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

The ark of the covenant was a beautiful chest that held the Ten Commandments, constructed with great skill by Moses as directed by God. . . . Use your unique skills to make something beautiful. Art is for everyone—engineer, homemaker, athlete, and teacher. What art do you love? Take time to enjoy or make art this week.

—Kara Lassen Oliver, Passing It On: How to Nurture Your Children’s Faith Season by Season (Upper Room Books, 2015)

Today’s Question

How does making art and looking at art show you God? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

The LORD has filled him with the divine spirit that will give him skill, ability, and knowledge for every kind of work. He will be able to create designs, do metalwork in gold, silver, and copper, cut stones for setting, carve wood, do every kind of creative work.
—Exodus 35:31-33, CEB

Prayer for the Week

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep;
Thy angels watch me through the night,
And keep me safe till morning’s light.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

This week’s featured book, Passing It On: How to Nurture Your Children’s Faith Season by Season, is a practical guide to help parents, grandparents, and other concerned adults nurture their children’s faith. Author Kara Lassen Oliver offers easy-to-follow suggestions for families during the back-to-school, Advent, Lent, and summer seasons. Read more.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

Save 45% and receive free shipping on the regular and enlarged-print editions of Disciplines 2021 by using promo code DISC45. Good while supplies last.


  • Lou Posted August 9, 2021 8:24 am

    The only way I am artistic in any way is in the work in my garden I guess. And there i see God’s beauty. I enjoy working in my flower beds and although I am not skilled in anyway I purchase a plant I think is beautiful and I stick it in the ground and tend to it and watch God do his work. Lately it has been too hot to work in my flower beds and I’ve been lazy with my watering and the plants are feeling it- I was hoping for some rain last night but we didn’t get much.
    Wishing all a good week ahead- prayers for those suffering from extreme temperatures, fires and floods. Prayers for those affected by the virus that continues. Prayers of safety for us all.

  • Julie Posted August 9, 2021 8:55 am

    I went back to the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden yesterday becuase it soothed my soul and refreshed my spirit. I am now a member because I believe this beautiful area is God’s art and as such it feels me with awe and appreciation. It is a lovely combination of human and divine art. People used what God providied, working with the earth and natural foliage and topography to create a space of beauty and harmony. Humans did not seek to change the creation God provided but instead embraced and celebrated it while adding their influence in positive ways. A lily pond cleaned of debris and rot and turned into a beautiful Japanese garden with the lily pads now in bloom and wwildlife flourishing within and around the water.
    Prayers for Ally and David, for restored health and finances through a job or disability. Prayers for Larry, that he sees his doctor today and that a true diagnosis can be obtained and medication providied. Prayers for Jill and Becky if they go bike riding today as our area is to have temperatures in the 90s again. Thank you, Jill, for your joy regarding my church renewal. Prayers that Robert makes progress with his counselor today and gains insights as to the handling of issues within his family. Prayers for Lou and her flowers during this heat wave, may both stay cool and hydrated. Prayers for Marti and her staff. Thank you for your prayers and may God bless all who visit here.

  • Ally Posted August 9, 2021 2:25 pm

    I have enjoyed art since I was a little girl: both viewing and creating. I have used art as a modality in therapy as a way to help my clients express their emotions. I am not particularly talented, but I enjoy painting, drawing, and even just coloring. Art helps me express my feelings and connects me to the sacred. I’ve been thinking of starting an art journal.
    David has a Dr. appointment on Thursday. He has been feeling depressed again and may need a med increase. I’m still talking to him about going to therapy.
    A friend sent me info about a remote work job teaching English online to ESL students. My friend left her IT job to do this and enjoys it very much. I am starting the application process today. I need a copy of my diploma. I reached out to my college registrars office to get one. Please pray the process will be smooth. This opportunity sounds promising.
    Thanks to Lou and Julie for sharing about the beauty of art through nature. I pray Robert has a fruitful session with his counselor. May Larry’s doctor visit bring answers and healing to his body. May God continue to bring Jill and Becky close and give them what they need as caregivers to Larry. Lord, help us to be kind and do the right and decent thing in this hem phase of the pandemic. Help us to put others before ourselves. Please weed out our self-centeredness and keep us safe. Amen. Blessings to all.

  • Jill Posted August 9, 2021 2:46 pm

    My initial thought is – I am not artistic. But I will jump on Lou’s bandwagon – I love to plant my flowers and tend to them. I also enjoying “creating” different meals for myself and others. I have been making an entree each of the past few weeks to take to my friend as she her family remain in a very stressful situation and she hasn’t been taking the time to make nutritional meals. I also made a new dessert today which I will take to her this evening, as well as the entree.
    My sister volunteered to take dad to the doctor today, they should be finishing up right now. Because of his appointment, my sister and I did not get together today. I have been in the kitchen working on the meal to take, as well as making some headway with preparation for school. Still trying to get my mind around how I will prepare for the first week of school, in case I have jury duty.
    Ally – will be praying that this job opportunity can become a reality for you, and for David’s openness and ability to successfully do a change in meds.
    Anxious to hear from dad and my sister. She was going to try to talk to him about lessening his physical expectations for himself. My dad will be 88 in two months. He does 1000 sit-ups everyday, setting his alarm for 6:30 in the morning, to get 700 in before breakfast. And he walks for one hour at a fairly decent clip. How many people 1/2 his age can do that? She and I both commiserate together that we have our hands full. If he will just step back a bit – he might still be able to be mobile and healthy, but may feel better as well. She is going to talk to him about the local Y – where he is able to use it for free through “Silver Sneakers” – maybe encourage him to enroll in a pilates class or a low impact aerobics class. This would help with his socialization as well. I told her – best of luck with that conversation – I will be praying for the right words for you and for his ability to hear them and receive them.

  • April Posted August 9, 2021 8:22 pm

    My artwork is in the kitchen as I bake. I love to try new recipes and improvise on old ones. The other night we invited a couple over for dinner. The wife and I were in the kitchen as I made a colorful stir fry dish. She remarked over and over how beautiful it was as I added each vegetable to the skillet and when we served it over rice, it was indeed a work of art to see and eat. God provides so many foods for us to enjoy and which keep us healthy. Thank you God.
    The other night my reading was from 2nd Corinthians and when I read chapter 14 vs 11, I was reminded of how often I had prayed this verse in my life.
    11 Then Asa called to the LORD his God and said, “LORD, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, LORD our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this vast army. LORD, you are our God; do not let mere mortals prevail against you.”
    I personalized it with the situation I was in at the time, and every time, God heard me and helped me.
    I also love Botanical gardens Julie and to get plants from the greenhouse and put out in our yard. Some grow better than others, but I love to watch them and help them along. Plants and the soil they grow in remind me of the saying that when a plant is not doing well, we change the soil, we don’t change the plant. And this leads me to the new research on SDOH (social determinants of health). Social determinants of health (SDOH) are the conditions in the environments where people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks. SDOH can be grouped into 5 domains:
    Economic Stability
    Education Access and Quality
    Health Care Access and Quality
    Neighborhood and Built Environment
    Social and Community Context

    The church we attend now is all about being the hands and feet of Jesus. I see how they relate to these SDOH too, for God wants us to be healthy in all ways. Blessings to all. Holding you in my prayers.

    • April Posted August 9, 2021 10:00 pm

      oops, it is 2 Chronicles 14 not 2nd Corinthians

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *