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

JESUS NOT ONLY firmly maintained his own freedom of choice but also respected the free choice of others. When the rich young man turned sorrowfully away from the invitation to be Jesus’ disciple, Jesus grieved because he had loved this man. But Jesus did not run after him pleading and pushing. He rebuked the disciples when they wanted to call down vengeful fire from heaven on the towns that did not welcome them. When Martha of Bethany asked Jesus to make her sister, Mary, come back into the kitchen and cook, Jesus defended Mary’s decision to stay with him and talk. It is significant that though he preferred Mary’s choice, he did not compel Martha to make the same decision.

– Flora Slosson Wuellner
Enter by the Gate

From page 51 of Enter by the Gate: Jesus’ 7 Guidelines When Making Hard Choices by Flora Slosson Wuellner. Copyright © 2004 by Flora Slosson Wuellner. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

When have you been given the opportunity to choose freely? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

From you comes my praise in the great congregation; my vows I will pay before those who fear him.

Psalm 22:25, NRSV

This Week: pray increased faith. 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: Anselm
(April 21).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • Betsy Posted April 24, 2018 6:59 am

    We are blessed with the gift of free will, even though it can sometimes seem like a curse. Many times I’ve chosen a path not always in my best interests. God offers that to us, but He prays that we will use prayer and His wisdom to make decisions. This is sometimes hard because what I desire is not aligned with God’s will.
    Praying for Gloria today as she begins her treatments for cancer. Jill, also praying for strength for you, your dad and sister in the days ahead.
    I would like to ask for prayers for our neighbor, Dennis, who suffers from Alzheimer’s. His wife had to take him to the hospital early this morning with heart issues; not sure what it is, as Dennis can’t really tell her the symptoms.
    Thank you

  • Jill Posted April 24, 2018 7:16 am

    Mom encountered several issues yesterday with her infusion. The infusion did not “load” correctly – the chemo was backwashing into the saline solution…so 45 minutes in they had to abort and unhook her. The bags were sent to the pharmacist and a new set up was prepared. She finally got the infusion going – 2 hours. Upon leaving – her throat was constricting and she couldn’t breathe. Dad had to stop the elevator and call for a doctor. They administered Benadryl and steroids…her blood pressure was dangerously high and she was taken to Emergency. Around 11 PM last night – they ruled out the possibility of heart attack, got her blood pressure somewhat lowered and released her. My sister was going home with them to get them settled in – she may have spent the night. I have not heard from anyone yet this morning.
    Super discouraging – to have this happen after mom got up the gumption to do the chemo. Very difficult. Dad is heartbroken – seeing her suffer and lose hope.
    Thank you all for your continued prayers.

  • Julie Posted April 24, 2018 7:56 am

    Betsy, I, too, have made some decisions that I regret. My present marriage is a prime example. Prayers for your neighbors. My grandfather had Alzheimer’s and it is a devestating disease for both the one afflicted aas well as thier loved ones. Prayers for you and your family as well.
    Jill, how horrible that your mother’s brave choice has resulted in such unexpected and debilitating results. I pray that the doctors’ determine the source and are able to continue your mother’s treatment. I pray that she is willing to continue. Prayers for you, your father and sister as you support your mother through this difficult situation.
    Blessings and prayers for and thank you to all of the supportive UR family.
    I feel no need for any other faith than my faith in human thiings.
    Pearl S. Buck
    (not sure how I feel about this quote, though I like her books)

  • robert moeller Posted April 24, 2018 8:40 am

    Very tough news from Jill her Mom’s experience with chemo yesterday. Prayers for God’s wisdom and guidance on what to do. May God’s comfort and peace be with all of you at this time.

    Prayers for Dennis suffering from Alzheimer’s and possibly heart problems.
    Saw the 60 Minutes story on a woman with this terrible disease, and cared for my Mom who had it. Lots of help and support needed to care for someone, the caregivers need help too.

    Thankful for sunshine for a fourth day in a row. Snow is going, ice is melting.
    Erich has a job, it’s not a job he wants to do for the rest of his life, but it can and will help him make much needed progress and hopefully by November he can transition to another position that will continue progress.

