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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

Reprinted 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.

 

Words of Hope During COVID-19

Fred Allen, former executive director of Strengthening the Black Church 21, shares what has helped him during the COVID pandemic. He has talked often to his children and other family members, studied the Bible, walked in his neighborhood, and gardened.


 

Today’s Reflection

Let’s face it: the number one problem we have with prayer is God. When our prayers seem to go unanswered, our first thought is, Why didn’t God answer? We may have any number of related questions, but the primary one has to do with God. This is no different from other areas of life. When someone does not return our phone call or reply to our e-mail, we naturally wonder about the receiver. Since God is the receiver of our prayers, we naturally question God before we question anything else.

—Steve Harper, Talking in the Dark: Praying When Life Doesn’t Make Sense (Upper Room Books, 2007)

Today’s Question

What questions arise in you when your prayers seem to go unanswered? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
—2 Corinthians 12:8-9 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

God! Please hurry to my rescue!
Yahweh, come quickly to my side!
—from Psalm 70
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Since World War II, The Upper Room has provided copies of the daily devotional to military chaplains. Because of generous donors like you, the ministry has grown to include prison chaplains, and most recently, VA hospital chaplains. This Memorial Day, honor our service men and women by giving to The Upper Room Chaplains’ Ministry.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

15 Comments

  • Jill Posted May 25, 2020 7:18 am

    My question would be, is my request aligned with His will? And I being intentional in my request, to finish it with – but not my will…Thine be done. Am I acknowledging His Sovereignty. Another question for myself is – am I praying in gratitude, is gratefulness and undertone of my prayer. These need to be necessary starting points, as well as ending points – but sometimes I am just there requesting. Even these past few weeks as I pray desperately for my friend and her family during this time of loss – I need to be grateful for many things – His presence, continued presence in this season of my life as I continue to comfort dad, his gift of friendships for me as I sojourn here, the beauty of my friend’s sister-in-law’s life – her passion, her love for her Saviour, her impacting of others’ lives.
    Yesterday at the gathering – it was a beautiful tribute. There was such a good spirit in the air, one that honors the life she lived. Her husband boldly asked that we would cover him in prayer in the weeks to come as he has many decisions to make. They ran a business together and her gregarious personality did so much for their photography business. He is the man behind the camera, but she did practically everything else. Not only in their marriage and life, but in their business life – the hole is beyond massive. God – please give him wisdom and discernment.
    My sister is hosting a cook-out this afternoon. Mom’s sister and her husband are invited, as well as dad and I, and my youngest nephew and his wife. The weather is warm and we will be outside. Hopefully my poor attitude regarding masks will be better managed today, on my part.
    Robert – thank you for the service you provided for our country.

    • Marcy Posted May 25, 2020 10:21 am

      Please have a wonderful day with your Dad, Becky and the family. Stay safe and well, taking proper precautions if you go indoors. Just a thought, dear Jill. Sending prayers and Love to you and your family.
      💌💖🙏❤🙏❤🙏 🐱🐈

  • Gail Posted May 25, 2020 7:29 am

    One of the questions is, did I pray enough? another is, did I Pray believing that God could actually answer my prayer? Or would answer
    my prayer? I recall Bible characters like Hannah who prayed almost desperately.

    • Marcy Posted May 25, 2020 10:24 am

      i know I have prayed desperately! I think we all have, at one time or another. It is hard to wait, but many times, that’s what is needed. And also, as Jill says, it must be God’s will, not our own. Love to you! ❤🙏

  • Marcy Posted May 25, 2020 8:13 am

    The word that stoodles out for me in today’s question, is “seem.” So I immediately thought of the quote I had written down while in Behavioral Health Class four years ago. It is as follows:

    I asked for strength that I might achieve;
    I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.
    I asked for health that I might do greater things;
    I was given infirmity that I might do better things.
    I asked for riches that I might be happy;
    I was given poverty that I might be wise.
    I asked for power that I might have the praise of men;
    I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.
    I asked for all things that I might enjoy life;
    I was given life that I might enjoy all things.
    I got nothing that I asked for,
    but everything that I had hoped for.
    Almost despite myself my unspoken prayers were answered;
    I am, among all men, most richly blessed.
    Amen.

    This encapsulated all I wanted to say, better than I can convey.

    I will be back to post more.

    • Marcy Posted May 25, 2020 9:45 am

      In my youth, this is what I thought success would look like. Things, money, a job that allowed me to be boss, among other foolish things. Boy, did I learn hard lessons in life! For more than half my years now, this is what I remember whenever I think a prayer is not answered. Now I, like Jill, believe that it is God’s will that decides the answer. If my prayers aren’t answered, maybe it is just a matter of waiting. At times, this has proven to be true in my life. For a long, long time, I didn’t think my prayers deserved to be answered. Then, when I got away from h, I found the job that I wish I had been looking for in my youth. And here I was: childless, battered, demoralized at 50 years old. But I had learned much during my ordeals. Slowly, ever slowly, progress is being made. My faith remains strong with the help of the Holy Spirit.

      Praying for Peace in the world. I am thankful to all the men and women who have served and are serving in the military. As I commemorate those who paid the ultimate price, I remember my Dad, who was in the Army Infantry, three Uncles and my recently late Aunt M, who served in the Navy during WWII. I have my Dad’s flag and all his medals. 💜 He was 79 when he went Home to be with God.

      Thank you for your service in Korea, Robert. I am praying for all to be well with you and your family. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us. And the occasional model trains updates with me. Another reminder of my Dad. Sending prayers and love anchored in Christ Jesus’ Love.
      💌🙏❤🙏❤🙏⚓👑❤🙏❤🙏❤

      Prayers going out for Andrea and her family, April and her family, Rick, Connie, Lou and her family, Mary, Francesca, Betsy and Grace, Rusty, Edy and all who have visited or are visiting up in the BALCONY and beyond. May you, your families, loved ones and friends all be safe and well.

