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

BEING A CHRISTIAN is not a matter of force of will; it is a moment-by-moment surrender to the Source. I, along with Bartimaeus, can only cry, “Jesus, have mercy” (Mark 10:47).

– Stephanie Ford
Kindred Souls: Connecting through Spiritual Friendship

From page 83 of Kindred Souls: Connecting through Spiritual Friendship by Stephanie Ford. Copyright © 2006 by Stephanie Ford. All rights reserved. Used by permission. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

What role does surrender play in your faith? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

In former generations this mystery was not made known to humankind, as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.

Psalm 3:5, NRSV

This Week: Pray for inner peace. 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: Simeon Stylites (January 5).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • Trackback: Jesus, Have Mercy – College United Methodist Church
  • robert moeller Posted January 4, 2018 4:45 am

    I think surrender to God is essential. Am not 100% sure I have done it, but do think I am leaning in that direction. God most certainly has helped me. One must turn to and commit to God. Grace helps us when we are unable to do it all on our own. Very thankful God is so merciful. Without God’s love, grace, and mercy we can not endure.

    We approach Epiphany. Jesus is revealed to and honored by magi, wisemen not of the Jewish faith. They come because of a revelation, are guided by a star. Jesus is honored, recognized as King of the Jews with gifts that befit a king.

    Prayers for Anneliese who went to the emergency room yesterday with sharp pain in her shoulder and neck after a tough night with little sleep. Medication did not stop the pain, but made her sleepy. No word yet on what is going on.

    Lord, we always need You. Thank You for Your ever presence.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted January 4, 2018 6:02 am

      Robert, i am keeping Anneliese in prayer.


      • robert moeller Posted January 4, 2018 7:18 am

        Anneliese is back home, has a collar on her neck and medication to stop the pain. So far the collar helps and the medication only makes her sleepy. She had severe muscle cramps in her shoulder and down her leg. Thank you for your prayers.

    • Marcy Posted January 4, 2018 10:51 am

      Robert, glad to hear Annaliese is back home and glad you had someone to take her to the ER. I’m praying for a more permanent solution for the pain she experiences. Blessings, Robert.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted January 4, 2018 6:00 am

    Yes, God, i surrender completely to you. You know i am struggling. Trying to juggle work, visiting my dad and looking out for my mum.

    Have mercy on me, Lord!

    • robert moeller Posted January 4, 2018 7:21 am

      Prayers for you Mary, you have your hands full, but in God’s hands you will be fine. Prayers your job goes well, your Dad recovers, and your Mum improves.

      • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted January 4, 2018 7:52 am

        Thanks Robert!

        You are indeed a prayer warrior!

        Praise God for you!

    • Marcy Posted January 4, 2018 10:54 am

      Mary, sweet sister, I’m praying for you as you take care of your Mother, make sure they’re taking good care of your Father in hospital and the dedication and skill you give your students daily. May God’s hands be your hands for as long as you need them. Love to you.

      • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted January 4, 2018 3:35 pm

        Thanks dear Marcy!

        I am very grateful for all your prayers and loving kindness!


  • Jill Posted January 4, 2018 6:05 am

    Force vs surrender. Hadn’t really thought of this before. Force seems aggressive, even oppressive. Surrender, to me means, letting go, allowing something to move/come over me. Giving in to, but in a positive way, as opposed to being forced into submission. Our Father doesn’t force His way on us. Rather, He graciously overwhelms us once we let Him in.
    And, yes, I have found the truth, the reality in the moment-to-moment necessity of surrender.
    I resume school Monday, as we had classes up until the Friday before Christmas. Although, many schools are closed today and tomorrow in my area due to the bitter cold. They went back yesterday and now have a few more days off. I will remain hunkered down today, with my heated blanket, cat and book nearby.
    Andrea – prayers for you as you navigate this situation with your daughter. I hope that you can find someone to “talk it out” with, but we welcome your words here. And, of course, we will hold you in prayer. Thanks for being open with us. Grateful for words of encouragement from Chloe, Julie and Marcy.

    • robert moeller Posted January 4, 2018 7:30 am

      Jill, a very helpful post explaining force vs surrender. I agree.

      Glad you have more days off, stay warm. Prayers for you, your Mom, Dad, and sister.

      Thank you Lou, it’s been a tough first few days of a new year for Anneliese.
      Grateful for a friend who took her to the ER. hope the collar and meds bring the needed relief, she’s still in my prayers.

      Prayers for your daughter who is traveling, the homeless, Mary and Jill, Andrea, Julie and Chloe and their daughters, and the entire UR family.
      Most thankful that we have this wonderful group with God leading us.

