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

THE TIME-TESTED PRACTICE of journaling is a discipline of the mind as well as the body. Just writing something down often provides immediate relief, especially if we allow the words to move from our minds down the arm to the page without passing by that pesky editor who lives in our heads.

Think of journaling as a kind of divine flow chart, with feelings moving from the head to the heart to the paper. In spiritual journaling, the inner critic needs to be fired — you know, the one who says, “That’s not a complete sentence. Did you spell that correctly? What will people think if they read this? Surely you don’t mean that! Are you nuts?”

Over time, a kind of spontaneous conversation develops on the pages. New thoughts bubble up. Solutions and insights appear. God guides us through the unfettered expressions of the soul as we write those longings on paper.

– Linda Douty
Praying in the Messiness of Life

From page 48 of Praying in the Messiness of Life: 7 Ways to Renew Your Relationship with God by Linda Douty. Copyright © 2011 by Linda Douty. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

If you journal, what advice would you give someone who is starting? If not, what do you want to know about journaling? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers; but their delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law they meditate day and night.

Psalm 1:1-2, NRSV

This Week: pray for people with chronic illnesses. 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: John Chrysostom (September 13).

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 September 12, 2018 5:38 am

    Grateful for the joy of journaling and also the joy of collecting journal.


  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted September 12, 2018 5:39 am

    Collecting journals

  • Carol Posted September 12, 2018 6:31 am

    How do you start and what do you write down

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted September 12, 2018 8:33 am

      I start with things I am grateful for and I write daily about my work, relationships, or what new Washi tape projects, movies, new discoveries, anything that I feel like writing, even a prayer or poem, a quote, illustration, etc

  • Jill Posted September 12, 2018 6:52 am

    As yet, I have been unable to sustain a consistent discipline of journaling. I do find it helpful, but obviously not enough to do it on a consistent basis. It was much easier in the summer, when I had a greater expanse of time. During the school year, it isn’t something I am faithfully committed to.
    I appreciate prayers lifted from this faithful group – both for my mom and for the family who lost their daughter.
    Prayers for wise choices to be made for those in the path of the hurricane. May the rescue workers have safety and strength as they put themselves in peril to assist others.

    • Marcy Posted September 12, 2018 6:50 pm

      Hi Jill, I’m so sorry to hear of the passing of the family who lost their daughter in an accident recently. I am praying for them. Your Mom remains in my prayers and I hope the new medication is helpful, if she has decided to try it. You and your family are in my prayers. Sending Love to you!

  • Betsy Posted September 12, 2018 7:11 am

    I also try to be faithful to daily journaling, but often fall short. I have no real guidelines. I will list any prayer concerns and requests both here and from friends and family. I also write Bible verses or scripture that I read that speak to me and why. I also will write down quotes from devotions (many from here) that I want to remember. I don’t feel there is a right way or wrong way to use a journal. Let it be an extension of your quiet time. Hope this helps, Connie.
    Jill, I’m keeping your mom and family near my heart and in my prayers. Has she returned for another doctor visit since deciding to forgo treatment?
    I’m sorry to hear of the explosion so close to you, Marcy. Keeping those in the path of the hurricane in my prayers, especially first responders. I’ve seen this morning that the path of the storm has veered south, possibly impacting South Carolina worse. My brother in law and his family live on the SC coast.
    Grateful for the beginning of my BSF group this morning. Praying that the ladies who are placed in our group will bond as we read and discuss God’s word.

    • Marcy Posted September 12, 2018 6:54 pm

      Hi Betsy, it is Julie who lives near the site of the location of the explosion and I, too, am thankful she is okay! Thank you, for your thoughtful comments! Keeping you and yours in my my prayers!

    • Marcy Posted September 12, 2018 6:57 pm

      Oops! Just read Julie’s comment again and see her correction. Sorry! The thoughts remain the same, though!

