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

In solitude we discover that we are not what we do but what we are given; that we are not the result of our judgments but born out of God’s love. In solitude we find space in which God can be revealed to us as the great lover who made us and remade us. In solitude we discover that we can only do something for others because God did something for us; we can only love because we have been loved first; we can only bring freedom to others because we have been set free; we can only give because we have been given.

—Henri J.M. Nouwen, “The Gift of Solitude,” The Wondrous Mystery: An Upper Room Advent Reader, compiled by Benjamin Howard (Upper Room Books, 2019)

Today’s Question

How often do you allow yourself to seek solitude? What gifts can solitude offer you? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

He ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.
—Matthew 14:19 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

God, thank you for what is just around the corner. In a season filled with the longest, darkest nights, I await the coming of the most beautiful light.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Join us for The Wondrous Mystery: An Upper Room Advent eCourse. Beginning next week and throughout Advent, we will gather online for weekly guided spiritual practice sessions, group learning, and facilitated discussion. The eCourse also includes daily readings from this week’s featured book, The Wondrous Mystery. Register here.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • Julie Posted November 22, 2021 7:51 am

    I am alone alot, too much. I also do to much. I have not slowed down at all since the operation. I was never allowed to be sick or slow down even as a child and I continue to do the same. I am not worthy of taking it easy to recouperate and I must not show any sign of weakness lest my enemies devour me. In fact I was attacked repeatedly by h last night. He was verbally abusive and treatened me.
    Prayers for Ally to discern God’s will regarding the teaching issue and may David’s PSA value decline. Prayers for safe travel and a rewarding visit for Jill and her family and may Roger’s body respond to t he insulin. Prayers for Robert and his church as they enter the Advent season with laity led festivities. Prayers for Larry and you said that the ringing in your ears prevents you from sitting quietly with the Lord and this is tinnitus. Prayers for Marti and her staff, may they have aa warm holiday with family.
    Thank you for your prayers and may God bless all who visit here.

  • Julie Posted November 22, 2021 7:53 am

    sorry …”a lot” not alot

  • robert moeller Posted November 22, 2021 8:15 am

    There’s quiet time early in the morning and then solitude can come at different times of the day, in walks, before a nap, and finally before I go to sleep at night. It is a very welcome way to start the day, and provides rest and peace during the day. The first Sunday in Advent comes on the 28th. The message will focus on HOPE. That has been an important word since the pandemic began. Jesus is the hope of the world. Lord help us make room for Him in the inn, in our hearts, minds, and spirit.
    Prayers thatThanksgiving is safe and meaningful and you all are blest as we remember the coming of Emanuel. Safe travel, healing wherever it is needed, well-being, and God’s blessing to the NEM community. Thank You, Lord.

  • robert moeller Posted November 22, 2021 8:20 am

    Julie, hope you are safe, words hurt as much as physical violence. There are times when healing needs a slower pace. I admire your tenacity, but the surgery site doesn’t need disruption.

  • Ally Posted November 22, 2021 10:45 am

    Jesus needed solitude: to pray, to listen to the Holy Spirit. We need this as well. I need solitude to hear God, to build up my energy so I can be what God wants me to be. I am going to apply for the online teaching job today. I’m not building my hopes too high. David’s appointment with urologist recheck his PSA is Wednesday. He has a lot of anxiety. Please pray for us.
    Julie, I pray for your safety and that you can find a way to slow down and heal. You are in my heart. Robert, praying for your church as you plan Advent. Still in prayer for you and Erich as you work to heal your relationship. Larry, praying for relief from the tinnitus. Jill, praying you are enjoying time with family and get some rest. Little Roger remains close to my heart. Praying for the insulin to do its work. Praying (it is hard for me at times) to live in thankfulness. Blessings to all.

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