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The Upper Room Devotion for Thursday April 11, 2024, was written by Roland Rink of Gauteng, South Africa.



1 He was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” 2 He said to them, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. 3 Give us each day our daily bread. 4 And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us. And do not bring us to the time of trial.” 5 And he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6 for a friend of mine has arrived, and I have nothing to set before him.’ 7 And he answers from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, at least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs. 9 “So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. 11 Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? 12 Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? 13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Luke 11:1-13 NRSV


Author's Thoughts

When I retired four years ago, I was given a small, round, handsewn cushion. I kept it on a chair, mainly for ornamental reasons. However, recently the cushion has become useful for me every day. For the past two months I've been recovering from spinal decompression surgery. Sleep has been difficult due to the uncomfortable surgical wound in my lower back.

When I was urged by my physiotherapist to place a pillow or cushion between my knees while sleeping, I suddenly remembered the gift of the small cushion and began using it as prescribed. Imagine my delight to find that the cushion helped me sleep virtually pain -free! Our loving God gives us gifts each day - gifts we often don't even recognize, let alone use. But the Bible is filled with accounts of our caring God providing gifts to so many people - the best example being the gift of God's Son, Jesus Christ! The gift of a small cushion has reawakened my discovery of the big and small gifts God gives us each and every day.


Pastor Anthony's Thoughts


During his message “The Butterfly Effect,” Bishop David Bard reminded us that small acts of faith and commitment to spiritual disciplines can have a big impact. Roland’s reflection underscores Bishop Bard’s point, that small gestures of compassion, grace, and engagement can create monumental impact. In studying church growth, I have consistently found that growing churches have memberships committed to personal spiritual development, engaging people in their sphere of influence, genuine hospitality, generosity, and meaningful service. The major programs, activities, and events they host all are built upon the commitment to do the small thing well. May we all accept the challenge and commit to doing the small things to mature as people of faith and as a community of faith.


Author's Prayer

Loving God, thank you for the gift of Jesus Christ and the many gifts you provide each day. Amen.


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