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

Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room

WHAT JESUS WANTS for Christmas is a vacancy, an opening, some room. He can’t be crammed into my heart if I keep everything I’ve ever accumulated. I have to do some letting go; I have to begin my spring cleaning in the early days of winter. For me to say yes to Jesus, I will have to say no to a few (or many) other things. Is Jesus interested in my ability? Doesn’t he crave instead my availability? Can my prayer be listening more than talking? Dare I pray, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening”? …

Is there room in our hearts, in our lives, for Jesus to come? If we have no joy, is it because we have no room for joy? God has built a room inside each one of us, a little chapel, an inn designed for Jesus to come and reside within us. But hasn’t it become overgrown with weeds, cluttered with rubbish? The room in me seems too shabby for the splendid Lord to enter.

But no room is too shabby. Jesus was born in a frigid stall where the cattle were housed. You have the room. Take a long look at the pile of baubles and busyness and decide this is the year to “let every heart prepare him room.”

Pull down the cobwebs; wield the heavy-duty vacuum. Don’t miss your true love, your heart’s desire.

– James C. Howell
Why This Jubilee?

From pages 17-18 of Why This Jubilee? Advent Reflections on Songs of the Season by James C. Howell. Copyright © 2015 by James C. Howell. 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 are you cleaning out to make room for Christ? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.

Jeremiah 33:15, NRSV

This Week: Pray for those who are lonely. 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 an intercessory prayer ministry staffed by Christian volunteers. Submit a prayer request, and our Covenant Prayer Groups will pray for you. Visit The Living Prayer Center website.

This week we remember: John Knox (November 24).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted November 27, 2018 3:30 am

    Father God, we pray for healing if Julie’s fingers.

    Help me to declutter my heart and make room for you for nothing is more important than having you in my heart.


    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted November 27, 2018 3:32 am

      Sorry I meant healing of Julie’s fingers

  • robert moeller Posted November 27, 2018 6:03 am

    Am not sure how this fits in with making room for Jesus, but unlike other recent Giving Tuesdays this year I am able. Thank You, Lord.

    Today’s reflection is very welcome, spring cleaning in late November, an uplifting thought and possibility during many gray and overcast days. The inn of my being is open and anticipating the arrival of my Lord and Savior, Jesus, the Messiah, Emanuel. Jesus is so needed in our troubled times. Thank You, Lord for the promise of Your arrival.

    Prayers for those who are lonely. May they accept the Lord and be comforted. Thank You, Lord, for being with Gloria, Marcy, Julie and all with health and medical concerns. Prayers too for well being, peace, and consolation.

    The Lord be with you and also with you.

  • robert moeller Posted November 27, 2018 6:17 am

    Prayers for Shirley and Peggy and their prayer needs. Thankful for their sharing. God’s peace to the family of Andrea’s aunt, healing and comfort for Julie’s fingers, safety for Lou and family, help with snow at Connie’s, and God’s blessing to all.

  • Julie Posted November 27, 2018 8:16 am

    My mind immediately wentnot to material things or busyness with Christmas, but to emotioanl clutter that fills my heart. I need to rid my heart of evil thoughts and emotions and past regrets and hurts. I have had and continue to have much heartache, strife and suffering in my life. But by removng these thongs from my heart, I am allowing room for Jesus and His soothing and healing presence. I very much need to work on this.
    Prayers for Shirlee and her daughter. I am so humbled that she felt assurance that she found a compassionate and prayful group and so entrusted us with this most precious request.
    Prayers for Marcy who I fear is often alone and lonely. May her health improve.
    Prayers of thankfulness for Mary and her prayers for my fingers. May Mary’s joy bring joy to her family and coworkers.
    Prayers for Robert, Erich and Anneliese. I, too, hope to give on this day. As many of us are kitty lovers, I will share that I support The Alley Cats nonprofit. They do much for those poor kitties with no home.
    Prayers for Connie, may her health improve and may she find help to deal with the snow removal.
    Prayers for Lou and her children. I pray the plumber made quick work of the issue with her pipes.
    Prayers for Andrea and her family. Prayers for her relatives who suffered the loss of a loved one.
    Prayers for Betsy and her family, especially her daughter in law and unborn grandbaby.
    Prayers for Jill and her family. Prayers that Gloria continue to enjoy good health and spirits.
    Thank you all for your prayers for my fingers. This is one of the many thorns God has given me. I find myself remembering Paul and his affliction. I must endure until spring. They grow worse and more painful each day.
    Prayers dear UR family

