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

Amma Syncletica said, “In the beginning there are a great many battles and a good deal of suffering for those who are advancing toward God and afterward, ineffable joy. It is like those who wish to light a fire; at first they are choked by the smoke and cry, and by this means obtain what they seek (as it is said: ‘Our God is a consuming fire’): so we also must kindle the divine fire in ourselves through tears and hard work.”

—Keith Beasley-Topliffe, Editor, Writings of the Desert Fathers & Mothers (Upper Room Books, 2017)

Today’s Question

What helps you persevere in times of suffering? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

Those who stand firm during testing are blessed. They are tried and true. They will receive the life God has promised to those who love him as their reward.
—James 1:12 (CEB)

Prayer for the Week

Lord, as you will, and as you know, have mercy.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Spread the love of Christ in 2021. Join The Upper Room Fellowship Circle, a community of donors who support our ministries with a monthly gift. Partner with us.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • robert moeller Posted January 19, 2021 7:25 am

    Prayer helps me most in times of suffering. Keeping busy. finding things to do, and working on the problem also help. Love the Psalm in the lectionary. a very strong and powerful message there.
    Looks like it could snow, but it has done that a lot with no results. Yesterday’s walk was a mix of packed snow, snow covered slush, and ice. What snow there is is not very deep. The diner is nearing completion, decals, window glazing, a finish, small car end detail parts, and painting as needed. Glad to see what I could have seen, possibly ridden, more than 70 years ago. I might not have appreciated it as much at two years old. A lot of 1940s influence still around when I was growing up. Prayers that there is a positive, peaceful, and helpful transition in Washington DC. The US is hurting, dying, and people need help. Very hard to imagine something like this could happen. 1918 is too far from many people’s memory.More positive news on vaccine availability, how and where to get a shot, Until I, we, you get one keep following CDC guidelines, and EVEN AFTER you have a shot continue until the CDC says we have the percentage needed to be safe. Prayers for your safety, well-being, journey through tough times, and better future remembering that God is with us always. Thank You. Lord.

  • Julie Posted January 19, 2021 8:28 am

    Really, what choice do I have but to get through each situation as it arises? I just slog through each day and pray for strength and stamina. I try to be patient.
    Prayers for Robert and I add my own prayers to his and agree with the continuing of all CDC guidelines.
    Prayers for Ally and David and their health and well being and sleep. May this year be one of healing for both and new beginnings for Ally’s business or employment.
    Prayers for BJ who briefly commented.
    Prayers for Jill and Larry, may both receive the vaccine soon. I know veterans in our area are being vaccinated, if perhaps Larry is a veteran maybe he could check that resource. Prayers for Jill and her students during the second semester.
    Prayers for Lou and her family and all those who are lonely every day especially since last March.

  • Ally Posted January 19, 2021 10:37 am

    Spending time in prayer, meditating on the scriptures, our family, friends and church family and forums like UR have been invaluable in helping me persevere over the last t3-4 years as we have dealt with my mother’ struggle with dementia, her death, David’s illness and recovery from COVID, and my health issues. God has been ever present, even when I have struggled to believe. Yesterday’s meditation was about the simple phrases we use to pray. A book series I enjoy reading has a main character who is an Episcopal priest. He states that when the words don’t come, he prays the prayer that never fails: They Will Be Done. Amen. Thanks to you all for continued prayers for us. We are persevering.
    Robert, many prayers for members of your church family who lost a family member to COVID. I am praying for wider distribution of the vaccine. Jill, glad that you and your friend had a nice time shopping and getting away for the day. Sounds like it was just what you needed. Lifting up your 2nd semester. May it be a time of learning and growth. I pray that you find the info you and Larry need regarding vaccine. Julie, your and Megan’s trip to the museums sound like fun. I enjoy museums. David and I have been thinking of a day trip to Atlanta to visit the High Museum of Art. Praying for Marcy, BJ, April, Andrea, Lou, and Rick. Praying for peace in Washington tomorrow and for democracy. Thy will be done, Lord. Blessings to all.

  • Jill Posted January 19, 2021 3:29 pm

    Knowing how God used trials and suffering in my past will encourage me when I face uphill territory again. Knowing He desires to continue to mold me to His Son’s image – I will trust Him and be grateful that He is not leaving me where I am. I will ask Him to increase my faith and endurance, so that I desire to work with Him in transformative work.
    Dad texted me this morning, saying he will receive the vaccine Thursday morning. Yes, Julie, he did serve and one of the avenues he pursued was the VA. He was most hopeful with them. But turns out he will get vaccinated at our county’s health department. I am so grateful for this.
    Sun was out this morning and I had no meetings after class – so I was able to get out for a walk.
    Attending a zoom event tonight – hosted by an author whose book released today. She will speak on suffering and have several guests, including Paul Tripp and Joni Earekson Tada. It is later than I would like, but I have been a long time subscriber to her blog and await delivery of her newly released book. A favorite singer of mine – whose songs sustained me during mom’s last days – will be singing at the event as well.

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