      • Marcy Posted January 4, 2018 11:04 am

        Jill, you sound so comfy. I miss Lucy, my cat terribly! I had no physical therapy yesterday again, so hopefully today will be the day! Do you have any ideas, or any vat owners here, to help me. My Pastor says she has stopped eating hard food. Should I have him get some canned food? She hasn’t seen me since December 21st and I’m worried if she keeps this up! Thank you anybody, everybody.

  • Lou Posted January 4, 2018 7:06 am

    Jesus have mercy-
    Prayers for all of those on the east coast in the storms path- especially for those traveling like my daughter and for the homeless- may they find shelter from the storm.
    Prayers for peace and mercy for those going through the storms of life- especially for Anneliese and Robert, Andrea and her family, Chloe and her family, Mary and Jill and the struggle of aging parents that need us, for Marcy and her health, for Julie and her daughter, for Connie, Francesca, Betsy, Louise and all of the faithful people who pray in this community and beyond-
    Jesus have mercy on us.

    • Marcy Posted January 4, 2018 10:49 am

      Lou, I am praying for a slow ride back home for your daughter and all the other people who are having to travel in weather they’re not used to. Even under more northerly types have difficulties unless you have 4 wheel drive and that does nothing on ice! The weather is supposed to improve in the eastern and southeastern sections of the country soon, and power outages are also being attended to, thank the good Lord. I’m also praying for the homeless, the hungry, our Veterans on the streets, those who are mentally ill and this includes our vets. Also everyone STILL dealing with home issues due to the super hurricanes, terrible storms, never-ending wildfires, earthquakes, massive flooding ruining homes and our citizens waiting so dreadfully long in PUERTO RICO.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted January 4, 2018 3:38 pm

      Thanks so much Lou for your prayers!


  • Marcy Posted January 4, 2018 7:42 am

    I can recall trying to force myself , not to believe, though I was apathetic for a time, but force acting, doing and being Christian. I knew I was a believer, but my heart didn’t match what I knew to be true in my mind. Then, as I studied the Word, read more devotionals, recalled the teachings of my youth, the examples of the faith in the elderly members of my family, it all started to slowly come together. This will continue for my natural life, at least. But I so look forward to my time with God every day, starting out with prayers in general, intercessory prayer, special prayers occasionally and my time with you, my loving UR family. Even here in rehabilitation, I’m softly awakened as early as 5 am, called by my Father and Jesus to join them, commune with them through the Holy Spirit. It’s beautiful when I cling and lean, like this, as Jill taught me. I appreciate this gift from you ever so much, Jill, (along with being happy with small steps.) But before this, all was chaos. I couldn’t slow my mind down enough to even think about surrender. Surrender? What would happen to me, what kind of fresh awfulness would descend into my life if I surrendered one iota of anything to anyone? Surely, God understood that in my particular case, surrender wasn’t safe. This is how I actually thought of our Loving, all-powerful, nothing is impossible for this God of ours. It took the complete removal of my husband from my life to banish the chaos from my life. That was November 13, 2009. From the minute he was gone, I started to regain my footing, Jesus holding my hand each step of the way. I’d been trying since January 1, 2004. Anyway, I don’t believe I’ve surrendered everything, dont know what it could be that I havent surrendered and don’t know if that’s even possible except for a smaller, rather than larger number of people. I look up to and want to learn from those who always know what to say and how to build others up, helping without giving it a second’s thought. This used to be one of God’s gifts to me. Please Lord, heal me and then tell me what you need from me. And show me what you want me to surrender. It’s Yours!

    Prayers for all who are hurting for whatever reasons, struggling physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually to overcome all and victorious in Christ Jesus. Rejoicing with all who are Loving on God, living His example to the best of our abilities ever learning His Word.

  • Betsy Posted January 4, 2018 7:51 am

    Surrendering to God is a chance to give up the control that I both crave and reject. Allowing Him to meet me in my weakness is such a feeling of release. I pray today that I can make this moment by moment decision as I go through my day.
    Praying, Robert, that Annaliese finds comfort and healing.
    Enjoy you last days before beginning school, Jill. A book, a blanket and your sweet cat sound like the perfect combination for this cold weather!
    To Andrea, Lou, Mary and all the other UR friends as well work to sureender to the Master this day.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted January 4, 2018 3:39 pm

      Thanks Betst!

      Blessi gs!

  • Julie Posted January 4, 2018 7:57 am

    I think of the surrendering that a Christian is called to do when they accept God. May I surrender myself completely to you Lord. After all, it is a mere human ilusion that we are our own anyway. God created us and we belong to Him.
    Prayers for Annaleise. Andrea, I also asked my mother regarding your issue. She is a grandmother and has and continues to babysit young children. She agreed with my advice. Good luck with whatever path you take.
    Mary and Jill, prayers for both of your parents and yourselves as well as you care for your parents and your students. Please also take care of yourselves as well or there wil be nothing to give to others.
    Prayers for your children, Lou, as they travel. Please let us know if your middle child, daughter, reaches school safely. My daughter traveled home from visiting her father’s side of the family, so I know the anxiety will be heavy on your heart until you know she is safe.
    Blessings, prayers, thanks and love to one and all, I remember each of you who post in my prayers

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted January 4, 2018 3:41 pm

      Thanks Julie!


