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.


Today’s Reflection

A number of years ago, someone gave me a small, handblown glass vial made by a collective of Palestinian women. I was going through a difficult wilderness season—a season filled with tears. It was comforting to hold the little turquoise vase and imagine that God was collecting my tears.

During that season of struggle, someone told me that tears are prayers to God. I believe and have experienced that truth. Whether tears are cried in sadness, despair, anger, joy, or anxiety, they are prayers to God that need no word, no explanation.

—Beth A. Richardson, Walking in the Wilderness: Seeking God During Lent (Upper Room Books, 2020)

Today’s Question

How do you respond to the idea of your tears as prayers to God? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

You have kept count of my tossings;
put my tears in your bottle.
Are they not in your record?
—Psalm 56:8 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

O God, help me walk through the wilderness of these days remembering who I am and whose I am. Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Join author Beth A. Richardson from Ash Wednesday, February 17, through Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021, for a special online retreat from The Upper Room, featuring the book Walking in the Wilderness: Seeking God During Lent. Learn more here.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.


  • robert moeller Posted January 15, 2021 5:35 am

    I do believe tears shed during prayers are positive. Prayers for Jill and the students who cheated. That’s very upsetting. Yes, Julie, we all miss Marcy, hope she is getting the many kinds of help she needs. Having had family home for Christmas and now being alone is not fun, Lou. Staying busy is one way to help ease the situation. You are on the right track. Modeling, walks in the woods, Masterpiece Theatre, and sports help me. Should be getting vaccinated some time after the 26th, can get an appointment after the 22nd. My diner, not so impressive from the outside, but cheerful and welcoming inside is making great progress. The major work left is the interior, 30 seats to paint.
    Hopeful that when the time comes a new pastor will be found. When one door closes, another one opens. Prayers for better days as the pandemic is overcome. Thank You, Lord.

  • Julie Posted January 15, 2021 8:41 am

    Yes, I believe our prayers are the most pure form of prayer. We cannot soften or alter our tears as one may their words. Our tears are an authentic expression of our true and deepest felt emotions and are therefore the best offering to our Lordand most cherished by by Him.
    Prayers for Robert and his church and the search for a new pastor. Prayers of thankfulness that he will soon get his first dose of the vaccine for the coronavirus.
    Prayers for Jill and her students and administrators. May they seek God when dealing with the cheating and also the conundrum of beginning inperson instructions.
    Prayers for Ally and David. So very thankful to see your post! Also thank you for reaching out to me via email, I still have to try the links. Prayers that you will start sleeping and feeling better soon.
    Prayers for Lou and her family. I know how loneliness can be all encompassing and pull you down. May you reach out to friends as well as keep in touch with your children using social media and texts.
    I have found a new breeder who is a gruff but lovable older gentleman who has been breeding Tonkinese for many years and is good friends of the breeder I bought my three babies from. I will be sending him a deposit for an as yet unborn baby. He sent me a picture of the momma and she is precious.

  • Ally Posted January 15, 2021 11:39 am

    Not long before my mama passed, I heard a funeral message in which the preacher said that tears of grief are holy to God. I have never forgotten that statement, taking great comfort in it as I mourned my mama. If each tear is a prayer, I have prayed a lot. I know that the Lord in His mercy, hears our prayers. Thank You, Lord. David said last night that he feels his antidepressant is working. He said he feels better than he has in a long time. I slept better last night and am trying to give up fear and worry. . Praise God. We are meeting a friend for supper and we both look forward to the fellowship.
    Robert, prayers for your congregation as you seek a new pastor. Praying as you seek God in the process. Jill, praying for you and admin as you explore ways to deal with this. Prayers for the students as well. I know this grieves your heart. Julie, I pray you find the links helpful. I have a friend who had a Tonkinese kitty. She was very sweet and a really beauty! My babies have been a great comfort over last week. Lou, praying for you as you deal with post- holiday blues and loneliness. I felt a little blue after returning home after being with family. Still praying for Marcy and that she experiences healing . I pray for distribution of the vaccine and better days ahead. Also praying for a peaceful transition of power next week. Praying we can find common ground as a nation. Blessings to all.

  • Jill Posted January 15, 2021 3:13 pm

    I treasure that verse in Psalm 56 and have felt the gravity of it deep within when the tears are streaming. Yes, God hears, God knows, and He comes alongside to abide. I am grateful I have never felt I needed to suppress my tears or emotions. Sometimes it is hard, being single and alone, but truly I am never alone. But, there have been times I have longed for an embrace. So glad for Roger – my sweet companion. He has licked many a tear off my cheek.
    Both students “folded like a house of cards” as the saying goes. I am grateful they fessed up. Unlike the other situation, where the students buried themselves further by fabricating a web of lies. Disappointing – but grateful it was dealt with, at least on my part, within 24 hours. It is now in the hands of the assistant principal. I feel so badly for these kids, and actions they choose out of desperation.
    It has been good to have a break today. I napped this morning and then went to have my phone switched over. My god daughter’s old phone is now mine. Unfortunately, my old phone had not been updated, so it was going to be a multi-hour task at the phone store. I left my phone and came home to grade. Will be returning soon and hope it is ready to go. I hated giving up my more compact phone, but the battery was waning, would not hold a charge very long – so now I will feel like I am carrying around a tablet. At least I will be able to see it better!
    Looking forward to 3 more wondrous days – lots of football to have on while grading. Sunday I will be watching the big game with a friend. It should be fun. We didn’t do it last week because it was on late. This one is Sunday afternoon at 3. Perfect. We are going to order in Thai from our favorite place by her house.
    Thank you for those of you who prayed for my attitude and what was to be said to the students. Your consistent prayer and our little gathering space here – both are treasures.

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