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

I AM AN ONLY CHILD. My mother miscarried several times before I was born, and doctors warned her not to try to have another child. She ignored their advice and, though she carried me to term, had such a difficult pregnancy that she was forced to go to the hospital in Murray, Kentucky, to give birth. …

I was a sickly child from the start, causing constant work and worry for both my parents. They took me from doctor to doctor to discover the root of my almost constant ill health. This story of fear – that my parents’ only child would die – drove my family’s narrative. Finally, when I was five years old, my parents decided to move to a climate that would better suit my sickly constitution. Doctors had told them that the dry air of the desert often worked wonders for someone who suffered from symptoms like mine, even though those same doctors could not put a name to the malady from which I suffered. …

My father … arranged for a transfer to Fort Huachuca, Arizona, at the very southernmost part of the state in the desert near the town of Sierra Vista. My parents eagerly pursued the fantasy that the desert air would work a miracle and that my health would improve miraculously. … My health did improve slightly, but it was not the dramatic improvement for which my parents had hoped. They moved from the fantasy of miraculous cure back into the fear of a premature death.

– Michael E. Williams
Spoken into Being

From pages 85-86 of Spoken into Being: Divine Encounters Through Story by Michael E. Williams. Copyright © 2017 by Michael E. Williams. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

What story has shaped your life most profoundly? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.

Acts 2:1, NRSV

This Week: pray for the growth of new relationships. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.

This week we remember: Isidore the Farmer (May 15).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2018 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA


  • Jill Posted May 20, 2018 6:01 am

    My life circumstances of the past year have been huge, and I am pretty sure it isn’t just recency bias. Both my diagnosis and my parents’ diagnoses have been crammed into a 9 month period. I had experienced nothing like this leading up to this past summer. God’s timing is perfect and He prepared me for this. As I think about this, it saddens me that mom cannot say the same thing. I trust the saying that – “We are so busy asking God to change our circumstances, as opposed to recognizing He provides the circumstances to change us.” (Not a direct quote, but hopefully you get the gist of it). I continue to pray that mom will have just a hint of this perspective. I pray fervently for just the smallest opening – and I know God will walk right through.
    Dad and I did get to talk while spreading the mulch yesterday and driving to the store to get more mulch. Again, my heart labors at what he shares with me, mom’s complete unrest. Dad keeps staying strong, oh may God continue to supply him with his daily needs, his daily positivity, and strengthen his hope.
    Today is my nephew’s birthday and housewarming open house. Hoping mom will feel well enough, so she can be around family again.

  • robert moeller Posted May 20, 2018 6:14 am

    Perhaps this is not just my story, but the story of many generations of my family From long ago moving from place to place. In Germany not being the first son caused the first move, then a movs to other town and finally a move to the US. Here moves because of work. After 48 years I’m back in the state I call home and only 18 miles from where I was born.

    Not an only child, but Mom had miscarriages before me, I had pneuminia before I came home after being born and allergies to lots of things found in rural Vermont, dealt with them yearly until I finally out grew them at 22. Have been twice to Ft. Huachuca in Arizona many years later. The air there while thinner is dry and there’s less pollen.

    Thankful for rain that has helped clean the air and made breathing easier for Erich. Thankful work is going well.

    Thank you all for your concerns about my estimated risk for Alzheimer’s before 85. Your prayers are appreciated and helpful. I will keep you informed.

    The search is on for models of the four cars that the locomotive pulled during the first years of the Hersfeld District Railroad between Hersfeld and Heimboldshausen starting in 1912. They are a combination mail’baggage car, and two kinds of passenger cars. Have pictures of them, a drawing, and quite detailed descriptions. Have found a castle, a barn ,and an inn to use on the layout. This is a very rural setting so there are few buildings. Have a drawing and photos of the station I hope will be used.

    It’s Pentecost, wearing red today. The Holy Spirit came on Pentecost and has been with us since then. Thank You, Lord. Got the Spirit? I pray so. It is a great blessing. Have a blessed Pentecost and a wonderful week.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted May 20, 2018 6:57 am

    May we be empowered to live a victorious life!


    May we also be at peace with God and may all be well

  • Betsy Posted May 20, 2018 7:16 am

    Interesting how our life stories shape our faith and the faith of those around us. The small town the author refers to in KY is very close to my hometown of Mayfield!

    Pentecost Sunday and all those speaking different tongues were brought together as one. Blessings as we overcome our differences in praise to our Lord.

