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

When we notice that longing, that desire to connect with Life, that yearning to live contemplatively, and when we find ourselves wanting to grow in prayer and live fully in touch with God, that means the divine Gardener is digging, loosening the soil. God is already there doing what needs to be done.
Instead of seizing the initiative in our life with God (which, remember, is our whole life), the first thing to do is simply realize that Someone is sneaking into the shed and getting the shovel. Someone is loosening the soil so that our roots can breathe. Someone is already applying life-giving nutrients.

—L. Roger Owens, Everyday Contemplative: The Way of Prayerful Living (Upper Room Books, 2022)

Today’s Question

How often do you notice that God is at work in you, loosening the soil? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes[a] to make it bear more fruit.”
—John 15:1-2, NRSV

Prayer for the Week

Nurturing God, tend our whole lives like a patient gardener. May our desire for you grow as grace works the soil of our lives. Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Enjoying this week’s reflections? Learn more about how to use Everyday Contemplative as a guide for the season of Lent by joining our free webinar with author Roger Owens on Monday, January 30, 2023, at 6:30 p.m. (CT). Register here.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • robert moeller Posted January 24, 2023 7:01 am

    I think a rather constant now and then is the best answer for me on perceiving God working in/on me. I’m often reminded that my son doesn’t believe, wants me to stop believing, and yet won’t stop me from going to church. In his own way he looks out for me.
    I try to do what I understand is my calling at church. I want this church to continue, it has helped me since I have been here, and yet I know that I won’t stay here when the conditions make the move to the Poconos possible. I’ve looked into and found UM churches there in preparation.
    No snow today, overcast with some sun, a good day for outdoor activities after book study this morning. Next to catch up with all of you.

  • robert moeller Posted January 24, 2023 7:45 am

    Prayers for David as he comes home and for Ally caregiving. Prayers too for Julie caregiving h. The stare, as unpleasant as it is, may be one of those that’s the way it is actions. Thankfully no physical harm to you or himself. I applaud the setting boundaries, hope h is capable of honoring them. Prayers forJill, hope all goes well with the orthopedic. Glad for your support to your family, friend, tennis friends, students, an fellow teachers. just as a little water can drown a person, a little snow, but more likely ice can cause problems. Prayers for safe driving and know when not to drive.
    Giving our “authentic inner self”, that’s a great phrase, to Christ, “always” makes a lot of sense. It is our goal as Christians. Thank you Julie and Jill for your comments. Recognizing that life here and now is a step on the way HOME is also important. As Christians we are IN, but not OF this world.
    The recent photos received from a cousin of my wife have had a bigger impact on me than I can measure. They go back to before we were married and up to a few years before she passed away.
    They reinforce the fact that I miss her dearly, but I also believe we will be reunited one day.
    Thank You, Lord.

  • Julie Posted January 24, 2023 9:14 am

    I have felt this for some time now. I am restless in my faith and seeking how to deepen my knowedge of many faith related concepts. I have even toyed with formal study of some kind.
    We received just shy of 4 inches Sunday and Monday. Today will be a quiet weather day before another storm. This upcoming storm will be quite bad and starts tomorrow morning which means I probably won’t be able to go to Bible study which I am not happy about.

  • Ally Posted January 24, 2023 11:28 am

    I don’t notice every day, due to getting bogged down in life. But I do feel “pruned”. Perhaps the struggles David and I have experienced are the Refiner’s Fire. I do not believe Hod is the Author of our struggles. I do try to find opportunities in them to see God working on us.
    David is doing pretty well, getting around daily well and doing more for himself. Getting ready to help him with getrinf a shower. We struggle with finances still. Seeing friends and family go through storms as well. Lewis is not struggling with arthritis as much last day or 2. Taking him to vet this afternoon. We pray for our NEM family and than you for your prayers for us.

  • Jill Posted January 24, 2023 5:00 pm

    I feel like as often as I would honestly tear back the veil – I would see evidence of Him at work. Of course, some instances are more obvious than others. I likely miss so much of His subtlety. Grateful for His Presence, for the ability to turn to Him in prayer under any circumstance. Also, grateful for His constancy, my faith in His ongoing work. May I be faithful in my obedience.
    Yes, we too, are awaiting the storm. And so many are hopeful for a snow day. I don’t know that we will get one. I think we will get quite a burst, but it will come down to timing.
    Going to my god son’s game this evening. I picked up a disc from my sports med doc with my images from x-rays and MRI – and will deliver it to my choice of orthopedic tomorrow after school. He will review the images and let me know if he will accept me as a patient.
    Dad’s sister is to visit him in Florida beginning tomorrow. She is a very odd bird and I pray this visit will be a good thing for the both of them. He will need a maximum level of patience. It will be a good way to pass the time for him – my sister and Don are set to arrive next Monday evening. His sister leaves early Sunday.

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