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

FROM THE FIFTH CENTURY on, spiritual guides taught the use of the Jesus Prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” The Jesus Prayer comes from two scripture sources. One is the prayer of the tax collector in the Temple: “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” (Luke 18:13). The other is the cry of the blind man by the road near Jericho who calls out to Jesus, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Luke 18:38).

A short form of the prayer is “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.” The prayer’s shortest form is simply the name Jesus. Especially in Eastern Christianity people have been taught to repeat this prayer constantly as a way of praying without ceasing. With the help of a teacher, people learn to coordinate the prayer with breathing so as to “inhale” the presence of Christ and to “exhale” all that keeps one from loving God.

– J. David Muyskens
Forty Days to a Closer Walk with God

From page 49 of Forty Days to a Closer Walk with God: The Practice of Centering Prayer by J. David Muyskens. Copyright © 2006 by J. David Muyskens. 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 the Jesus prayer during your devotional time today.  Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

[Give] thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 5:20, NRSV

This Week: pray for church study groups and Sunday school classes. 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: Maximilian Kolbe (August 14).

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 August 17, 2018 5:30 am

    Thankful for posts from Mary, Betsy, Julie, Marcy, and Connie yesterday.
    Prayers for Mary, Jill, Betsy’s daughter, and all teachers as school begins.
    May Betsy’s neck pain be gone. Like hearing about Julie’s cats. Very glad to read a post from Marcy, praying for your complete well-being.. Grateful for Connie’s “thankful” prayer. Blessings to you and all the UR family.

    Lots of shopping yesterday, mostly food and household supplies, but I finally bought a new pair of sneakers, very comfortable, they were on sale. Made it to the gym. A man who comes lost his wife a few days ago.

    Erich turned down an $11 an hour housekeeping job. That is very tough work, he has done it, can do it well, but the pay is terrible. If hotels/motels don’t have rooms ready, they are out of business, but they want to pay a less than you can live on wage, and if they take out for medical, it is even less. Many expect you to do a room in 30 minutes. If you see how people leave rooms after one night, you’ll understand why this is a a ridiculous expectation. I’m glad he held his ground. It is sort of like the story of fast food restaurant workers who can’t make ends meet on the pay they receive.

    Trips to the area where we think we are called to move in September so we can check housing. Many benefits for both of us there. Have some things to take care of before that enable us to move. I feel sorry for the people who are not able to make this improvement. Life isn’t fair. Thankful for the Lord’s help.

    By God’s love, grace, mercy and Jesus’ sacrifice all are in God’s hands. Thank You, Lord!

    • April Posted August 17, 2018 8:03 pm

      Hey Robert….you are almost always the first to post each day and I look forward to your insightful responses…thank you for getting up early and starting to open my present (a new day)!! One of the sermons I remember is of the pastor that described how we can open each new day with eager anticipation of what it will hold/reveal…but it is up to each of us to do so. A present is wrapped up…who knows what is under the wrappings? if we do not open, we will never know….and miss out on what is there.
      May you and Erich continue to open/explore each new opportunity until you find the right one….the Lord is Your/My shepherd…blessings.

  • Betsy Posted August 17, 2018 6:45 am

    I have the Jesus Prayer written in my prayer journal and often turn to it when I am not able to focus on my prayer requests. It helps to focus me and bring me to a place of quiet and focus in Him.

    So good to hear from Marcy, Julie, Connie and others yesterday. Thanks to all (Mary and Robert included) for prayers for my neck. I plan to visit chiropractor today for an adjustment. Robert, I don’t blame Erich for turning down the hotel job. Something will come his way that will pay him a decent living wage. I’ll continue to pray for that.

    “I do not occupy myself with things too great and marvelous for me. But I have calmed and quieted my soul…” Psalm 131:1-2.

    • April Posted August 17, 2018 7:57 pm

      Oh Betsy, I do hope your neck pain has been relieved by the adjustment….pain can affect our whole life…not just a neck or back, etc.
      I enjoy your sharing of the prison ministry you are involved with and know that you reflect the love of Christ in all you do….bless you.

  • Jill Posted August 17, 2018 7:10 am

    The first time I heard of the Jesus prayer was hiking on the Appalachian Trail. My sister is enthralled with The Trail and she talked me and a new friend (at the time) into doing a six day outing in PA. My friend was not a reluctant participant initially, but pretty gung ho. Until she realized the pace my sister was going to keep and the incline and rocks. My friend found her own rhythm and recited the Jesus prayer over and over to herself as she attempted to keep pace.
    Speaking of my sister, we got away for a few days – taking in the big tennis tournament in Cincinnati. I was supposed to meet a friend there, but she cancelled last minute, so I asked my sister to join me.
    Dad and I had our last golf morning yesterday – the weather just held for us. We had a bit of rain, but played on and the skies cleared a bit. He is going to continue to play once a week with a group of friends, and my sister is going to take mom shopping and to lunch on those days.
    Grateful for safe travels for my sister and I. Grateful to meet up with my former student today – the one who invited me to her baptism. We took a walk earlier this summer and going to get one more in before she heads out of state, across the country, to college. Hopefully the weather cooperates for us today. Grateful for the routine which will come with school starting back up. I am looking forward to going back to school – a welcome distraction and having a purpose in working with my students.
    I am loving the cat tales…so I am going to indulge and go on a bit about Roger. First of all – a strange name for a cat possibly. I named him after Roger Federer – my absolute favorite tennis player, whom I got to see in Cincinnati. I rescued Roger and the vet estimated he was about 7 months old. He had a rocky health start, but is doing very well now. He has even been able to be weaned off of meds. Roger is quite a fighter and a biter – I think he was either a bully in his younger days, or he was bullied. Of the three cats I have had, he has the best personality – super friendly to strangers, not afraid of much. During the cooler months of the year, when I have blankets and/or quilts on my bed – he sleeps right up against me every night, sometimes under the covers. But each spring – around May, when the temps rise, I just have a sheet on my bed and the air conditioning on. He comes up to bed and instead of lying down, he bites my legs, ankles, toes through the sheet. I tell him no, and try to get him to settle down, but he is relentless. So – I pick him up and he is biting and fighting me all the way – to the point where I now pick him up with an oven mitt on my right hand trying to combat his biting. I walk him downstairs, through the house and put him in the basement for the night. One would think he would figure this out, but he doesn’t. So each night, we do the walk of shame, and he sleeps alone and I sleep alone. Come October, we will be back in our routine…I love having his warmth next to me during the cold months. A silly cat tale…but our reality. I call the basement – “the hole”. Each morning I let him out of the hole and he is full of love, meowing, purring, rubbing up against me – nose to nose. What a cat.