  • Julie Posted May 20, 2018 7:54 am

    My brother was sickly as a child so I was basically ignored by my mother after his birth when I was 5. I still try to melt into the background and try not to let my needs or wants show.
    Continued prayers for Robert as he seeks answers to his health risks. Prayers for Erich in his new job and Anneliese and her pain and heart issues.
    Prayers for Mary and her parents. I hope her parents are doing well and her job continues to be a joy.
    Prayers for Betsy and her church. May you all overcome your differences and work together rather than against one another.
    Prayers for Gloria that she may find the strength to attend the family celebration today. Prayers for Jill, Larry, and Becky as they help Gloria through the coming months.
    Blessings and prayers for and thank you to all of the UR family
    Believe in life!
    W. E. B. Du Bois

  • Connie Posted May 20, 2018 8:39 am

    On this day of Pentecost, “we are all together in one place”. Praise be to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
    My story has been shaped by a loving family and a small- town Methodist Church. I will always be a “Methodist Girl” through and through……and a “Country Girl at Heart”.

  • Gail Churchill Posted May 20, 2018 12:07 pm

    I was adopted by my parents that raised me.

  • Andrea Posted May 20, 2018 8:55 pm

    I am back from a four day weekend in Atlanta, where five high school friends and two spouses gathered for a mini- reunion. I am grateful for much good conversation, fun, and lots of laughter.

    My family of origin was notable for both alcoholism (father) and mental illness (mother). I was the oldest of four and often responsible for holding things together. Thankfully, my four grandparents lived nearby and were a very loving, nurturing, steadying influence. I cherish the memories of my grandparents.

    Prayers for Jill, her mother, father and sister, for their good quality time together; for Robert, for support during Alzheimers testing, and for Erich and Anneliese; for Mary, her parents, her students, and her job; for Betsy and her church congregation; for Julie, her health and support; for Gail; for Marcy, her health and support; for Lou and her children – praying the graduation was a joyous occasion; for Connie and her husband; for Pam, April, Sara, and all UR friends, as well as those who read and pray at UR without commenting. What a blessing to have this prayerful community of friends.

  • Marcy Posted May 20, 2018 11:54 pm

    I was born nine years after my sister, with my mother having a miscarriage, a boy, in between. I guess I suffered from colic as a baby, as my sister told me later the racket disturbed her sleep and an aunt overheard her saying to me, “I wish you had never been born. I had my own room and now I have to share it with you.” I was three and don’t remember. I had people on my Dad’s side of the family that thought this was hilarious. Except she was careful not to be overheard again and said these types of things to me all the time, told me I was stupid, ugly, looked like a boy, etc. I always had respiratory ailments, allergies, but went riding on my bicycle, swimming at the public park, camping and boating with my Dad. My sister wouldn’t go unless I was sick. Then when I was nine I had to have the heart surgery and back in the 60’s, they didn’t so much rehabilitate you as limit everything you could do. For two years, no swimming, biking. Even by Junior High and High School, only swimming, golf, archery, fencing. Lousy at golf and fencing, but was good at archery, swimming and synchronized swimming. Got bulled by the girls because of the incision from the hesrt surgery. I wanted to play softball, volleyball, tennis, but the doctors said no. So school wouldnt let play those sports and my Mom wouldnt let play them outside of school. But Dad taught me how to water ski when I was thirteen and since Mom hated camping, boating and fishing, and refused to go, she couldnt stop him! After that heart surgery, I got all kinds of attention from both sides of the family, even distant relatives. My sister has told me as an adult, repeatedly, that she’ll never forgive me for that heart surgery. I was still hankering after her love and acceptance well into my thirties and she used that to her advantage for everything from cleaning for her (she lived in Chicago and we lived in the suburbs) as a teenager to coming to help her move when I was twenty years old, only to find I had to pack everything, too. Man, my friends who came with to help were mad! Yes, a lot of stuff went on in my childhood, from one extreme to the other. Too many profound life altering stories to count. Now ask me about the most life SAVING story. Well, that’s The Greatest Story Ever Told. God is Love! Jesus, I trust in You…

    Almost midnight, I’ll be back tomorrow to go over those on my prayer list. Meanwhile, each and every one of you here in the UR family are and have been in my prayers. Thank you for your prayers! Goodnight!

    • Connie Posted May 21, 2018 7:29 am

      Thanks for sharing, Marcy.

  • robert moeller Posted May 21, 2018 6:32 am

    Persistence comes as a great follow up to driven by narrative. What a blessing to be persistent in telling our narrative and most importantly the Greatest Story Ever Told. Without it, where is our faith?

    Thank you all for sharing your narrative, we all know each other better.
    Thank You, Lord, for the gift of persistence.

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