The Upper Room devotional reflection for Sunday, August 21, 2022, comes to us from Michael Gooch of North Carolina.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. Ephesians 6:18-20 NRSV



During a recent stop at a fast-food restaurant, I ordered from a woman wearing a cross necklace made from two nails. When I complimented her on the necklace, she told me that she had been in recovery from addiction for over two years. She said she wore it as a reminder of God’s presence in her life. After thanking her for telling me about the cross, I told the woman that I pray every morning for those in recovery from addiction. Although we were strangers, I had actually prayed for her that morning and would continue to pray for her in the future. She smiled, and I knew God had brought me here for a reason. I could now put a face to my prayers. In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he urged the church to be alert and always keep praying for God’s people. Prayer is one way we show our love for others and support our siblings in Christ. It is time well spent.



Michael's reflection reminds us of the impact we can have on the lives of others when we lift them to God in prayer, even if we don’t know their names. Michael prayed for those battling addiction and was offered the opportunity to meet someone he’d been praying for. We may not always know the specifics of an individual’s struggles or challenges, but when we lift them to the Lord in prayer, we place their circumstances in the hands of God. Prayer is not only our opportunity to commune with God, but it is also a chance to intercede on behalf of others. Praying for others is as simple as stating: “Dear Lord, grant (person’s name) the peace, wisdom, and encouragement they need to overcome their challenges today.”

--Pastor Anthony


Dear Lord, give those who are recovering from substance abuse the strength and support they need for one more day free from drugs and alcohol. Give us compassion for all as we pray, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgives us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” (Matt. 6:9-13, NIV). Amen.

--Michael Gooch

Prayer Focus:

Those in recovery from addiction

Thought for the day:

I will pray for others today.