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

It is the nature of our hyper-communication culture for us often to see others’ success as coming quickly. Those stories travel, and it is tempting to feel envious. But the first message that comes from Jesus is to settle in. This means putting aside our regimented schedules and plans (as though we could map all this out and “do” rather than first “be”). First, we make a commitment to know this place and these people—to be fully present in this place. Settling is the first step in planting like Jesus.

—Ben Ingebretson, Plant Like Jesus: The Church Planter’s Devotional (Upper Room Books, 2020)

Today’s Question

When you’re tempted to rush for success, how can you remember to commit, like Jesus, “to be fully present in this place”? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; and while I am making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me.” Jesus said to him, “Stand up, take your mat and walk.”
—John 5:5-8 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

Teach me, Lord Jesus, to listen as you did. Help me to be slow to speak, slow to judge, and quick to hear. Open my ears so that I can sense both the cry for help around me and your Spirit more clearly, that I might follow you more completely. I pray, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Ben Ingebretson, Plant Like Jesus
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

We invite you to listen as Pat Luna, retreat leader for The Academy for Spiritual Formation at Camp Sumatanga, reflects on how she is finding—rather than creating—daily life with God. Take a moment to listen here.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • robert moeller Posted April 19, 2022 5:14 am

    I’m in transition. Today we’re on the road, hopefully the Nor’easter doesn’t impede us. Prayers for safe travels.
    Thank You, Lord for Your wisdom that the right decisions will be made. Peace, love, grace, and mercy to my NEM family. Thank you for your prayers.

  • Julie Posted April 19, 2022 9:13 am

    Not a place that I am rushing for success. I am trying to patiently wait for healing.
    Today I will perform a 24 hour urine collection for a test. This is for my nephrologist to try to determine why my kidneys are not working correctly.
    Prayers for safe travel for Robert and prayers that he finds the home he is lloking for. Prayers for Ally as she searches for a job and undergoes interviews. May she find the perfect position. Prayers for Jill to rest and recharge this week and prayers of thanksgiving for Roger’s improving health. Our new kittens were neutered yesterday and did well.

  • Jill Posted April 19, 2022 3:48 pm

    Don’t feel like I am a “rusher”. And have certainly learned to appreciate the benefits of being present. Present in a conversation. Present in another’s struggle. Present in my time alone with God each morning. I also feel that I can tell when someone is being present with me. The more present, the more likely I am to share deeply and vulnerably.
    Had lunch with a friend from the cancer support group who was steadily beside me during mom’s decline. She is always “present” – a wonderful listener and conversationalist. Was supposed to play tennis afterwards. I arrived to find out the court had been double booked and we had to cancel. A little disappointing – but always ready for more recliner time with Roger.
    Have been working on some grading – will tend to it more this evening. Nice to not be “under the gun”, but rather – just chipping away at it.
    Tomorrow I am going to my sister’s house – we will be playing cards. Dad has been wanting to do this since we cancelled a few weeks back. Leftover Easter food awaits.
    Hoping today is the last of the snowfall. Have had really big flakes these past few days. Nothing sticks, but it is time for Spring…flowers, trees budding, wonderful scents. I am ready.

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