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Weekly Devotionals


March 4, 2021
“I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry” (Ps 40:1, NIV). The tests of our willingness to wait patiently for the Lord comes almost daily for most of us, I suppose. Probably I am among the Lord's most impatient servants, so the lesson has to be reviewed again and again. A tough test came when my daughter's family (of ten) was searching for a house.  Southern California is not a place where one would wish to conduct that search. It's a long story, but at last, all other possibilities having been exhausted, a house...
Weekly Devotionals

A Strange Peace

February 25, 2021
Shortly before my daughter Valerie, my only child, went off to college as a freshman, a “sudden tide” came over me one morning as I was working in the kitchen. She had been the great joy of my life for seventeen years. When she was about eleven or twelve, friends heard me speak of what seemed to me a near-perfect mother-daughter relationship. “Oh, but wait till she’s a teenager!” they warned, “then you’ll have some rough times.” I was still waiting. I could not conceive of life without her.  “She has grown up,” I told myself. “My job is finished,...
Weekly Devotionals

All Things Serve Thee

February 18, 2021
The Lord’s decrees (His promises, His plans, His every word) stand fast, no matter what news we receive.  A child has run away.  A mother has cancer.  A business has failed.  The events in our private lives and the great catastrophes in the world do not budge the solid ground on which the Christian takes his position.  How can this be?  Are there not conditions that harm and hinder and destroy?  Not in the end.  There is nothing on Earth or in hell or heaven, in time or eternity, that can alter in any final sense what God has promised—because all things serve...
Weekly Devotionals

Learning the Father’s Love

February 11, 2021
When my brother Dave was very small, we spent a week at the seaside in Belmar, New Jersey.  In vain my father tried to persuade the little boy to come into the waves with him and jump, promising to hold him safely and not allow the waves to sweep over his head.  He took me (only a year older) into the ocean and showed Dave how much fun it would be.  Nothing doing.  The ocean was terrifying.  Dave was sure it would mean certain disaster, and he could not trust his father.   On the last day of our vacation he...
Video Talks

The Legacy of Jim and Elisabeth Elliot

February 7, 2021
By Staff
In this virtual presentation, hosted by the European Christian Mission-Poland, Valerie Elliot Shepard speaks on her parents' legacy and gives her own testimony. Valerie shares: Of her parents faith and its impact on her own lifeInsights into the Elliots' love storyHer own personal testimony of faithA Q&A time where she responds about recommended resources, parenting, and Elisabeth’s writings Recorded on February 7, 2021
Weekly Devotionals

Interruptions, Delays, Inconveniences

February 4, 2021
Emily, wife of America's first foreign missionary, Adoniram Judson, wrote home from Moulmein, Burma, in January 1847: "This taking care of teething babies, and teaching natives to darn stockings and talking English back end foremost ... in order to get an eatable dinner, is really a very odd sort of business for Fanny Forester [her penname-she was a well-known New England writer before marrying Judson] .... But I begin to get reconciled to my minute cares." She was ambitious for ''higher and better things," but was enabled to learn that "the person who would do great things well must practice daily...

All Newsletters in One Place!

January 30, 2021
By Staff
This PDF file contains all 116 of The Elisabeth Elliot Newsletters, from 1982 to 2003. The file is searchable and allows copy/paste.
Weekly Devotionals

How to Discover What God Wants

January 28, 2021
A young woman came in great perplexity to a Scottish preacher, asking how she could resolve the question of her own desires when they seemed to be in such contradiction to the will of God. He took out a slip of paper, wrote two words on it, handed it to her with the request that she sit down for ten minutes, ponder the words, cross out one of them, and bring the slip back to him. She sat down and read: No Lord. Which to cross out? It did not take her long to see that if she was saying No she could not say Lord,...
Weekly Devotionals