    • April Posted August 17, 2018 7:53 pm

      Hey Jill, it is good to hear of your meetings with former students…you certainly have touched many…and to now know that your work is influencing their lives in such positive ways…awesome!!
      I thought of you this week as a long ago student reached out via Facebook to share her thoughts for my teaching and that she is now teaching others…it took my breath away…
      Love your kitty stories…can’t wait to hear about the others….may you and Mary continue to be the hands and feet of Jesus in the classrooms to the next generation.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted August 17, 2018 7:35 am

    Grateful for dinner and the weekends


    • April Posted August 17, 2018 7:49 pm

      May you have a restful/relaxing weekend Mary, so that you may carry on with one good work after another. You and Jill are the hands and feet of God in the classroom….thank you.

      • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted August 18, 2018 3:15 am

        Thanks so much dear April.

        May all be well with you and your family!

        Have a great weekend!

  • Julie Posted August 17, 2018 8:06 am

    Prayers for Betsy and her chiropractor appointment. May her neck paain be relieved. I wrote the prayer in my prayer journal also.
    Prayers for Robert and his neck pain and trip to the gym. Prayers for Erich and Robert as they continue to prepare for a move and new location eentirely. I feel the need to add that I try to be respectful of the hotel personnel. I usually make friends with them. In fact the head housekeeper at the hotel I stay at when I visit my mother would greet me each visit warmly and take care of me herself.
    Prayers for Mary and a restful and stress free weekend.
    Prayers for Jill as she starts a new school year. Prayers of thanks for a trip with her sister. Thank you for your contribution to the kitty tales.
    Prayers again and again for our dear Marcy. May her many issues be less today. Since Jill regaled us with her Roger kitty tales I will not add to them.
    Prayers and blessings and a warm and heart thank you and prayer of gratitude for all of the UR family

    • April Posted August 17, 2018 7:47 pm

      Hey Julie, you are such a faithful poster…thank you!! May the way unfold before you as you take each step forward. Your insight and comments inspire me to think…and pray for discernment…..thank you dear Sister.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted August 18, 2018 7:42 am

      Thank you dear Julie!

      May you be so blessed and loved by God!

  • Connie Posted August 17, 2018 8:24 am

    Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me, a sinner. Amen
    Thankful for:
    Today’s great posts.
    Hearing about Roger being in “solitary” brought a smile to my Friday Face.
    NOT thankful for hard-working people not earning a living wage!
    Happy that it is “well with my soul” as the days go by. I am not one who likes turmoil.
    Robert and Erich….travelin’ men.
    Our lawn is mowed and our cupboard is stocked up. God is so good.

    • April Posted August 17, 2018 7:43 pm

      Oh Connie, I love that song…it is well with my soul…even when I do not feel that way…I trust in God…and then I know that it is well….blessings to you as you always.

  • Andrea Posted August 17, 2018 4:06 pm

    I am grateful for a very busy day yesterday hosting quilting friends at my house, visiting a museum today with a friend, and lunch out. I am grateful for a clean house.

    Prayers for UR friends and the concerns you have shared. I trust God hears and helps us to bear all our sorrows and cares. God holds us tenderly in loving arms.

    Tomorrow I visit my mother’s condo, now owned by my sister, to move out the last of my mother’s personal belongings that I selected when we divided them up. I ask for your prayers.

    Wishing all a blessed weekend.

    • April Posted August 17, 2018 7:40 pm

      Oh Andrea, my heart goes out to you thinking of your day tomorrow….may you feel hugs and prayers coming your way….
      When I am at a loss for words, I sing Praise God, Praise God, Praise God…..to the tune of Amazing Grace….only 2 words for the whole song…I feel like I am praying/praising God constantly….
      Blessing and sweet dreams dear UR family….

      • Andrea Posted August 18, 2018 7:43 am

        Thank you, April. Yes, Praise God, Amazing Grace. Prayers you will feel God’s sustenance through life’s ups and downs. Blessings.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted August 18, 2018 7:44 am

      May you have a wonderful time with your mum dear Andrea!

      I am sure she will be thrilled to see you!


    • Connie Posted August 18, 2018 8:53 am

      Just said a prayer for you on this day of dealing with memories. May God stand beside you and give you strength.

  • April Posted August 17, 2018 8:08 pm

    Hey UR family, it has been a week of ups and downs…thank you for being the constant in my life each morning/evening to read posts or feel the prayers of un-posters for the day….I know that I am more often an un-poster but not and un-prayer.
    Blessing to all as we witness and reflect the Lord we worship and adore…Fear Not, Beloved child, Live in Peace….. Joy, Joy, Joy!

    • Lou Posted August 18, 2018 6:10 am

      Thank you for all of your uplifting replies- hoping you have more ups than downs in the week ahead/ God’s blessings and peace to you.

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