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

Sometimes we feel that our lives (or our very selves) are being pruned without our consent. Life’s unexpected transitions and tragedies can cut us off at the knees without warning. Pain can prune us of innocence and illusion and teach us lessons we often don’t learn from pleasure.

Just as in the garden, pruning makes us stronger, not weaker. Both pruning and being pruned spur us to new growth.

—Linda Douty, Rhythms of Growth: 365 Meditations to Nurture the Soul (Upper Room Books, 2014)

Today’s Question

When have you experienced pruning that ultimately spurred you toward growth? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

[Jesus said,] “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit.”
—John 15:1-2 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

Thank you, God, for sun and showers.
Thank you for each lovely flower.
Thank you for each stately tree.
Though all these, you speak to me.
A Gardener’s Prayer
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

What does it mean to live a contemplative life? In Everyday Contemplative, Roger Owens challenges readers to expand their definition of contemplative living to encompass all ways of seeking to be more open, available, and responsive to God. 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 April 30, 2022 5:42 am

    Perhaps the search for a single family home is a pruning. Erich and I are working better together, that doesn’t mean there aren’t moments, but in general things are better. Moving furniture to be picked up today is an example. It lightens the load of a move and benefits others as well. Keeping an eye on the Poconos market.
    Communion- worship in person on Zoom tomorrow. Blessings to all. Thank You, Lord.

  • Julie Posted April 30, 2022 9:12 am

    I would venture that all hardships are growth opportunites. I have had and have currently, many in my life and in retrospect can see how they made me the Christ follower I am today.
    The colonoscopy went well and no issues were found. The doctor wants me to get a blood count done to see about my anemia. I see my PCP this week so it will be nice that he will have results by then if I go on Monday. We picked up the kittens yesterday as well. They are so tiny so we have them confiined to Megan’s room. The kitties we had who are quite large are afraid of them!
    Prayers for Ally and David, may Ally’s new job endeavor prove fruitful. Prayers for Jill, may her review session be well attended and successful in raising scores. Prayers for Robert and Erich as they continue to nurture their relationship through shared goals.

  • April Posted April 30, 2022 1:30 pm

    I have this book by Linda Douty and have been reading if for several years. Each time I gain new insight as I grow with her day by day throughout the year. I am a gardener at heart now, but raised on a farm with a large garden. Someday I would like to have a garden again and grow our own food.
    Pruning….I am never good at this with the plants in my garden, but when I do, indeed their new growth is better than it was before. Several years ago I knew it was time to leave the job I had been at for over 20 years. I couldn’t believe what was happening with the manager I once admired, but once I saw that it was not going to get better, I made plans to move on and I have never regretted that decision. God was pruning me from that job into a whole new life as I found new positions and moved from place to place. My husband was not so excited at first, but I said I was going and he came with me. He said his last job was his best. I thought, isn’t that how God is, he has a plan for us and he prunes us. We stepped out of our comfort zone and moved where we found new friends, opportunities, churches, etc.
    The patterns, rhythms, sameness of life lulled me into thinking that was my life. Being pruned from them opened my eyes to newness. I listen to podcasts at Gratefulness.org and Max Lucado as well as listen to services from former churches online during times when I need encouragement to keep going. I am reading “Wake Up Grateful” by Kristi Nelson and learning a new lifestyle beyond thankfulness and gratitude.
    God gives us choices. He also teaches and prunes. I pray for wisdom to see where He is leading and follow. Blessing dear NEM family. We are Easter people!!

  • Jill Posted April 30, 2022 5:46 pm

    I see His gardening hand – carefully pruning, then lavishly tending – watering and feeding, as new growth bursts forth. Indeed, He is faithful. He asks me to trust and to surrender.
    Only 2 students at the review session this morning. Quite disappointing. When I walked into the school, I put the over/under at 7. Well, it was way under. We will see how many come tomorrow evening.
    Played tennis with some of my new teammates this afternoon. Super competitive, and thoroughly enjoyable. I was whipped following. But the sun was out, so I worked in the yard for about an hour before grilling up dinner. I collapsed in my recliner with two corn bags shortly there after.
    Ally – I too have this book and enjoy turning to it again and again. I heard the author speak at SoulFeast – she was a wonderful presenter.
    Rain moving in tonight – another reason why I worked in the yard today. Tomorrow is supposed to be a washout.

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