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

Right where we are this moment, in the midst of whatever loneliness we may be facing, God meets us and holds out a hand of friendship. At the heart of the Christian faith lies an extravagant, grace-filled, and mind-blowing offer. God passionately longs to be friends with us. This is what Jesus, through his life, death, resurrection, and ascended presence throughout the universe, makes possible for every human being. All he asks is that we accept the offer of divine friendship.

—Trevor Hudson, Beyond Loneliness: The Gift of God’s Friendship (Upper Room Books, 2016)

Today’s Question

How does the idea that God longs for friendship with you make you feel? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

During that day’s cool evening breeze, they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden; and the man and his wife hid themselves from the Lord God in the middle of the garden’s trees. The Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”
—Genesis 3:8-9 (CEB)

Prayer for the Week

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
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

In Where We Meet: A Lenten Study of Systems, Stories, and Hope, a collective of church planters and activists invites you to immerse yourself in the stories of Jesus and the early church. Prepare to tackle challenging questions and be emboldened to follow in Jesus’ footsteps, pursuing justice and love for all. Download a free sample and order your copy in time for Lent here.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • Jill Posted January 31, 2024 5:36 am

    His desiring relationship with me is so very humbling. I believe He created us for relationship with Him…puts a yearning deep inside that only He can satisfy. And, yet, I find myself longing for relationships here in the earthly realm too. This is also of Him – a gift, and I want to relate well. Sometimes I question if my longing for deep, meaningful relationship is stronger as a single person. Often, I feel like I must tamp it down. I try to be very mindful – especially with my friends who are married. I seek God’s wisdom…His definition of balance.
    April and Andrea – may you each find His strength sufficient for the day, for the moment. Caregiving is such a responsibility – and He sees each of you as fit for the calling. May you find times to replenish your soul, as it can be draining walking along side one who is suffering. One you deeply care about. Father God – sustain them and the ones they are caring for.
    Lou – I love that you are trying to lean in. Not always our reaction or desire. I pray He meets you there. Sometimes my only prayer is – “Father, help me desire Your will for my life. I want to, but don’t seem capable of it in this moment. Change my heart.”
    Gracious Father God – our life unfolds frame by frame for us, and we want to pause, hit rewind or fast forward and sometimes eject. Help us to stay step in step with You – the story You are writing each day for us. You see the end, You are leading us well.

  • Ally Posted January 31, 2024 5:57 am

    I love this; God longs to be friends with us. It reminds me of the worship service we watch on Sundays sometimes. Pastor Ginger welcomes the congregation with these words: No matter who you are or where you come from, come and met by our God, who loves you and knows you by name and wants an ever growing relationship with you. Amen.
    May Andrea , Julie, and April feel God’s love and draw from God’s strength. As they care for their loved ones. Jill, thank you for your words today.
    Praying Robert is well. Thank you God, for this forum of friends. Blessings to all.

  • Julie Posted January 31, 2024 9:51 am

    I read an article this morning in the Washington Post. Apparently Elmo wrote on the Sesame Street Twitter (X) page a question asking how everyone is feeling. Most responders said not geat, Elmo. Many were lonely or overwhelmed or full of anxiety. When I read Elmo’s question I immediately thought to myself the answer of overwhelmed and scared. H will be returning home soon and I am more terrified than when I brought home my newborn daughter. I felt confident in my abiity to be a good mother. But caregiving for an adult is much different. And unlke most, we do not love one another but instead despise one another. I, as a follower of Christ, can set this aside and care for my “brother” as the Samaritan did. But even before the dementia, h was vocal about his disdain. Now in dementia he is vile and mean to me without fail.
    Elmo’s post ended with lists of mental health resources. But lastly Elmo stated “Wow, maybe Elmo should ask a friend more often how they are doing.”

  • Andrea Posted January 31, 2024 1:51 pm

    I’m so very, very grateful for your prayers. Julie, I feel for the exceedingly difficult burden you carry as a caregiver for h. May God support you on eagle’s wings. Lowell had a bone marrow biopsy yesterday, which went well. I’ve tweaked our night schedule so I’m not up as much. My patience is a little thin as I’m tired and Lowell is a bit resistant to safety precautions at times – he has a walker now. I’m scared about the legal affairs he still needs to tie up, that a crisis may interfere. Yes, God is my friend — my breath prayer is “I am safe in God’s strong arms” and “Lowell is safe in God’s strong arms.” Blessings, love, and prayers for dear UR friends.

    • Julie Posted January 31, 2024 7:30 pm

      Be strong and know that you can reach out to me if you need support. You are indeed in my prayers 🙏

  • Rusty Posted January 31, 2024 9:28 pm

    What wonderful, thoughtful comments from all of you. Thank you and praise be to God. Peace and prayers to and for all.

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