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

Some of us struggle for certainty, and some add to that spiritual load by also worrying about the fact that we are struggling. Yet when we hesitate to voice our questions, even to those closest to us, the spinning logic wheels in our mind can distract us from experiencing the reality of God. We produce questions that are impossible to answer. Some people struggle so intensely that they become disillusioned with faith; some become estranged from God and organized religion and leave the church. Others may float in a kind of malaise within the church—less than happy, less than faithful, feeling less than loved by God and yet unable to leave the faith behind completely. But it is possible to face our questions and doubts and to wrestle with them until we exhaust our rational powers and are able to move beyond their limits.

—Mary Lou Redding, While We Wait: Living the Questions of Advent (Upper Room Books, 2002)

Today’s Question

What questions of faith cause you to struggle for certainty? What might happen if you decided to accept that we all have doubts? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

Faith is the reality of what we hope for, the proof of what we don’t see.
—Hebrews 11:1 (CEB)

Prayer for the Week

Holy God, help us to hear you calling us home during Advent and guide us to set aside time for reflection on the wonder of your Son’s birth. Thank you for the gift of Jesus Christ. Help us to focus on him and to show his compassion and love to others during this season. Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Show your loved ones how much you care by giving them Spirit Boosters, daily reminders that they still have purpose, no matter their age.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • Jill Posted December 10, 2023 5:33 am

    Very soon after my spiritual growth spurt – these types of questions really did a number on my logical, linear brain. The paradoxes of the Bible confounded me. The things which “didn’t add up” prevented me from growing deeper roots initially. I “needed” it to all make sense – and, thank God, it never will…not here on this earth. It is good that I can say that now. That I no longer wrestle with such things. Faith is required. Trust is required. To grow closer to Him and for roots to dig deep. Thank You Father for quieting this in me.
    Following the cancer support group meeting today is the holiday luncheon. It is a nice time of fellowship. The joy these people emit, in the midst of such struggle, it’s palpable. Such an encouragement.
    I have begun to integrate jogging into my morning walk. My legs are tired, but I am very encouraged that all is quiet on my right side. My left side wants to know when its turn is coming. Very soon, my friend.
    My god son’s game last evening was a route – they dominated the other team from the beginning. Two challenging games this upcoming week. Then they are off to Florida for a tournament prior to Christmas. My friend will meet her daughter there – she is so looking forward to that time with her. Her daughter will then be home for the holiday.
    Warm wishes for this second Sunday of Advent. Praying, Ally, that you will continue to feel stronger and well.

    • Ally Posted December 10, 2023 10:20 pm

      Thank you so much, Jill!

  • robert moeller Posted December 10, 2023 7:15 am

    A very deep faith experience and explanation Jill. Thank you.
    My faith journey was slow. The first small peak came at confirmation. In college is was on the back burner at best. Basic training in the army revived it somewhat. That continued through infantry school and on active duty. Back in the US it lulled. Off to Korea again, this time as a teacher it warmed as I met a pastor, married Soo Ok. It was very hard to attend church with a very heavy teaching schedule. Returned to the US and we attended church , our children were baptized. We continued attending church for the next 20 years. Then Soo Ok passed away. My faith grew out of this experience. Many experiences helped my faith grow and I’ma firm believer. Yes, there were some weaker times, but faith is what keeps me going . Thank You , Lord.
    The Upper Room has been a helpful companion since 2008 and the posts of NEM members are a definite help.
    Blessing and prayers for all whose come. We remember the coming of the Lord and wait patiently.

  • Rusty Posted December 10, 2023 4:00 pm

    A major category of doubt I struggle with stems from other Christians’ collective behavior that I cannot reconcile with the Gospels and Jesus’s first and second commandments of loving God and loving people. I have little with which to respond to questions like “How can you claim to be a Christian when so many Christians nationally . . . [fill in the blank]?” Lord, you know my endeavors not to join in criticism of other Christians, in obedience 1 Peter 2:17.(showing proper respect and love for all Christians). But you also know that even non-believers and not-yet-believers have a strong sense of 1 Peter 2:1 (our obligation to rid ourselves of all malice and deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind).

    I welcome (and ask for) advice from UR family members in helping me see through this. Thanks and love to all in this community.

  • Ally Posted December 10, 2023 10:18 pm

    Belief has never come easy for me. Sometimes I struggle with doubts. When they really dog me, God has sent help: a reminder of a time when I felt God’s presence and love in a tangible way; or an encouraging word ; or a blessing from a friend. Even in my doubts, I choose Christ.

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