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

Observing, noticing, listening: These practices can keep us from making false assumptions about people and about our mission field. Our ears can keep us from answering questions no one is really asking, so that we can get to the ones they are asking. Listening also wins us favor with folks who generally appreciate it when we take a heartfelt interest in them. Little wonder that Jesus drew others into his mission: They felt heard.

Immanuel, “God with us,” was more than a bumper-sticker slogan in Galilee. People experienced a deep connection with Jesus because he listened.

—Ben Ingebretson, Plant Like Jesus: The Church Planter’s Devotional (Upper Room Books, 2020)

Today’s Question

Who do you need to listen to more closely so you can develop a deeper connection?
Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

[Jesus] said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it!”
—Luke 11:28 (NRSVUE)

Prayer for the Week

Teach me, Lord Jesus, to listen as you did. Help me to be slow to speak, slow to judge, and quick to hear. Open my ears so that I can sense both the cry for help around me and your Spirit more clearly, that I might follow you more completely. I pray, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
—Ben Ingebretson, Plant Like Jesus
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Since 1998, Safe Sanctuaries resources have been a trusted source of guidance for churches and other affiliated institutions as they work to reduce the risk of abuse in their communities. Now, a new and comprehensive resource, Safer Sanctuaries: Nurturing Trust within Faith Communities continues the tradition of Safe Sanctuaries ministry by building on the strong foundation of past resources to inspire and prepare churches for the work of the future. Learn more at SaferSanctuaries.org.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • Jill Posted April 12, 2024 5:27 am

    This week has utterly gotten away from me. School has been so busy, bell to bell. The principal’s secretary is out with surgery – and all the monetary tasks she does for the principal…orders, payment, etc has fallen to me. It kinda compounded with spring break. And for my program – next week is submission week – so there is much to do.
    As far as listening…I have strived to really be diligent in this area – and I have learned well from cancer and grief support groups, as well as my closest friends who drew near to me during my mom’s struggle. Not feeling the need to “fix” something, or worse yet…someone…but just being present and holding space. I think this is what sparked a deep friendship with my tennis friend.
    We had our last session of grief group on Wednesday evening. I will remain in contact with two of the people, as they are still struggling. I will need to continue to listen well. I think that is one of their struggles…the people in their life want them to have “moved on”, “get past” this – but their hurt is very deep.
    Opportunities to play tennis are increasing – and I am grateful. Timing is good for this, with grief group over and my god son’s high school basketball season over. He is now playing AAU/travel ball on weekends. Next weekend I will have the opportunity to travel with his mom to see him play.

    • robert moeller Posted April 12, 2024 6:01 am

      Glad to see a post from you, YES, you are super busy. Glad some relief is coming. Grief has many facets and each of us deals differently with it, Being a persistent patient listener is very helpful.
      Glad you will carry on with two struggling people. Am sure you are delighted for tennis opportunities. Many blessings for all you do.

  • robert moeller Posted April 12, 2024 5:53 am

    Listening and as a result producing positive outcomes is helping make progress for both Erich and me. I am staying aware of God’s ever presence and that is also helping me improve.Thankful for grace that makes up for my shortcomings. Thank You, Lord.
    Eastertide blessings to all the NEM family, sadly “awaiting moderation” is ongoing, but I think my posts are visible even when it says 0 Comments. Very strange.

  • Rusty Posted April 12, 2024 9:29 am

    In answer to this question, I think I would say “everyone.” It seems to me that listening is a skill we cannot (or I’ll say, I cannot) ever fully master. When I think I’ve arrived at being “a good listener” I always discover an immense new dimension and God urging me to rededicate myself to listening more deeply and more compassionately. This week’s series of readings is doing that for me.

    Jill, thank you for your words about grieving persons: that “…the people in their life want them to have ‘moved on’, ‘get past’ this – but their hurt is very deep.” This struck a chord with me this week as I have been reading a book about a particular speech impediment that I have lived with my whole life. Today there is growing recognition that it is not so much an “impediment” but a form of neurodiversity. People (even the ones who tried to help me with it as a child) tried to be compassionate about it – but their discomfort led them to, in one way or another, end up urging me to “just stop doing it.”

    I’m afraid that’s what people do also with grieving people. Others’ discomfort commandeers their words, thoughts and actions even when they try to show compassion. Thank you Jesus for showing us what real listening and compassion are.

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