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

I AM A NIGHT OWL. I love the dark hours. Periodically I work on going to bed earlier, but it feels like entering alien territory, trying to make sense of a landscape and a language that I have a hard time fathoming. A friend, knowing my dark ways, once asked me, “So what do you do at night?” . . . “I read,” I told him, “or perhaps write, or pray, or soak up the quiet, or unwind in front of the TV.” I take time to gather up the threads of the day; it is a period in which interruptions are rare and intrusions are few, a space where my soul can catch up with me. . . .

Perhaps because my path in life has taken some unusual turns, I have become fairly adept at living with a sense of unknowing. I have had plenty of occasion to develop skills that help keep me grounded as the conundrums of my life unfold. . . .

It is one thing to live with the mysteries that attend our human lives, to enter into the rhythms of the sometimes strange ways that God works with us. The older I get, the more I think of God as the Ancient of Days, the Holy One of the Long Haul, who seems so deeply fond of working things out over vast expanses of time. This aspect of God calls us to trust, to step out without seeing what’s ahead.

It is another thing, however, to allow the shadows to enthrall us. Mystery has its own enchantments; without spiritual practices and habits of discernment to ground us, those enchantments can lull us into becoming overly comfortable with the shadows and the places of unknowing that we find in our journeys. If I’m willing to live in a ceaseless process of discernment that never leads to action, if I cannot see a place of brokenness in my own soul or in the soul of the world, then I don’t have to do anything about it. That’s called denial.


May you have the courage
to turn your face to the God
who meets you in darkness
and in daylight.

– Jan L. Richardson
In the Sanctuary of Women

From pages 195-197 of In the Sanctuary of Women: A Companion for Reflection & Prayer by Jan L. Richardson. Copyright © 2010 by Jan L. Richardson. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Pray today’s blessing. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers who eat up my people as they eat bread, and do not call upon the LORD?

Psalm 14:4 NRSV

This Week: pray for the mind of Christ. 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: Mary Magdalene (July 22).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • Jill Posted July 25, 2018 4:07 am

    Yes, Father – You meet us where we are, because You are the Author of our paths, ready to lead us when we extend our hands.
    No one would confuse me with a night owl. And, usually I fall asleep rather quickly, once I hit “the feathers” (as my friend would say). However, I was awake quite a while last night. This morning, I was thinking about lying awake last night and realized that my thoughts were calmer and quieter than usual. These past few months, there have been times of insomnia and my mind was busy with thoughts of mom. But, I noticed this morning, that wasn’t so much the case. Wondering if I am settling into our “new normal”.
    I am heading to the mountains for a week – hoping to clear more head space, see God in the majesty of His creation of the wondrous Rocky Mountains. It has been 3 years since I was last out west, gazing at snow capped mountains. This trip takes me to Colorado, to an area I have never visited. My traveling companion and I are going to keep it low key – some hiking, good eats, and shopping through some ski towns. Looking forward to being outdoors, soaking up cool, dry mountain air and simply being someplace “other”.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted July 25, 2018 9:47 am

      Jill, may you have a refreshing time and be recharged.


    • Marcy Posted July 25, 2018 3:57 pm

      Jill, I’m so glad to hear of the calmness God has provided you and this wonderful trip you are embarking on soon! Praise God! As always, you, your Mom and Dad, your sister Becky and her family and Roger, remain in my daily prayers! Sending Love and travel mercies to you and your companion!

  • robert moeller Posted July 25, 2018 5:57 am

    I pray for a safe trip and “more clear head space” for Jill. Not the Rocky Mountains, but the Green Mountains do the same for me.

    I pray that we have the mind of Christ. How helpful that would be.

    Still not getting comments forwarded. Hoping for restored email connection to Anneliese as well, called and left a message when there was no answer, also sent a letter. Continue to forward reflections.

    Not a night owl by purpose, I do spend time awake a night. I just wake up and it takes a little time before I’m sleepy again. Sometimes Pearl wakes me up.
    Many of the activities the reflection writer describes are part of my “awake” time. The advantages of this quiet time are also correctly described.

    Thankful for this day, food from the garden, progress with my model, and
    some more rain on the way.

    Prayers for Marcy’s health and well being, Gloria and Larry, Becky and Jill,
    Julie and her daughter, Lou and her family, Mary, her parents and school,
    Andrea, Father Erwin, Lowell, Andrea’s daughter, grandson, and son-in-law;
    Connie and her husband, Rusty and K, and all the UR readers, visitors, and posters. God’s blessing on all of you.

    • Marcy Posted July 25, 2018 4:08 pm

      Robert, I am always thankful to read your comments, especially the last week! You are filled with the Spirit when you write, a gift from God! I’m happy to hear your railroad models are coming along nicely, what a great hobby, way above my scant knowledge. I do enjoy hearing about them and looking up different model info and places you speak of. I continue to keep you, Erich, your daughter and her family, Annaliese, your church members and Pearl in my prayers. I have ran across some writings on late comers and even last minute acceptance of God by different writers and immediately thought of Erich. I’m not sure how you feel about this, but I was comforted reading these articles for family members who have stopped or never did believe. Our God is a Loving God and Jesus’ Love knows no bounds, so I’m encouraged. Sending Love and God’s blessings to you and your loved ones!