    Lord, You are needed everyday, thank You for Your ever presence. Yes, You offer us free choice. Help us to ask for Your wisdom and guidance that we make the right choices. You most certainly know of the mistakes we make.

    Prayers for Anneliese. I have not heard from her in several days. I know there are issues with her computer, but she has a tablet as well. There are also health concerns: heart, Lyme, several forms of arthritis, muscle spasms, and pain.

    Marcy is in my prayers too. No word from her for some time.

    Prayers for all of the UR family, your joys, yes, we do have joys, thank You, Lord, but also your needs and concerns. They cover the spectrum and God is able to help us through them. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

  • Andrea Posted April 24, 2018 9:36 am

    I am sad to hear of the rough day Jill’s mother had on the first day of her chemotherapy. I offer prayers of support for Jill, Gloria, Larry and Becky, and prayers for strength and an uplifited spirit for Gloria. God’s love surrounds you.

    I pray too for Dennis and for Anneliese.
    Our bodies and minds age, and it is worse for some than others, yet God is with all of us.

    Prayers too that Erich’s new job meets his needs during a time of transition to something better.

    I am downcast today and very tired. The visit from my sister- in- law is taxing. I have found reason to get away for a couple hours by myself both yesterday and this morning. I am discouraged and bewildered about my relationship with my precious daughter, how quickly and suddenly she becomes so intensely angry at me, and I am concerned about her. I feel I walk on very thin eggshells.

    It is good to come to this holy online space to reflect, meet friends, and pray.

  • April Posted April 24, 2018 8:06 pm

    What sad situations we read about with Jill’s Mom, Andrea and daughter, Betsy’s neighbor Dennis as well as those we have not heard from recently including Marcy. I ask that you will feel hugged by God through our thoughts and prayers here at the UR site.
    Our neighbor also has Alzheimer’s and his wife cares for him. I often share baked goodies with them and they love this. Also gives me an excuse to “check” on them….so many with this disease in our world….often “hidden” inside their homes with family/caregivers who are reluctant to reach out/share.
    Spring has started where I live and daily walks are a breath of fresh air for sure. God’s beauty in nature uplifts me as I make decisions for my future and that of my family….and all will be well.
    Sweet dreams and blessing…..

    • Andrea Posted April 24, 2018 8:58 pm

      Thank you, April. Many blessings to you, and how blessed your neighbors are to have you next door. Prayers for you and for them.

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  • robert moeller Posted April 25, 2018 2:42 am

    Thank you Andrea for your prayers and April for your help to neighbors. Prayers for both of you, Andrea’s daughter, and April’s neighbors. Through most of the Alzheimer experience Mom was able to eat and enjoy food.
    Andrea, God will help you walk on egg shells.

    • Andrea Posted April 25, 2018 8:20 am

      Thank you, Robert. I will remember, God will help me walk on eggshells. That encourages me. I have not heard from my daughter since Saturday, when she became angry over what I perceived to be really nothing. Her anger is right below the surface. I pray for her, I pray to understand, I pray to know how to respond to her (she has not responded to my attempts to communicate), and I pray for my own strength in these episodes. Thank you for your prayers.

      • robert moeller Posted April 25, 2018 8:38 am

        Andrea, you have the Spirit and God is with you, be patient as God is patient.
        So much I do not know, but God knows, take everything to God.

        • Andrea Posted April 25, 2018 6:52 pm

          Thank you again, Robert. God bless you for your faith and wisdom. I pray you hear from Anneliese soon.

          • robert moeller Posted April 25, 2018 7:19 pm

            Very thankful to have been able to call Anneliese, leave a message, and get a good long positive email back this evening. Computer problems caused the lack of communication. Improvements in health. Thank You, Lord.

          • Andrea Posted April 25, 2018 9:02 pm

            That’s great to hear. Pray Anneliese continues to have improving health, and prayers for your health too.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted April 25, 2018 7:38 am

    Thank you God for the freedom to choose. Help us to be always wise in our choices and to seek your guidance continually.

    Blessings to all

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