  • Julie Posted September 12, 2018 8:01 am

    I once faithfully journaled daily but have not done so in many years. Have tried to begin many times and haave not been able to be consistent. When I did journal it was much like that described in the reflection.
    Prayers for Mary, I, too, enjoy buying the journals, now I just need to use them.
    Prayers for Jill and her students and her family. I understand life’s busy-ness preventing journaling as that is what happens to me. Prayers that your mother’s scan reveals good news and that her depression eases.
    Prayers for Betsy and heer family. The explosion was near me and it was caused by shifting ground under the pipeline. Those near the pipeline ar now fearful of another explosion occurring and are seeking answers.
    Prayers for Carol and a hearty UR welcome.
    Prayers that Marcy slept better last night.
    Prayers are appeciated for my continued job hunt and uncertain home life. I pray to follow where God is leading me.
    Prayers for the UR family members

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted September 12, 2018 8:35 am

      Thanks dear Julie!

      I also use my journals for prayers and to keep others in prayer

      One keep one for morning pages too

    • Marcy Posted September 12, 2018 7:01 pm

      Hi Julie, I got a little better sleep, but kept waking to not so great dreams. I continue to keep you and your daughter in my prayers! I’m rooting for you! Sending Love to you!

  • robert moeller Posted September 12, 2018 8:36 am

    Didn’t start journaling until I started posting here at the UR. Have seen positives from others as well as in my own experience from doing it. Thankful that I learned of this. It’s one of the many blessings that come from sharing with fellow Christians.

    Thankful for medicine to help my son with allergies, that we can go on a trip together today, that there are resources that make life possible, prayers for all of te UR family, that your needs are met. There will be more from me later in the day. Thank You Lord for your blessings, help, love, mercy, and grace. Most of all thank You for saving us by sending Your Son, Jesus, to atone for us. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

    • Marcy Posted September 12, 2018 7:09 pm

      Hi Robert, good news on the Erich’s allergy medication! I keep you and Erich in my prayers as you form your plans for the future. Waiting is hard, and often not in our control, but knowledge is gained Also keeping Annaliese and all your family and church members in my prayers. Thank you for your perspectives and Spirit-filled words!

  • Margaret J. Vann Posted September 12, 2018 9:34 am

    If you are a beginner at journaling, begin easy. Date your comments; have a separate book just for the journal; keep it by your devotional materials; and if you aren’t sure what to write, begin with a favorite scripture or quotation or something from your devotional materials. You can ponder and write your reflection. I often add a prayer about something I am concerned about: a loved one’s illness, war, etc. The process becomes a dialog with God.

  • Jim Washburn Posted September 12, 2018 10:14 am

    Just write what you are feeling!! When we lost our 22 year old son!! The only way I could keep from losing myself in shock, anger, extreme sadness, and questioning faith was to write down my secret feelings and thoughts. I felt immediate relief and a strong desire to turn that loss into a narrative to myself and God of my recollections of the events and thoughts and memories of my beloved son, Bryan!! That I’ve read once shared with my wife and best friend, and stored away in secret!!

  • Marcy Posted September 12, 2018 7:40 pm

    I used to journal every day much more than I can now because of the RA. Some days it’s difficult to write out a check and address an envelope! Hope to go back to journaling again one day if I can get a computer. I have dozens of them already filled. I’m running low on space on my phone, but type some thoughts, Scriptures and prayers on it for now.

    Hello to Margaret and Jim, and thank you
    for the journal ideas!

    When the nice woman from HHS came yesterday, we discovered I’m now too old for the program. I cried a bit, apologized and thanked her for the work she performs. I am now waiting on a scheduling call from the Social Services Agency, part of the Dept. of Aging. Sigh! Hopefully, it won’t be that long, as that’s what I was told today. However, I continue to pray patiently for God’s will to be done, as all is in His hands.

    I am keeping Mary, Lou, Connie, Andrea, Louise, Francesca, Carol, Pam, Gail, April, Tina, Rusty and K in my prayers, as well as all the names I’ve written down and those who read the UR Reflections whose names I don’t know but are known by God. Praying vigilantly for those in the path of the hurricanes, and for first responders of all kinds, including support groups.

    Trying to keep it shorter; obviously a work in progress!

    And these three remain: Faith, Hope and Love, and the greatest of these is LOVE! Sending Love to all! May God bless us and protect us all!

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted September 12, 2018 11:50 pm

      Thanks dear Marcy.

      May you be filled with love, joy and peace!


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