      And these three remain: Faith, Hope and Love; and the greatest of these is LOVE!
      🙏💖🙏❤🙏💛🙏💚🙏💙🙏💜🙏

  • R. Martin Armstrong Posted May 25, 2020 8:21 am

    I know that Scripture encourages us to ask for anything, but do our prayers always have to be about asking for stuff? Maybe prayers of simply being in God’s presence might be the activity to bring new perspectives on our request list. Quiet being close to God prayers, may be more calming and abundant life giving than we think.

  • Julie Posted May 25, 2020 8:46 am

    There is a Garth Brooks song about giving thanks for unanswered prayers. God knows us and our future better than we can ever hope to. I am trying to accept unanswered prayers as indeed answered, just not as I had envisioned, but He has better things ahead for me.
    Prayers fr Jill, Larry, Becky, her nephew and her friend’s husband. May the husband turn to God during this time of uncertainty and loss. May Jill and her family be safe as they celebrate together. May all be mindful of one another and take appropriate precautions.
    Prayers for Marcy, againI marvel each day as I read your words. I am grateful that you are once again posting regularly. Your words are always sage and wise.
    Prayers for Robert and I echo my deep appreciation to you for your service for our country and ultimately our freedom.
    Prayers for Ally and David, for their rejoicing in the return of a prodigal daughter, for healing a relationship as well as his body. May Ally grow strong in order to meet all the new demands on her.
    Prayers for Rick and LC, may LC’s health issues resolve and may the pain and discomfort lessen.
    Prayers for BJ and her mother. It was so wonderful to “hear” from you, I have missed your melodious voice.
    Megan and I will spend some time in a state park with her fishing and me walking and enjoying nature. We will have a picnic lunch. Where we sit is relatively free of others, so should be safe.
    Prayers and thank you and a happy and safe Memorial Day dear UR

    • Marcy Posted May 25, 2020 11:00 am

      A picnic in the park sounds like bliss, dear Julie! I pray that you have a wonderful time together and out of the house! Roxy was going to work today, but she’s been trying to get her car fixed all weekend by a friend. They are waiting for a part to be delivered. She will be here tomorrow through
      friday.

      So much love to you and Megan, Chai and Tazzie! Thank you for your prayers, Julie. My sister finally called me, so I am relieved that she didn’t have another stroke.

      You are the one with encouraging and helpful words! Between you, Robert and Jill, I keep learning. Have the most blessed day with your daughter. 🙏❤🙏❤🙏 😇💟😇 💖🐱💖🐈💖

  • Marcy Posted May 25, 2020 10:25 am

    Ally, I am waiting a bit to see if you post!

    • Marcy Posted May 25, 2020 7:18 pm

      Praying for you and David today for strength and healing and good rest. Sending prayers anchored in God’s Love. Including the Crew. 💌🙏⚓❤🐱🐈

  • robert moeller Posted May 25, 2020 1:41 pm

    I’m somewhere between God answers prayer that needs answering and I should pray as if I expected an answer. I believe God knows best, nothing can separate us from the love of God, and God is with us always. As humans we make mistakes, sometimes only once, often repeatedly, but God so loved the world that HE/SHE gave Jesus HIS/HER only begotten son to pay for our sins and give us eternal life.

    A friend of my daughter’s has two months to live with stage 4 breast cancer, there are three children who soon will lose their Mom, Anneliese is enduring an all body muscle ache / fibromyalgia episode, and Meesook is recovering from depression after painful post surgery. Here at the oasis other urgent prayers are lifted too for heałth, well-being, safety, and wisdom. Lord, Thy will be done.

    There are many who served and know no pain, suffering, combat, hardship, or wounds. They remember those who had a tougher path and experienced the horror of war. God’s peace to them.

    • Marcy Posted May 25, 2020 7:45 pm

      Robert, I am lifting up in prayer, your daughter’s friend who is in the final stage of cancer. May her family be strengthened by our Abba, Father, especially the young ones. Prayers for Anneliese as she suffers from the fibromyalgia flare up she’s experiencing. Praying for Meesook as she emerges from the depression from her surgery. Thanks be to God she is emerging from it! And prayers for you, my friend, as you are stalwart in your duty to your family. I pray for Strength, Peace, Comfort and Encouragement for you.
      🙏⚓❤💒🙌🙋✌💪🙏⚓❤💒🙌

  • Rick Posted May 25, 2020 6:24 pm

    What questions arise in me, when my prayers seem to go unanswered? I confess, my mind use to run rampant with thoughts. Especially thinking I was unworthy, not good enough… I don’t think that way anymore. I try to be intentional, and not ask of myself but for others. I also admit that there are times I do ask of him for myself. I try to stay in gratitude but what really helps me is meditation and seeing his guidance on all things. I’m not perfect and get into self will from time to time. I’m seeking his will not mine.
    Robert, I will lift up your daughter’s friend in prayer, and praying for you all.

    Blessings

    • Marcy Posted May 25, 2020 7:52 pm

      Yes, Rick. One of the best things I began several years ago was to pray intercessory prayers, naming names as often as I could, writing those names down or just including the world and specific people at different times. Such as firemen when California blazes were being fought. And so many different workers during Covid-19. At the very end, I thank God for a roof over my head, a car that runs, food to eat, money for utilities, and at the time, good hours at work. And I also occasionally pull out Rosary beads to meditate. (I’m not Catholic, but have been to the Catholic church plenty of times). Been praying for you and will continue to pray for you, your husband and LC. (Little Cat?)
      🙏❤🙏❤🙏🐱

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