  • Betsy Posted July 25, 2018 6:55 am

    I am more a lark (the term for an early riser) than a night owl. If I do wait through the night, I usually am burdened by racing thoughts and worries. I hope that I’m turned toward God in the quiet moments whether morning or late night.

    Safe travels to you, Jill, as you travel to the mountains. May you find peace and rest. Resting this week on the scripture Isaiah 45:3 as I turn to God in prayer.

    • Connie Posted July 25, 2018 8:32 am

      Thanks for sharing the scripture.

    • Marcy Posted July 25, 2018 4:17 pm

      Betsy, I’m praying that you get all the sleep you need! I know all too well about sleeplessness. I’ve been trying to re-memorize Psalm 91. I used to know it by heart along with 1 Corinthians 13. Psalm 91 and so many other Psalms are strong reminders of God’s all-powerful words of inspiration and Love. I’m keeping you and your family, Grace, and your daughter’s Boxer, Leo, in my prayers. My orange tabby, Lucy, is my therapy cat. Sending Love (and Zzzzz) to you!

  • Julie Posted July 25, 2018 8:01 am

    Prayers for Jill and safe travel.
    Prayers for Robert and reestablishment of computer communication.
    I am an early to bed early to rise person. I am awake at the same time every day. I enjoy the quiet aand the tiime alone.
    Good doctor appointment yesterday and he will sign the surgery consent form. So Monday I lose more finger.
    I believe God has placed something in my heart. It would be a very large undertaking and I am wrestling with this idea. I will give some details each day as I seek your wise counsel.
    Blessings and prayers for each and every member of the UR family

    • Marcy Posted July 25, 2018 4:28 pm

      Julie, I’m praying for you each day and will keep praying for you as you have your surgery on your finger. I am praying, as I hear about the large undertaking you are considering. I continue to keep you, your daughter, your Mom and Chai and Tazzie in my prayers. Lucy, my orange tabby, has been such a blessing, as my therapy cat! But I think that all my cats have been therapeutic for me as I look back. Whiskey (short for Whiskers), Max (short for Maximillian), Smokey (brought home on a trip through the Smokey Mountains), Alexis, Trevor McGee, Travis, Pretty Girl, Little Guy, and now Lucy. I am grateful for your acceptance, Julie, right from the start! Sending Love and hugs to you!

    • Marcy Posted July 25, 2018 4:30 pm

      Also, love hearing about your kitties, Julie! Another favorite subject for me!

  • Connie Posted July 25, 2018 8:28 am

    I am an “early bird”-definitely not a “night owl”. However, I used to get up ready to take on the day, but not so much lately. I hope that improves, but I try to go with the “ebb and flow” as I greet each God-given day.
    May Jill have a relaxing trip-a much-needed respite that restores her body and soul.
    Will be thinking of Julie on Monday.

    • Marcy Posted July 25, 2018 4:36 pm

      Connie, I used to be up at 5am automatically each morning. It’s a bit later now, but I would like to hit the day running again, too! I pray we both get back to “normal,” as we pray patiently to God for His healing. I keep you and your husband in my prayers every day. I am encouraged to be brave by your comments. Thank you, sister Connie!

    • Marcy Posted July 25, 2018 4:41 pm

      Connie, sending Love and Light to you today and every day!

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted July 25, 2018 9:54 am

    I wake up early even on public holidays.

    May we all have the mind of Christ!

    May Julie have a speedy recovery and the joy of being in God’s presence daily!

    • Marcy Posted July 25, 2018 4:39 pm

      Sweet sister Mary, I’m thankful that you are here among us, with your bright comments! I continue to keep you, your parents, your sister, your students and colleagues in my prayers!

  • Marcy Posted July 25, 2018 5:07 pm

    I pray for the mind of Christ as much as I can! Oh, to have the mind of Jesus, and all it entails! I have copied down today’s blessing from Jan Richardson and will keep it near to pray. I am thankful for the UR Audio Lectio, a weekly meditation on the Word.

    I am thankful to each member of my siblings and friends here in the UR family. Robert, Julie, thank you for your prayers and thank you to everyone who prays for me. I suffered a six day migraine, with the accompanying extreme pain, vertigo, super sensitivity to light and sound, vision problems, nearly non-stop nausea and sleeplessness. I prayed for each of you, and prayed for relief, throughout the days, in dark silence. This helps getting through each minute. I have an appointment with the neurologist Friday morning, a ride there and back and just pray another migraine doesn’t hit before then. I’m unable to walk due to the vertigo, everything tilted and little to no balance. Fear has crept in and I go to God often.

    Andrea, you and Lowell, your daughter, son-in-law and grandson and all your loved ones are in my prayers. Lou, you and your children, and your family remain in my prayers. I’m praying for Francesca, Pamela, April, Rusty and K, Carol and Robin, Chloe and Paige, all the gentlemen who comment here occassionally and everyone who visits the UR Reflections. Our Father knows your needs and concerns.

    I pray I haven’t forgotten anyone in prayer. I do my best to be mindful, always, and speak from my heart, sincerely, in the way the Holy Spirit guides me. To God be the glory! He is mighty to save!

    As always–
    And these three remain: Faith, Hope and Love, and the greatest of these is LOVE! Thank you, Father, Abba!

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted July 26, 2018 8:44 am

      Thank you dear Marcy for your prayers.

      May God’s presence always be with you so that you will be filled with His love, joy and peace!

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