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

WE NEED TO REDEVELOP our view of friendship and its purposes. In our culture, a friend is someone you enjoy doing things with, or perhaps someone with whom you share your troubles. But history bears witness to other kinds of friendship. In the 1930s, an impressive group of men began to meet in Oxford. C.S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, Owen Barfield, and others, called themselves the “Inklings.” They talked politics and religion, and read aloud what they were working on. Just imagine: a group of young men hearing Tolkien read the rough draft of The Lord of the Rings and Lewis trying out segments of The Screwtape Letters! The criterion for being in the Inklings was simply this: Do you care about the truth? Members did not need to agree on the answers, but had to be passionate about the questions. Such a company of friends can be something like a school of virtue, in which we test our theories and practice doing good. …

Within the body of Christ we need to be intentional about the seed we sow, about how our behavior with friends should be preparing us for service out in the world. We need each other to draw us out of our self-centeredness. We need others to hold us accountable, to be like a mirror to help us see our lives and our doing in our faith more clearly. We need each other for mutual encouragement, to push further into serving the world than we might if left alone.

– James C. Howell
Yours Are the Hands of Christ

From pages 112-113 of Yours Are the Hands of Christ: The Practice of Faith by James C. Howell. Copyright © 1998 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

Are you or have you been a part of a group described above? If so, how did being a part of the group affect your spiritual life? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.”

Mark 9:35, NRSV

This Week: pray for those who affected by natural disasters. 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: Hildegard of Bingen (September 17).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • robert moeller Posted September 21, 2018 5:07 am

    I’ve only been a somewhat similar group. The Men’s Breakfast at my last church worked to help people with the funds we raised or the work we did.

    Thankful for a great trip to see my sister. Did quite a few things: looked at and sorted pictures, had the oil changed on the car, took a 2 mile walk, got gas, went food shopping at a Korean grocery store and German butcher shop, watched a movie, picked up some tin snips, and had great meals.

    Glad to be home, things to do here too.

    Prayers for all affected by Florence in any way and others around the world dealing with natural disasters. Thankful for UR prayers for all who come to the UR and everyone connected to them.

    Have to catch up on the posts of the last two days, blessings to all.

  • Jill Posted September 21, 2018 6:58 am

    I feel like some of the women at my new church have this capability – to delve deeply, to listen well, to guide and counsel. I look forward to building stronger relationships with these treasured women. Again, so grateful to God for leading me to this church.
    Grateful for today being the last day of my work week. It has been hectic and long, and God has sustained me. Grateful an appointment has been scheduled with mom to meet with the psychologist at the cancer center…October 1. Would have liked for it to be sooner, but will take it.
    Grateful for this safe space – for encouragers and those willing to share wisdom. May God bless you deeply for using your gifts well.

  • Lou Posted September 21, 2018 9:27 am

    When my first child was a month away for leaving for college and I was struggling with how I was going to handle this I decided one day to start a group at my church that we called college moms in prayer. I approached my pastors and got the ok and launched a search for other moms with college students who would get together and pray for our kids away at school. We met weekly at my home for the first two years and then have continued meet two times a month for the last four years-many of the kids have graduated so we just call ourselves moms in prayer- but we set aside this time to share and pray for our children. It has been a wonderful experience sharing our joys and sorrows and intentionally lifting up our children in prayer – we email prayer concerns to one another as situations arise and I’m sure the power of our prayers have helped our children survive college and beyond. I’m the only one who will have a college student again next year with my youngest going to college and I know these wonderful women and prayer warriors will faithfully send up many prayers for her and me! I have certainly grown in my faith as I have learned from my moms group but also from this online group of the UR- the support and prayers and faith demonstrated here has been a true blessing in my life – I rarely miss a day of reading – and I pray for you all.
    Blessings and peace to all who come here today- prayers especially for all of those affected by the storms we have been experiencing around the world.

    • Connie Posted September 22, 2018 8:51 am

      What a wonderful group. God bless you and your children, Lou. When I was calling for prayer when my Mother had her aneurysm I called it “jamming the airwaves”! Never can have too many prayers.

      • Lou Posted September 22, 2018 3:34 pm

        Thank you Connie- never ever can have too many prayers – I’m praying for you today and hoping you are enjoying the beautiful Chicago fall weather-

  • Marcy Posted September 21, 2018 2:24 pm

    I am checking in quickly, to let you all know my Pastor is taking me in to my primary doctor because the new symptoms I’m experiencing. I will check in later or tomorrow. This is in conjuction with the migraines and medicine I went back on. No neurologist appointments available until January, but am on the call list.

    Still praying for you all and thank you for your prayers. Julie, you have helped me through the few days; not only telling me about Chai and Tazzie, but your thoughts that you share will us.

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

    • Julie Posted September 21, 2018 6:26 pm

      Marcy, may God keep you in His loving arms and protect you and comfort you.
      God bless you and I am praying for you.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted September 22, 2018 12:07 am

      Marcy, may all be well with you!

      Keeping you in prayer.

      May God watch over you and meet your every need!


    • Connie Posted September 22, 2018 8:53 am

      Thinking of you, Marcy, and wishing you WELL. FHL

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