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.

This week, Upper Room Daily Reflections features excerpts from Loving the World with God: Fourth Day Living by Rebecca Bruff.

Today’s Reflection

THE MOST SERVANT-HEARTED PEOPLE are often unlikely to toot their own horns. But their stories are beautiful and deserve to be told. At a casual dinner not long ago, I listened in awe as my friend Sam told the others at the table about the faithful and persistent work of his next-door neighbor, who tirelessly directs an after-school program for children in an underserved area. The neighbor would never have mentioned the years of work or the pouring of his own resources into this ministry. He wouldn’t have described himself as selfless or sacrificial or Christlike. But he is, and his story wanted to be told—not to glorify himself but to point to what God can do through everyday disciples.

—Rebecca Bruff
Loving the World with God: Fourth Day Living

From page 90 of Loving the World with God: Fourth Day Living by Rebecca Bruff. Copyright © 2014 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

What can God do through you today? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

“Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” So he went away, proclaiming throughout the city how much Jesus had done for him.
—Luke 8:39, NRSV

This Week: pray to love others as Jesus loves. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

On March 1, 2019, the World Day of Prayer, you are invited to join the staff of The Upper Room in responding to the prayer requests submitted on The Upper Room Prayer Wall. Mark your calendar and sign up to receive updates, tips, and tools as we approach this day of prayer with prayer partners around the world. Sign up here.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.

Sponsored by The Upper Room. Copyright © 2019 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA


  • Jill Posted January 26, 2019 5:37 am

    I will say it again – you all are a treasure. Your prayers and wisdom words mean so much to me – thank you for taking the time to put them down here. I sent dad an email yesterday – with a link regarding palliative care. Back in the spring I encouraged my parents to ask the oncologist about palliative care. But, them not being knowledgeable about it, did not provide a very good opportunity to have a meaningful conversation. It is very challenging for my sister and I to be assertive in that room with the oncologist and our parents, knowing the emotional potential and the fear and angst my mother possesses. That is one of the things I struggle with – doing what is in her best interest physically, balanced with having her continue to trust me. And, oh yes, Andrea – this entire issue is all about control – and that is why this is so hard for her…she can’t control it.
    On a positive note – my parents went out to lunch with another couple yesterday and then played bridge in the afternoon at my parents’ house. They had to cancel their weekly card engagement with a different couple the day before, because mom had a bad morning. I will be stopping by there today to see how things are going. My sister is in Florida for another two weeks.
    Today begins the basketball league at my former church for inner city boys. It runs through the end of March, each Saturday morning. I keep the score book and run the clock for the games. The coaches share a devotional with these kids, some of which are from my school. It is a good outreach opportunity and I am grateful to be able to do it again this season.

  • Don Clarke Posted January 26, 2019 5:47 am

    I am a retired minister who spent most of my ministry serving older adults. Now I am an older adult- retired but still finding the joy of serving others especially as families experience the loss of loved ones. I call it “a ministry of presence.”.

  • Julie Posted January 26, 2019 7:59 am

    Overall, I feel fairly useless due to my Reynaud’s and the sores on my fingers. As of now, just doing basic tasks and basic self care is difficult and painful.
    Please pray for my friend and her husband. He is in the hospital with very low platelet counts. They do not know why.
    Prayers for Jill,, Gloria, Larry and Becky. Yes, it is difficult to deal with the loss of the illusion of control. As we here know, we are never in control, God is. I worked in hospice and it is wonderful, for both the patient and the family. Again, I reiterate, you and your father should contact the doctor and find out exactly what his prognosis is. You need to be prepared, not caught by surprise.
    Prayers for Robert and Erich. May Erich find success with his new job.
    Prayers for Marcy. May her pain and breathing be better today.
    Prayers and blessings for Mary, Connie, Betsy, Lou, Andea, Rusty, and their families. I lift up to God each of the issues you have related here that weigh on your hearts and minds.
    Sorry, my fingers are horrible and typing is difficult.
    Prayers dear UR family, have a safe and blesssed day

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted January 26, 2019 8:40 am

      Thanks Julie for all your prayers and typing.