  • Jill Posted November 27, 2018 8:42 am

    Wow – do I love this. Speak Lord, for Your servant is listening. This is going into my too-often neglected journal…one to savor – this time of year and every day.
    I am rarely on Facebook during the work week – but I did a drive by quickly last night and saw a post from a fellow colleague here at school. She had a really rough day yesterday. She and I are not close, but I have offered in the past for us to meet and pray on a weekly basis, but she didn’t really seem interested. She and I share a free period – so I dropped in on her this morning. I told her I saw her post and she vented a bit. Struggling with the apathy of kids and lack of support from administration. I think every teacher rues the invention of cell phones – how they are a constant thorn in our sides during the school day. She almost came to tears, but kept it together. I offered to pray with her and she took me up on it. I am grateful for the opportunity and will be praying for her throughout the day. These next four weeks have the potential to be very long in this building.
    Grateful for sharing from the heart last evening at small group. We now are on break until mid-January. Grateful for safety amidst snow and ice pellets this morning. Grateful for quietness in my room ahead of my four classes. Not my blue chair, but blessed stillness nonetheless.

  • Andrea Posted November 27, 2018 9:09 am

    My heart has accumulated some disturbance from recent large family gatherings. I pray for wisdom in processing my feelings and guidance as I move forward.

    Prayers for Julie’s hands and feet, and for her resilience and strength in the challenges she faces at home. Prayers of thankfulness for her faith. Prayers for a generous divorce settlement and good employment for her. Prayers too for Megan, may she find her way.

    Prayers for Marcy and her caregiver, Mary. May Marcy be uplifted and strengthened, may her health improve, and may needed medical resources be accessible.

    Prayers for Robert, may he be sustained in all the ways he supports others, may he be strong and healthy, may he and Erich be guided in the changes they seek to make. Prayers for Erich’s career and for Anneliese’s well-being and pain relief as well as for the sale of her condo.

    Prayers for Jill’s strength, for Gloria’s spirit to continue to be uplifted, for Larty and Becky.

    Prayers for Shirlee and her daughter. Gracious God, may they be wrapped in Your presence and grace.

    Prayers for all UR friends. May you have a blessed day.

  • Lou Posted November 27, 2018 10:09 am

    May I get rid of the “baubles and busyness” – I like that thought and I will try. I need to trust in God more and that he will always find a way. I didn’t sleep at all two nights ago during the storm- but I slept great last night and I thank you all for the prayers- there was NOTHING on my roof when I got up in the morning- I don’t understand because the thud was huge and shook the house- but nothing and no damage / thank you God- the plumber who was a new person I just selected from Yelp- was the nicest person and did a great job and was even very clean. Everything was resolved by noon.
    Thank you all so much for your prayers- I know they are minor things in the grand scheme of life but I am still adjusting to handling everything on my own and it is wearing somedays.
    But I thank you all for your prayers- I pray for each one of you as well -especially in my sleepless hours!
    The snow is beautiful today – my new house came with a longish (for me) driveway so I shoveled half and my youngest pitched in and shoveled the other half and we got it done. My son showed up after work and was surprised that there was nothing for him to shovel- I am forever grateful for their dutiful love.
    They did not see their dad at all over the holiday- even my oldest daughter did not see him. That makes me very sad. I do not understand that.
    It’s snowing lightly now – as I walk my dog I enjoy the beauty of the outdoors and thank God for the beauty that can be found after a fearful night in the storm. I pray for God to give us all strength in the midst of our storms –
    Prayers this day especially for Shirley and her daughter and Peggy.
    Prayers for all needs spoken here or unspoken and especially prayers for all who feel lonely- may they find the peace that only He can give.
    Help me to help someone else today dear Lord.

  • Andrea Posted November 27, 2018 1:53 pm

    I think of the song “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from the musical The King and I: “When you walk through a storm, hold your head up high, and don’t be afraid of the dark, At the end of the storm is a golden light, and the sweet silver song of a lark….”

    My husband saw the doctor again, today, for his sprained ankle, which was feeling worse. The doctor diagnosed either an infection or a blood clot. I ask for your prayers. Thank you, dear friends.

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