January 21, 2021
Full moon on a silver sea.  Shadows throwing into sharp relief the luminous rocks.  I sat in the antique rocking chair by the window, a cup of hot Postum in my hand, fascinated by the undulation of great swaths of foam on the ocean, almost fluorescent in the moonlight.   Stillness.  Perfect stillness.  It is a very great gift, not always available to those who would most appreciate it and would find joy in it, and often not appreciated by those who have it but are uncomfortable with it.  External noise is inescapable in many places—traffic on land and in the...
Weekly Devotionals

The Future Is Not Our Province

January 7, 2021
While a new year offers us a fresh start, it can also bring anxiety.  Questions crowd into our minds.  Will my job become redundant?  Is God going to keep me single for another whole year?   Where is that mate He’s supposed to be bringing me?  Where will the money come from for college, rent, clothes, food?  Must I continue to suffer this person, this church, this handicap, this pain, this loneliness?  We have a calming word in Psalm 138:8, “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O Lord, endures forever—do not abandon the works of your...
Weekly Devotionals

Discerning the Call of God

December 31, 2020
As a little girl I especially loved the story of God’s call to the child Samuel as he lay sleeping in the temple.  I wondered if God would ever call me.  Would I hear Him?  What would He say?  Throughout my growing years I read missionary stories and heard them told at our dinner table by guests from many lands who came to stay with us.  I was always eager to know just how they were called.  As a college student I worried much about whether I would fail to follow the Shepherd, would be deaf to His call.  I thought it...
Weekly Devotionals

The Nativity

December 24, 2020
Out of the dusk, a promise (Is. 9:6) Out of the dark, a star (Mt. 2:2) Out of the world, a maiden (Lk. 1:38) Out of the night afar (Is. 9:2) Resounds the angel’s message (Lk. 2:14) Which shepherds heard them sing (Lk. 2:8) Out of the dawn, redemption (Eph. 1:7) Into the world, a King! (Rev. 17:14) source unknown—sent to me by Aunt Anne Howard, Christmas 1951 Ponder, if you can, both the majesty of that King whose hands formed the universe, and the meekness that assented to come into the world a helpless infant, utterly dependent on His...
Weekly Devotionals

An Unusual Christmas Celebration

December 17, 2020
The work of Amy Carmichael in south India, known as the Dohnavur Fellowship, is still very much alive.  Sometimes foreigners help for a limited time, but an Indian woman, Nesaruthina Carunia, is the director.  All her regular staff are Indian.  In the beautiful compound there is a hospital where at Christmas time a feast is given for the lepers—a feast very different from American celebrations, yet one which surely means infinitely more to those sufferers than our elaborate and expensive ones.  As I read Balaleela’s account in the prayer letter, Dust of Gold, I thought what a prodigious undertaking it is, yet how full of deep joy both...
Weekly Devotionals

Family Prayers

December 10, 2020
When I was a child my father and mother gathered the six of us in the living room after breakfast every morning for family prayers.  First we sang a hymn, omitting none of the stanzas, accompanied on the piano by one of our parents.  It was in this way that we learned a good bit of solid theology without any conscious effort.  I must emphasize that it was hymns and old gospel songs we sang, not choruses or gospel ditties.   There are some young families who still do this today.  Judy Palpant of Spokane, who had heard me tell about our family prayers, writes,...
Weekly Devotionals

The World Must Be Shown

December 3, 2020
When Jesus was speaking with His disciples before His crucifixion, He gave them His parting gift:  peace such as the world can never give.  But He went on immediately to say, Set your troubled hearts at rest and banish your fears. . . . I shall not talk much longer with you, for the Prince of this world approaches.  He has no rights over me, but the world must be shown that I love the Father and do exactly as He commands.John 14:27, 30-31 A few weeks ago a young mother called to ask for “something that will help me...
Weekly Devotionals

A Thanksgiving Tradition

November 26, 2020
During the Pilgrim’s first harrowing winter in Massachusetts food dwindled one day to a single pint of corn—enough to provide each man, woman, and child with five grains.  From that time on, it is said that they placed five grains of corn on each plate at Thanksgiving to remind them of God’s faithfulness even in times of extreme want.   In William Bradford’s history Of Plymouth Plantation he wrote of how, though the people had worked hard to produce crops, “the Lord seemed to blast, & take the same, and to threaten further & more sore famine unto them, by...
Weekly Devotionals