  • Marcy Posted January 4, 2018 10:38 am

    I have surrendered all excess of what I own, all previous ideas of fashion, restaurants, and my feeling and my soul belong to God. So, I don’t have anything left. Jesus has been nudging me in the direction of social justice for years. I just kept saying, “What can I do about it, Lord?” So when I am rehabilitated, I will be working to electing men and women to local, state, and national office who will represent the poverty-stricken, like myself, who are one government program away from being on the curb. Social jus and social safety nets are needed. We are NOT a poor country. Something about nearly dying six days ago, you realize there’s important work to be done. I will work with people of any color, ethnicity or creed for their human rights to healthcare.

    Andrea, my good friend, tread slowly, carefully and thoughtfully and take time before you voice your eventual decision, as Louise suggested. I am not a mother. My friend Kathy was. She was a goid Christian womsn with very strong bekiefs in what is right and wrong. Her grandson was born January 4, 2004. Kathy’s daughter began dressing her son in girls clothing when he was two. Kathy spent lots of money starting in 2007 and time 2 1/2 yrs trying to gain custody of her grandson. Meanwhile, her daughter and son-in-law had two other children, who were fine. Who am I to say who is fine or not but don’t know how else to put it. Times, they were already a-changing and you couldn’t remove a child for these reasons alone from their parents. Kathy lost her court case, her daughter, son-in-law and grands because they were furious with her. From 2010 until 2017, Kathy begged to see her grands. But no. Last year, Kathy developed an aggressive brain cancer and was gone in under three months. She cried to me, still a strong, good Christian woman who fought to stay alive, how little she cared what that little boy wore. It just didn’t matter, compared to never seeing him again. She wished she’d never started what she started. She said God Himself had told her not to worry about her daughter’s soul. She had brain cancer, but I believe her. I knew her for 20 years, missing some time during my marriage. I’ll never, in all the days I live, will forget her plea. Don’t judge, it is God’s job. It is our job to love. And the Holy Spirit’s job to convict. (Billy Graham) It is the only reason I share her story with you. I pray your daughter will at least be assessed by mental health professionals and get the treatment she may need. I’m praying for you, Lowell, your daughter, son-in-law and grandson and am loving on you, as always, Andrea. Chloe’s idea of joining a Stephen Ministry is an excellent idea. They can be found pretty much all over. Praying also for Chloe, Lou, and Julie and their daughters. May God bring about harmony and understanding between you all. Love to you all!

  • Francesca Posted January 4, 2018 10:40 am

    I always thought of surrender as a weakness. . . a ‘giving up’. After reading this reflection and your posts I am reassured that it takes courage to surrender. It is a reminder to step out in faith. Knowing that God is with me–you–every step of the way. Thank you God and my UR family!

  • Andrea Posted January 4, 2018 11:01 am

    A heart-felt thank you, dear prayer warrior friends, for the thoughts expressed in your comments and for your prayers, which I value immensely.

    I am leaning on the Everlasting Arms and taking care of myself. I’m sitting at my sewing table, facing the window and looking out at the new snow, alight with sunshine – my instant soul-soother – with bright fabrics right in front of me.

    When I lie awake at night, I bring you to mind in prayer. When I read through comments several times a day, I pray for each of you. You all are strong and immensely important teachers, I learn from each of you. Sending loving thoughts to all.

  • Marcy Posted January 4, 2018 11:13 am

    Considering weather and all, thought I’d pray for all: Andrea, Cherie, Jill, Chloe & Paige, Ribert, Gerri, Lou, Mary, Louise, Connie, Betsy & Grace, Julie,Francesca, Pam, Ami, April, Jean, Rusty and K, Joan, Carol, Eileen, Dorothy, Holly M, Laurie, Tori, Stephen Walket, Edd and all in TN the UR family and beyond.

    And these three remain: Faith, Hope and Love, and the greatest of these is LOVE!

    • Marcy Posted January 4, 2018 12:25 pm

      Sorry for typos. Robert, for one and praying for all here in the UR family and beyond.

  • robert moeller Posted January 4, 2018 4:23 pm

    The prayer concerns here are enormous and growing. Yes, we should keep praying. It is reassuring that God can handle all of them even though we have a hard time to remember, pray for everyone by name. God knows us all by name and how many hairs are on our heads. Thank you all for your prayers.
    This is one place where spelling errors don’t bring red marks. Thank You, Lord. Blessings to all of you.

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