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

Note: This week’s New Every Morning follows the format of our featured title, Rally: Communal Prayers for Lovers of Jesus and Justice, which addresses issues of social justice through a compilation of reflections and call-and-response prayers known as litanies.

Eight years ago, childbirth broke my body. I already had an autoimmune illness (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis), but the effort of labor tipped me into a more severe form of ME. Though I have improved since then, my energy is so rationed that leaving the house is a luxury I can afford only once every ten days for two hours at a time in a wheelchair. Before I got sick, I drank of life in big gulps; now, I must measure out my life in teaspoons. . . .

What helps? Scripture offers relatable stories. The book of Job reminds me that sickness is great suffering. Those who also battle their bodies know the cautious optimism of tiny, slow improvements followed by rapid decline and the feeling of starting again at the beginning. But Zechariah tells us not to despise the day of small things because rebuilding the Temple seemed an agonizingly slow and impossible task — yet God made it happen.

—Tanya Marlow, “Frustrated Activism: A Litany for Those Whose Bodies and Minds Limit Them,” in Rally: Communal Prayers for Lovers of Jesus and Justice, edited and compiled by Britney Winn Lee (Fresh Air Books, 2020)

Today’s Question

What biblical stories do you turn to in times of difficulty? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

[The angel] said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, says the Lord of hosts.”
—Zechariah 4:6 (NRSVUE)

Today’s Litany

ONE: Blessed are those who groan and long for healing.
PART: Blessed are we who know pain.
ALL: Blessed are those who groan, for the Spirit of God groans with them.

PART: Blessed are we who cry, “It’s not fair!” and “How long, O Lord?”
ALL: Blessed are those who groan, for the Spirit of God groans with them.

PART: Blessed are we who weep for ourselves and wail prophetically for the pain of the world.
ALL: Blessed are those who groan, for the Spirit of God groans with them.

ONE: Blessed are the frustrated, who are left behind and miss out.
PART: Blessed are we who would march but cannot.
ALL: Blessed are the frustrated, for they echo creation’s yearning to be free.

—Tanya Marlow, “Frustrated Activism: A Litany for Those Whose Bodies and Minds Limit Them”
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Meet Jesus at the intersection of faith and justice with our new Lenten resource. In Where We Meet, a collective of writers and activists invite you to immerse yourself in the stories of Jesus and the early church throughout the Lenten season. Learn more and download a free sample here.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • robert moeller Posted January 9, 2024 6:13 am

    The story of Jesus, Lord and Savior. Jesus makes all things new, is eternal, guides and gives life, is perfect love
    Thank You, Lord.
    Snow followed by rain, flood watch and storm warning. Thankful for skiing yesterday., hope all the snow is not washed away and people are not harmed.
    Romans Bible/book study returns today, chapters 9-11 with Max Lucado.
    Will visit Chris, Willa, and Oona in February, Jenny will be busy preparing a play to be performed in a process called “tech.”
    Time to get ready for today’s class.
    Stay warm and safe. Thank You, Lord.

  • Rusty Posted January 9, 2024 7:13 am

    Not having grown up in the Church, I’m not sure I have the same idea of what a Bible “story” is that many folks might but for me I come back to three parts of the Bible (stories) again and again. First is after the arrival of the New Heaven and the New Earth in Revelation 21 where Jesus on the throne says, “Now the dwelling of God is among men and women, and e will live with them. They will be his people and God himself with be with them and be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” This passage always makes me tear up in joy and a sense of relief when I feel burdens bearing down on me too hard.
    Second, I turn to the Beatitudes at the beginning of Matthew 5. The picture of Jesus walking up on the mountain (living where I do in the Rocky Mountains, I think I might call it a hill if I saw it), sitting down and delivering straightforward but profound truths about God and his blessings to people gathered around him, it feels like he is talking directly to me, precisely when I need it.
    Finally, the story of the woman caught in adultery (in Luke 7 and John 8) helps me when the difficulties I face involve what I feel is injustice. Jesus stood with the woman (who the assembled pious Pharisees felt justified in stoning – basically demonstrating a mob mentality directed at an easy target), he spoke directly and peacefully, he called out the hypocrisy that was clearly evident, and he showed love and compassion for the woman without letting her off the hook.

    • Rusty Posted January 9, 2024 7:20 am

      I should have said “without letting anyone off the hook.” Lord, please do to me as you did to and for everyone in that story.

  • Julie Posted January 9, 2024 9:52 am

    I do not thinnk of a specific story but of all the times throughout the New Testament when Jesus heals various people of numerous conditions. This reminds me that all healing comes from the Lord. When healing does not come, I wait knowing that God does things in his time not mine. But I remember that his comfort is always available.
    I used these thoughts a lot in my life but I most remember when my Reynaud’s was as yet undiagnosed. The pain of having the flesh on my fingers and toes eaten away while covered entirely with gagrene for months on end. The revelation of bones when it finally subsided and the amputations of the bits of bones now fleshless and exposed.
    Thank you Lord for the medication prescribed by my dermatologist and the resulting relief.

    • Rusty Posted January 9, 2024 11:09 am

      “His comfort is always available.” That’s beautiful, Julie. Amen to that. Thank you for your openness about your experience with Reynauds. It sounds truly horrible. I will remember you in my prayers.

      • Julie Posted January 9, 2024 3:21 pm

        Thank you

  • Jill Posted January 9, 2024 11:36 am

    I think very much of Job – his steadfastness in trusting his God. We must accept the sunshine and the rain. And his bold affirmation – “I know that my Redeemer lives.” Yes and amen. And of course, I love to marinate in the Psalms.
    Things went pretty sideways towards the end of Sunday. The morning began getting Becky, Don and Dad on a plane to sunnier skies and warmer temps. Then a wonderful church worship service and a moving cancer support group meeting. But then I got a text from my friend (who cancelled on meeting me at church because she was dizzy) and she needed me to take her to emergency. She had awful vertigo and was vomiting with any movement. I took her to a local ER, not one at a big hospital. They ruled out major heart stuff and got her on anti-nausea meds. But she was still unable to stand up unsupported. They said she needed to be admitted, but wait for an ambulance transport was 5-6 hours. She signed a waiver and I took her to the main hospital. I left her around 11:30, when her sister-in-law came to relieve me at the main hospital. Since then, stroke stuff has been pretty confidently ruled out and she is undergoing physical therapy. She is hoping to be released today – not sure if she will go to her mom’s or to her house. Unclear when she will be allowed to drive.
    I appreciate your prayers for her…this is my newly divorced friend. Such a long season she is in now…

    • Rusty Posted January 9, 2024 12:47 pm

      Prayers on the way, Jill. Thanks for letting us know.

  • robert moeller Posted January 9, 2024 1:26 pm

    Thankful to see these posts in the afternoon and pray for Julie, medication has made a huge difference for your hands, and Jill’s recently divorced friend with vertigo and hospitalization.
    Safe travels to Florida for Becky, Don, and Larry.
    When are prayers not needed! Joys and Concerns are with us always. Continuous prayer!
    Had a walk in the snow today, cleaned the inside of the car.

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