by treatment.
    Prayers for Mary and her parents, may they al be healthy and blessed.
    Prayers for Robert and Erich and may Erich start working soon.
    Prayers for Andrea and Lowell, may they be fully recovered soon.
    Prayers for Connie and her family, may they have much to be thankful for today.
    Prayers for Lou and her family, may they all continue to heal emotionaly.
    Prayers for Marcy, may her pain be less today and may she feel my love and hugs.
    Prayers dear UR family

  • lolasdad Posted January 25, 2019 9:21 am

    Prayers for my church, the united Methodist, who are voting
    on whether to marry gay.
    Prayers for those who change Gods word, the bible.
    Prayers for pastors who want to fill seats, and plates,
    in place of filling heaven.
    Prayers for those who put carnal pleasures on earth,
    before God and His word, the Bible. (i want them to be happy!)

  • robert moeller Posted January 25, 2019 9:43 am

    Thankful that Erich started work today after a call yesterday sayoing he had the job. Hopeful that this will work out and he can make the progress he wants and needs.

    The call I have has not changed, serve the church I attend, care for Anneliese and Erich, and make progress toward a move to a more helpful location. If God puts more in my path I will do my best.

    Long ago there was a tv show with Art Linkletter called “People are Funny”. As humans we don’t always follow logic, our emotions are sometimes not helpful, and we do things that aren’t always the best for us. Experiences can and do lead us astra. I pray that Gloria seeks help for the pain, it is a different issue than the chemo. There are a lot of people who don’t like, trust doctors.
    Bad results or stories don’t help.

    My Uncle Ray was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the early 90s, given 3 months, with pain medication and hospice he lived almost a year and most of that time he was able to do and see the results of the good he did for many.

    Prayers for Larry, Jill, and Becky. This is a tough valley, but God will take all of you, Gloria included, through it.

    We had a short relief from below freezing and below zero weather, am hopeful that Julie has some of that benefit as well. Thank you for your effort to pray for the UR family. Erich is at work. Prayers are answered,

    Prayers for Marcy, will be thinking of her if the weather allows me to make it to the train show on Sunday. It’s an enormous train show at the Eastern States Exposition site in West Springfield. MA with four huge buildings full of train related display, layouts, vendors, booths, just about all you might imagine.

    Thankful for the news and prayersa from Betsy, Andrea, and Connie, and prayers for all of you and those from who you pray.

    The UR is most certainly a part of my community. Blessings to you all.

    • Andrea Posted January 25, 2019 11:17 am

      God bless you for your faithful service to Erich, Anneliese, and others, Robert. I pray this new job will be good for Erich and that you and he will be guided in decisions about the future. May God renew your strength each day. I agree with your words for Jill. Palliative care, relief of discomfort and pain, is very advanced now, keeping people comfortable without side effects. I pray for Jill’s mother, that she will find her way to availing herself of comfort measures.

  • Rusty Posted January 26, 2019 3:55 am

    Lord, thank you for this loving community. The outpouring of support for one another here is truly a reflection of your everlasting love for each one of us. I am humbled to read and contemplate what these UR family members have written. You are at work in our hearts and in our lives. May each one of us – and our loved ones – know this to be true and be strengthened and comforted. Amen.

  • Mary Posted January 26, 2019 10:44 am

    Working together to help those in need, visit the lonely, homeless shelters, & Meals on wheels for elderly shut-ins. Many more things could be done, that’s just a few.

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