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

WHEN MY SONS were small, a friend suggested a playful and creative method for teaching children basic kindness. Though it seemed like child’s play at the time, I realize now that it made a difference in my adult life as well. …

As I sent my children off for the first day of school, I cautioned them to be aware of any newcomers to their class and to be particularly friendly and helpful. “Every person you know is wearing an invisible sign. Did you know that?” I asked them. “You can’t see it with your eyes, but it hangs around each person’s neck by a silver thread, it it has four words on it: MAKE ME FEEL SPECIAL. Everyone in your class is wearing the sign – even your teacher! I have the sign on too, and so do you!”

As part of a magical story, the sign’s invisibility increased their fascination. The challenge to imagine something like a secret code made it a game worth playing. For a long time, I could send them off to any gathering with the words “Remember the invisible sign!” They eventually outgrew the game, but somewhere inside them the message registered. Now, as men in their forties, they’ve forgotten most of what I said or thought I taught in those young years. But they still remember the invisible sign.

– Linda Douty
Rhythms of Growth

From page 215 of Rhythms of Growth: 365 Meditations to Nurture the Soul by Linda Douty. Copyright © 2014 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

See the invisible sign on those whom you encounter today. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted.

John 6:11, 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


  • robert moeller Posted July 28, 2018 4:26 am

    A great idea and lesson. I don’t have anything that compares exactly. Mom used to say, If you can’t say anything good, don’t say anything at all.”

    Thankful for a walk, the ability to help, patience, and determination. Thank You, Lord for these. With them life goes on. With you Lord all things are possible.Today is a new day, tomorrow a new week, soon a new month.
    God’s mercies are new every day.

    Prayers that the time and effort looking for the right place and job will bear fruit. Research and visits will help. I pray for God’s wisdom when decision time comes.

    Prayers for the UR family’s needs, concerns, and joys. I will do my best ti reply more personally.

  • Lou Posted July 28, 2018 5:41 am

    I pray that my children have lessons in their hearts that I have tried to teach and instill. Mostly I hope that they have God first in their hearts – I think I have encouraged that and they attend church with me which does my heart good. They are wonderful children – I’m with my youngest in NY moving her out of a summer class that she attended for three weeks. Praise to God that she managed and was safe and handled all of the stressors and also made some new friends. I think it was a good experience for her – certainly it was a good experience to be independent from me and know that she can manage. She is anxious to get home- I pray that the move out will be uneventful and that everything will go well for us. It saddens me that her father doesn’t participate in any of these things. It is hard to always be the one to manage everything -God help me do what I have to do this weekend. Help me to help her feel special and to also be kind to others along the way.
    Prayers for all of the UR family-
    I pray for each one of you and am thankful for your continued prayers of support. My oldest daughter moved into her new apartment after her summer school session ended – I wish I could’ve been there to help her but I will go in another week to help her get settled and see where she is living. She is strong and courageous and does so much on her own. My son is doing fine in his job and I see him every Sunday when he comes to church, does his laundry, and is looking for home cooking! God has surely blessed me. I pray that I will be able to continue to help them all and make them feel special – I pray that I can make someone I do not know feel special today also.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted July 28, 2018 6:10 am

      Lou, glad to hear that your daughter is independent now, living on her own apartment. I think when i first moved into the hostel at the seminary, i felt like i have grown overnight, doing my own laundry, making my own decisions, etc.

      May you have more time to do what you have to do and may God always bless you to do what is right and pleasing to Him!


    • Connie Posted July 28, 2018 8:02 am

      Lou, you should be so proud of yourself. May God continue to walk with you every step.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted July 28, 2018 6:41 am

    Yes, every child at our centre is special!

    Grateful for another fruitful and happy day. Morning went to work and afternoon went for a facial.

    Grateful for the weekend.

    May all rest well and be refreshed for the new week ahead!

  • Betsy Posted July 28, 2018 7:40 am

    I love the author’s share! Seeing each and everyone as special is our gift to others. If you get a chance, see the documentary on Fred Rogers entitled “Won’t You Be My Niehgbor?”. Mr. Rogers’s message throughout his years was that all children are special and our job is to see everyone as persons of value. (He was an ordained Presbyterian minister) A message we all need to hear now.
    Lou, so glad your daughter has a place of her own. I’ll be praying for her continued independence.
    This devotion today reminds me that I need to pray for all our children as they prepare for another school year and for the men and women (Jill and Mary) who I’ll be teaching them.

  • Connie Posted July 28, 2018 7:59 am

    Glad to hear Lou is doing well. She is so good at sharing. Me-not so much!
    Praying for Julie.
    My Mother and my son had a secret password that she would say when he got rambunctious…it reminded him of an object that had gotten broken. My Mother and Dad loved my children and my children adored them. My Dad died young so I am glad they had precious years together.
    Such a sweet cat story from yesterday.
    Yes, prayers for our teachers Jill and Mary. May God stand beside them.

  • Julie Posted July 28, 2018 8:05 am

    This was a very heartwarming reflection. I am sometimes in awe of how compassionate my daughter can be as a young adult. Hopefully, I had a little to do with this.
    Sorry, I am having a trying morning. The “husband” left for a week’s vacation at Myrtle Beach. While my daughter havenot gone anywhere on vacation in 10 years. He also got up early, around 4:30, but just walked around the house being in the way until 9:00, when he finally left. But before he left I saw some papers from a divorce attorney in his car. So a very stressful morning.
    Prayers for Robert and Erich and their search.
    Prayers for Lou and her children and their growing independence.
    Prayers for Mary and her parents and for more relaxing time.
    Prayers for Betsy. Fred Roger’s was from Pittsburgh and his tv show was filmed here and produced by our public television company. He has a monument and a speciall exhibit in our history museum which is part of the Smithsonian museums.
    Prayers and blessings for each of the UR family

  • Julie Posted July 28, 2018 8:08 am

    Thank you for your prayers and for your comments about my story.
    Maybe tomorrow I will feel less stressed and feel more like sharing again.

  • Julie Posted July 28, 2018 8:11 am

    Above was meant to be under Connie’s comments

  • April Posted July 28, 2018 8:37 am

    Our big kids recommended the Mr. Rogers Movie also. We will look for it and go! One thing I do with each of our grandkids is to send them a letter or post card often. Each receives their own and although they are similar, they are still different. I hope they share with each other after they look at theirs. Recently each of the girls has send us mail, one a colored picture, the other a thank you card for her birthday present. They are each so special to us.
    I hold each of you in my prayers as you share your posts. May the love of God touch you in some way for even us big kids like to feel special.
    I continue to move forward with making my decision, seeing God leading me along the way as preparations fall into place. This week a decision by a co-worker was a message to me also.

    Blessings to each on this weekend….love you all.

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