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.


Words of Hope During COVID-19

Wendy LeBolt, author of Made to Move: Knowing and Loving God Through Our Bodies, discusses the importance of exercise in boosting our immune systems, and she tells how she prays while she is running, walking, doing yoga, and performing other exercise.


Today’s Reflection

There is a thread, quite apart from the genealogies and genetic markers that run in endless lists through the history of our spiritual ancestors. There is a thread that links drops of water in a flood; there is a Spirit, brooding over the deep waters, which are without form, and void, before the creation of the world. … There is a river that flows from the throne of God, and over its currents, enjoying the lift and play of the air, I imagine the Spirit swooping, and diving, resting and blessing, now as then, the sacrifice of baptism.

—Rosalind C Hughes, A Family Like Mine: Biblical Stories of Love, Loss, and Longing (Upper Room Books, 2020)

Today’s Question

What connections do you notice as you think about the Spirit’s role in creation, flood, the river of God, and baptism? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

You are one body and one spirit, just as God also called you in one hope. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of all, who is over all, through all, and in all.
—Ephesians 4:4-6 (CEB)

Prayer for the Week

God, who is both Father and Mother, I give thanks for your unconditional love, protection, and guidance.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

God is near, even when we are socially distant from nearly everyone else. Register for Creating a Life with God: An Academy Recommends eCourse, a free eLearning experience led by author and Academy for Spiritual Formation faculty member Dan Wolpert.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • Jill Posted April 18, 2020 5:53 am

    I had never linked these things before, not sure I have ever considered the “river of God”. As I ponder them now – I think of the ease of the movement of water. And even though it might appear to be moving gently and easily near the surface, there could be significant fervor down deep. And isn’t that similar to the gentleness of The Spirit. Coming to us tenderly, in a faint whisper – but with such intent and potential power. Will have to consider longer – how baptism fits into this.
    It snowed here all day yesterday, although it was wetter snow as opposed to accumulating snow. Definitely longing for the warmer temps we have had and hoping that was the last of the white stuff.
    Father – continue to be with David as he improves and gains strength. May Ally remain safe and healthy at work. Father – I thank You for Julie’s answer to prayer, for this safer place for her mom to reside. Father – thank You for the countless health care workers who continue to fight valiantly in the face of this virus. Bless them and their families, heal and strengthen their bodies and minds.
    Father – hasten our progression through this disease, may this country return to emotional, physical, financial and spiritual well being.

  • Julie Posted April 18, 2020 8:22 am

    I immediately thought how in eac instance the water brought forth life. Both biological and spiritual life originate in and from water. The initial waters yielded lif., The flood brought forth spiritual cleansing and a new creation based on spiritual health. The river of God which is spoken of often in various Bible stories is promised to flow with blessings to the land and the vegetation and hence mankind. Finally, mush like the flood, baptism cleanses us spiritually and brings forth a new creation grounded in God and faith.
    Prayers for Jill and I agree with the longing for the warm spriing weather. I am thankful neither of us needed to be out in the snow. Staying home has its blessings.
    Prayers for Robert and his friend Meesook, may both be safe and well and may Meesook receive help for her depression.
    Prayers for Allly and David, may David’s recovery continue and may Ally remain healthy and working.
    Prayers for Andrea, April, BJ, Lou, and Rick and their families, may they be safe and well.
    Prayers and thank you and stay safe and well dear UR

  • robert moeller Posted April 18, 2020 8:32 am

    Where the Spirit is God is there. I think the Spirit is the small quiet voice. Momentous, loud, powerful, and mighty activities catch our attention, but God, the Spirit, speaks to us in quiet voices that tell us not to be afraid.

    Meesook’s surgery went well, the intense after surgery pain has finally subsided, but has left her depressed, Encouragement, support, presence physically, mentally, and spiritually will help her recover. It has been a great ordeal. Prayers for a God filled recovery.

    Prayers for all people in this pandemic, we are all affected with or without the virus. Thank You, Lord, for Your ever presence. All who turn to You will be helped in the way that is best for them. Your ways are not our ways, help us to be like You.

  • Ally Posted April 18, 2020 10:22 am

    Matthew 3:11 comes to mind: John the Baptist says” I baptize you with water for repentance, but One is coming who will baptize with The Holy Spirit and with fire”. Water and fire cleanse. So does the Spirit. As I remember my baptism today, I remember my Daddy’s words about baptism: it is an outward sign of an inward change. The Holy Spirit cleanses and brings order to chaos. As the Lord brought order to the chaos of the void through creation, Holy Spirit brings order to the chaos in my soul. My David is progressing. I feel I am witnessing a miracle. Thanks to all here who have prayed. I lift up your needs as well. Blessings to all.

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