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

I BELIEVE that asking What if? is a worthwhile spiritual practice. It keeps our eyes and minds open to what God is doing in the world, and it keeps us grounded as well. If we will simply follow Jesus into the world with a willingness to love, God will do the transformative work in us and in others. It may not look the way we expect it to look, and it may not happen on our time frames. That’s okay because it’s not about us. It’s about what God is doing in the world. What if all of Jesus’ apprentices imagined a world made whole and holy by the love and grace of God?

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

From page 62 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

Do you fears ever keep you from following God? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.”
—Matthew 14:27, 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.

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  • Jill Posted January 22, 2019 5:26 am

    Gratefully, I believe my fears and concerns drive me closer to God. Thank You, Father. Thank You for being there with open arms, beckoning me to draw ever nearer.
    Schools are closed here – due to the bitter cold and still many snow covered side streets. Not sure what tomorrow will look like as we are supposed to get a lot of rain and I don’t know where it will go, because the snow is blocking sewer openings where the water usually drains. At least the temps will rise to near 30 by this afternoon and continue to rise overnight. However, there is so much snow, I don’t know how much of it will melt and if it melts, I don’t know where it will go.
    It has been very good to have all this down time at home. Found out yesterday around 4:30 that school was cancelled for today. Made for a relaxing evening and another extended morning of quiet, reading and meditation.
    Robert – hope you were able to get out yesterday and get necessary errands completed. Praying for Erich’s work situation.
    Betsy – we rejoice with you and your family for Harrison’s safe arrival. Praying for a smooth transition into parenthood for your son and daughter-in-law.
    Marcy – so glad you were able to drop us a line. We are praying for you.

  • robert moeller Posted January 22, 2019 6:24 am

    I’m not aware that my fears keep me from God, I hope that is not true. I think my fears turn me to God.

    Breathing and meditation is improving. As simple as it is, it is not as easy as one might think. Staying focused on breathing is the first challenge. I do find it helpful even if I am not great at it.

    Thankful to be out yesterday, it’s still in the below zero at night, above zero during the day range. Clear skies last night and a bright moon reflecting on the new white snow.

    Thankful for warmth, food shopping, transportation, and communication.

    Prayers for improved and good health, health insurance, housing, and resources for anyone lacking them, prayers for care for all in need, thankful for those who care for us, pray all is well with the places where we live. May God’s love be with you, your family, friends, neighbors, and country. Thank the Lord that He is with us always

    Prayers for people who are leaving this life for life eternal. Thankful that Jesus has prepared a place for all who believe in Him. Lord may the day come when everyone trusts in You.

    Stay warm and be safe in the Lord. Thank You, Lord.

  • robert moeller Posted January 22, 2019 6:38 am

    Extra prayers for you Marcy, glad to read your post, Prayers for improvement of every need, Glad you are home Thankful you have Mary to help you. Prayers for Mary that she is well.

    Andrea, your maple syrup and oatmeal remind me of a a frequent meal in the past. Bought maple syrup for French toast. Glad your foot is getting better.

    Julie, glad you were able to get and about despite the weather, prayers for safety at home and a resolution to your situation.

    Thankful that these days at home have been helpful for Jill.

    Blessings to you all.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted January 22, 2019 8:09 am

    Grateful for Marcy to return home safely. May she have a speedy recovery.

    Grateful for time spent with my parents each day.

    Grateful for God’s presence, I have no fear but joy!

    May we simply follow Jesus into the world with a willingness to love and God will transform the rest!

  • Julie Posted January 22, 2019 8:22 am

    Fear doesn’t keep me from God, but I know that my fear means that I still need to grow spiritually. Everyone says that if one truly believes then they trust God completely and have no fear.
    It is bitterly cold here as well but we only got several inches of snow. It should be close to freezing today, but rain which will freeze overnight. My fingers are feeling the effects.
    Prayers for Jill and her school and community. May the rain and snow runoff not cause flooding and may the school continue to take the cold into consideration when determining whether to have school.
    Prayers for Robert and Erich. Thankful for Robert’s safety and for errands completed. Prayers that Erich begins working soon.
    Prayers for Connie and I, too, love oatmeal. I like apple butter and dried fruit. Grateful for your words of faith. I am thankful for a beautiful sunrise this morning.
    Prayers for Andrea and Lowell. May Andrea be able to resume her normal activities soon, including her walks.
    Prayers of joy for Betsy and her family. May all be healthy and may the new granparents be respectful of the new parents.
    Prayers for Mary and her family, may they be well blessed.
    Prayers for Lou and her family, may they be well.
    Prayers of thanksgiving that we heard from Marcy! Prayers for Marcy and may she have less pain and better breathing today. I am sending love and a hug.
    Prayers dear UR family

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted January 22, 2019 8:53 am

      Dear Julie, praying that your fingers will be fine despite the cold. May your situation improve and may you be kept warm.

      Blessings and thank you for praying for all of us despite the cold and your fingers.

  • Lou Posted January 22, 2019 11:31 am

    I believe like many that my fears bring me closer to God – I simply pray help me Lord – and I know he hears me.
    Prayers for all struggling with the winter weather – even my poor pup doesn’t want to venture out- she hides under the chair when I get the leash. Prayers for Robert – and the mounds of snow I saw in some of my daughter’s pictures from Burlington – so much snow- the moon shining on the snow must have been beautiful- it snowed more yesterday for us in Chicago and now a freezing rain that has made my work parking lot a skating rink – prayers for all of those traveling today. Prayers for all of those without adequate shelter – I am forever thankful for my warm home. Prayers for my youngest beginning her last semester of high school today! Prayers for Julie and her pain. Prayers for Marcy – so glad to hear from her. Prayers for Jill and the snow day! And needed time to rest- prayers for all of your students as well. Prayers for Andrea – hope you are healing and being taken care of by your husband. Prayers for Connie and her husband and the prayers of gratitude she always sends us. Prayers for Betsy and her growing family.
    Prayers for Mary – and her joy. Joy is contagious. May we all catch some today.

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