The Absence of Feeling in the Devotional Life

November 19, 2020
“I am sporadic in my devotions” writes a Newsletter reader (who happens to be my daughter!), “though I am up pretty regularly by 5:30 a.m.  There are many mornings when my mind and heart are too dull and cold to learn of Him.”   Here’s a part of what I wrote to her:  It is in the total absence of feeling that our faith is most faithful and most accurately gauged—if we go on getting up early, putting ourselves faithfully before the Lord whether we feel like it or not, even “just going through the motions,” when we know that...
Weekly Devotionals

The Unseen Company

November 12, 2020
Many of us belong to churches where a creed is often repeated by the congregation.  Several of the ancient creeds include these words, “I believe in the communion of saints.”  For some the word saints means only certain specially holy people who have been officially designated as such.  For others it means those who are now in heaven.  The Bible is very matter-of-fact in showing that those who belong to Christ, i.e., Christians, are saints.  Look at Acts 9:32 and 41 for a start.  Then note the salutations in Romans 1:7, 1 Corinthians 1:2, and other places. Do you ever...
Weekly Devotionals

Hints for Quiet Time

November 5, 2020
Having a quiet time with the Lord every day is absolutely essential if you expect to grow spiritually.  But you have to plan it.  It won’t “just happen.”  We’re all much too busy.  Early morning is best, and there are plenty of scriptural precedents for that (Jesus rose “a great while before day”; the psalmist said, “In the morning shalt Thou hear my voice”).   If you meet the Lord before you meet anybody else, you’ll be “pointed in the right direction” for whatever comes.  God knows how difficult it is for some to do this, and if you have a reason you...
Weekly Devotionals

Letter to a Missionary

October 26, 2020
When my father and mother were newly married they sailed for Belgium where they were to work with the Belgian Gospel Mission.  They were twenty-four and twenty-three.  Recently my brother Jim Howard unearthed a letter written to them by an older missionary of the China Inland Mission dated July 21, 1922.  It spoke to me freshly and powerfully when I received it yesterday, so I give it to you:  “My dear Philip: As this comes into your hands you will be aboard your steamer, and perhaps a bit of a ways on your journey towards Belgium.  I do hope that...
Weekly Devotionals

Tempted to Talk

October 19, 2020
Some of us talk too much.  The Lord reminded me of my own tendency to “pop off” about things, to open my mouth when it should remain closed, to speak from a desire for sympathy or praise or to be seen in a favorable light, to comment on things about which no comment whatsoever (from me!) is called for.  Kay’s translation of Psalm 141:3 is, “Place, O Lord, a sentry over my mouth.  Keep guard over the door of my lips.”  This is often my prayer.  I had never noticed the connection between that prayer and an unusual one found...
Weekly Devotionals

Quietness Before God

October 12, 2020
Do you try to find a little quiet space in the day when you come before the Lord in complete emptiness, so that His holy presence can fill your heart and calm your spirit?  What peace it is to let fall before Him everything earthly, those things which worry and press so insistently for our attention, and then, quite simply, to offer up our hearts in loving adoration, trying to focus steadily on Him, His beauty and majesty, His merciful tenderness and changeless care for His own.  To do this is to find things wonderfully simplified.  The “look” of them...
Weekly Devotionals

Lord of All Seasons

October 5, 2020
Last April I spoke to a group of women in Florida about Jesus Christ being “Lord of All Seasons.”   The topic was their choice, and I found myself, as usual, tested along the very lines on which I was going to speak.  During the previous week, Lars and I had learned that all twenty-eight of the nice new (and very expensive) windows we had installed in our new house leaked.  I was anxious about many things—my mother’s health (she has had more falls lately, forgets things more), my coming grandchild, a new word processor, which I wasn’t sure I...