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

These days I feel like I am living in the wilderness. … And yet the wilderness is a familiar, if uncomfortable, place for those of us who follow the Holy One. The people of Israel wandered for forty years in the wilderness before finding the Promised Land. Jesus was baptized and was driven into the wilderness for forty days. [The] Lenten season is our forty days in the wilderness. Days in which we are called to self-examination, repentance, and returning to the heart of God.

—Beth A. Richardson, Walking in the Wilderness: Seeking God During Lent (Upper Room Books, 2020)

Today’s Question

What might you be called to experience in the wilderness? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

He [Jesus] was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.
—Mark 1:13 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

O God, help me walk through the wilderness of these days remembering who I am and whose I am. Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Join author Beth A. Richardson from Ash Wednesday, February 17, through Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021, for a special online retreat from The Upper Room, featuring the book Walking in the Wilderness: Seeking God During Lent. 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 January 11, 2021 5:30 am

    From past experience I’m not one to imagine the future. I think I am just made that way. Perhaps the weather has taught me this, deal with it as it comes.
    Catching up after a few days with no computer, it’s like the work that greats you when you return from vacation. Missed the UR and two church related activities, thankfully life went on.
    So many events, concerns, problems, needs face all of us at the moment, thank You, Lord, for Your ever presence. Bible study tomorrow addressing faith, belief, and hope. Always a timely topic, but more so at the moment with a rough administration transition and a long endured pandemic. Thankful that the prospect of resolution seems at the end of the tunnel, but there will be more to endure before we see the light and are out of the woods. Prayers for each of you.

  • Julie Posted January 11, 2021 8:39 am

    I definitely feel as if I am and have been for awhile wandering in the wilderness. Feel caleed to join the Lenten study offered above. Will continue to think and pray on this.
    Prayers for Robert and may he get caught up with all he missed while his computer was down.
    Prayers for Jill and congratulations to you. I know that you follow sports but I do not as I am not into sports of any kind. Living in Pittsburgh it is impossible to ignore when various teams play. I have only ever watched the kitten bowl and Megan and I record the superbowl in order to fast forward through the game and watch the commercials. So I am glad your team had a win for you. Prayers for you as you again try to reach your students through the distance of current circumstances.
    Prayers for Ally, Marcy and Rick and all we long to hear from, may they be well and safe.

  • Jill Posted January 11, 2021 6:06 pm

    It seems counter-intuitive to lean into a desert/wilderness experience. Once I recognize (accept) I am in the wilderness, I ask God to show me what He intends for me during this time frame. I confess I want it to look and be different and ask Him to settle me and enable me to remain where He has me. On the other side, I have easily been able to see the growth that came from the stretching and uncomfortability of the sustained time. Yes – His ways are not mine, and I try to be grateful and desire to embrace Him. I need His assistance in this, too.
    Oh yes – NE Ohio is downright giddy. While dad and I walked yesterday – he said he was going to sit in the swivel rocker, not the recliner – as this is where he sat when the Browns won the previous week and also when Ohio State won the semifinal. After the second touchdown last night in the opening minutes, I texted him and told him to not get out of the chair until the game was over. He thought that was pretty funny. No matter how big the lead – we all were still nervous as all get out until it became apparent under 3 minutes that we would indeed take down our “big brother” foe. Now we are all running high on adrenaline for tonight’s college championship game.
    Not sure I can make it all the way through tonight’s game – but if it is as good as last night’s – I just might.
    Yes, things seem a bit more quiet around here. May Ally be discerning well as God guides her and provides opportunity in her new job. May she and David both be feeling well.

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