The Upper Room Devotional

The Upper Room Devotional

daily words of wisdom and faith
  • Presence

    Today’s Reflection BEING TRULY PRESENT to the person before us is also a discipline, a spiritual practice. Often we are tired, in a hurry, worried about meeting a deadline at work, or perhaps distracted by the coffee stain on the white sweater we just bought. Yet we can hear Jesus’ words to Martha, anxious about […]
  • Gratitude

    Today’s Reflection OUR FIRST RESPONSE IS GRATITUDE. We thank God for such generous and nourishing gifts. Giving thanks opens our eyes to our connections to others. We see that we cannot thank God for the food we have and then turn our backs on people who are hungry. We cannot praise God for the bounty […]
  • Walk in Prayer

    Today’s Reflection WALKING IS not only a way to move ourselves from one place to another but also a Christian practice imbued with the same intent as every other Christian practice: to guide us into a way of being human that bears witness to God’s work of healing a broken, wounded creation. When I walk, […]
  • Hospitality

    Today’s Reflection IN THE OLD TESTAMENT, hesed is a practice of welcome and hospitality among the Hebrew people. Hesed requires that the host and the sojourner eat together to signify welcoming and connecting with the stranger. It is clear to me that eating together is the sign of real community more than any other behavior […]
  • God, What Do You Want Me to Do?

    Today’s Reflection LAST WEEKEND I started mentally gearing up to host a meal. What date? How many? Who? I’ve learned that a good dinner party includes people who share common interests but can also bring fresh ideas to enliven the table talk. I scribbled names of professional women with admirable faith, all lively conversationalists. The […]
  • Acts of Grace

    Today’s Reflection Freely Given MY FAMILY was having a tough year. We were dealing with things we never anticipated. I didn’t confide in many people, only my immediate family, close friends, and the pastor with whom I serve. One chilly fall day, the pastor knocked on my door. He said, “When my family was going […]
  • Turn the Other Cheek

    Today’s Reflection HOW CAN WE turn the other cheek, responding out of power rather than force in ordinary encounters with those who may be opposing us? If someone makes an insulting remark we usually react in one of four ways: (1) instantly retaliating, returning insult for insult; (2) launching into defensive explanations; (3) falling silent […]
  • Trusting God’s Promises

    Today’s Reflection THROUGH MY WORK in spiritual direction, I find that many people have a fear of abandonment. As an only child, I felt that fear especially when my parents would go out for an evening. I didn’t know if I could trust the promise that my parents would return because of the lurking fear […]
  • Adoration

    Today’s Reflection CONSIDER for a moment what, in practice, the word adoration implies. The upward and outward look of humble and joyful admiration. Awestruck delight in the splendor and beauty of God, the action of God and Being of God, in and for God’s self alone, as the very color of life: giving its quality […]
  • Beginnings of Prayer

    Today’s Reflection OFTEN PRAYER BEGINS as a longing in the heart, a longing for love, a longing for connection, a longing to make contact with a Power greater than ourselves. Sometimes it begins as a desperate need for help, peace, strength, or comfort. Other times prayer’s beginning is a deep hope for others — an […]

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