      Praying that your fingers will improve.

      Blessings to all

      Keeping Jill and her family in prayer. May God’s presence be so close to them to guide them in all the choices and plans they need to make and may God take full control of the situation.

      Prayers for Marcy too. May she be well and all her needs be met.

  • robert moeller Posted January 26, 2019 8:01 am

    I think I am doing what God wants me to do. My actions are not on such a grand scale as the person described in the reflection, but hopefully they make a difference

    Thankful the first day at work for Erich went well, he’s off to work again today, will go with me to the train show tomorrow, and works again on Monday. So far so good.

    Prayers for Anneliese she’s been told to go the ER since she has excruciating pain and can not move well. Hopefully paperwork we just did will be helpful for continued health insurance. She surely needs it.

    Thankful that Arnolds is home after surgery. Joan is not doing well and she may soon be with the Lord.

    Was able to help with set up and prep for the annual report dinner Sunday.

    Palliative care is a great idea for your Mom, and yes, losing a sense of control is a very tough reality. We say, “Let go, let God”, but reality is harder than words. Prayers that between your Mom and Dad, the oncologist, you, Becky, the cancer support group, friends, prayer-warriors, and any other help, there will be a helpful, peaceful resolution to make your Mom’s days as best as they can be. That she went out to lunch and then played bridge is wonderful.

    Glad there is joy in helping the basketball league. Very helpful to all involved.

    Pastor Clarke, “being present” is a topic often discussed here and I am sure your ministry is very helpful. If we were all more present every day all through life that would be a great accomplishment. I’m a “young, old person” as some people say. Still capable of many activities, thank You, Lord, but recognize that some skills and abilities are not as good as they once were. All we can do is the best we can at any time in our life.

    Prayers for Marcy and Mary, Julie and Megan, Andrea and Lowell, Betsy and Grace, Mary, Lou, Connie, Rusty and K, and the UR family. God is with us, let us rejoice and be glad. Thank You, Lord.

  • Andrea Posted January 26, 2019 9:22 am

    The snow is coming down today like a steady, fine rainfall, and we are looking at bitterly cold temperatures well into next week. As you know, there is something soothing for me to watch snow falling (even better, to walk in it). It is like a deep quiet descending on my soul. Against the white ground and white sky criss-crossed by brownish-gray tree trunks and branches, the oak leaves jump out all amber-bronze, a splash of earth-color on the winter palette. How many times have I looked out at a winter scene and marveled at its beauty, and still I am moved to marvel again today.

    My husband got a good report from his orthopedist yesterday, and he is ready to start PT. I have a ways to go with my foot, and the less I am on it, the better for healing – which is hard. Thank you for your prayers.

    I hold up Gloria in prayer, praying her need to be in control will embrace a choice made by her to accept palliative care. God is with her every moment. I pray for Anneliese to find quick relief of the severe pain that drove her to the ER today. May the health insurance papers be quickly processed. I pray for all who have difficulty accessing health care due to barriers such as lack of health insurance, transportation, mobility issues. My thoughts go to Marcy, as they frequently do, and I lift her in prayer to our Gracious God, for healing, support, and strength. I pray for relief of pain in Julie’s fingers and toes, and resolution of the stress and uncertainty in her home situation, with gratitude for her prayers for all of us. Prayers for all dear UR friends and those who stop by just to read the reflection. Wishing all a blessed weekend.

  • April Posted January 26, 2019 12:01 pm

    Dear UR family, I awoke last night and your names immediately came to mind as well as your concerns that you write about. I prayed for you. And then I prayed for our leaders and all leaders. I prayed for our churches, and the decisions they are/will be making. I prayed for our children and grandchildren. I prayed that my husband and I will be the best we can be. I prayed for wisdom for myself and to be infused to all, the wisdom that comes from God. May my prayers strengthen everyone so that we may make a difference in this world that is hurting in so many ways.
    The sun is shining and looks to be a much warmer day here than where some are writing from. May all be safe and warm. Blessings and love.

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