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 can look back on each decade of my life and identify significant new friends who have continued to challenge me in my discipleship and to teach me. I see all of these people as God’s instruments. From Robert, whose comment, “I think you’ve already decided what you want, so you’re not listening for what God wants,” led me to change careers, to Joan and Velma, whose rule, “You can’t take on any more commitments this year until you talk to us about them and we say it’s okay,” led me to focus my energy, God has used my close friends to guide me and lead me into fuller life and deeper discipleship.

—Mary Lou Redding, God Was with Me All Along: A Guide for Capturing Your Memories and Telling Your Story (Upper Room Books, 2021)

Today’s Question

How has God used friendships to deepen your discipleship? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens a friend.

—Proverbs 27:17, CEB

Prayer for the Week

You are invited to replace the below prayer with one you recall from your own childhood.

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
Guide me safely through the night,
And wake me with the morning light.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

New Every Morning Readers,
The featured book this week, God Was with Me All Along, was written by Mary Lou Redding, who served as the editor of The Upper Room daily devotional guide for many years. We invite you to take advantage of a free 30-day trial subscription to the email edition of The Upper Room, the only daily devotional written entirely by its readers. To start your free trial, visit UpperRoom.org/welcome.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • Julie Posted March 13, 2021 8:29 am

    When I was a young teen my best friend and her family took me to their Episcopal Church. I went through confirmation and learned so much from this family and the Father of the church. It was my first true encounter with the Lord and His love.
    Prayers for Ally and David, may David continue to work hard in PT and OT and become discouraged due to the postponement of his release. May Ally’s body have a chance to recover from her own health issues. Thankful for the ggod news regarding Lewis kitty and Rachel. May both continue to regain health.
    Prayers for April and her family and Lou and her family, May all be safe and well and enjoy the spring emerging around them.
    Prayers for Jill and Larry, may Larry arrive in Floriday safely andmay his trip lift his spirits. May Jill and her students enjoy and relish their time together and regain their joy of learning . May they not take this time and opportunity for granted.
    Prayers for Robert, may he be safe and well and connect with us soon.
    Prayers for the UR administration. May they be richly blessed.

  • April Posted March 13, 2021 10:34 am

    Our local PBS (Public Broadcasting System) has been airing “old” singers during their fund raising time. I watched James Taylor the other night and he sang “You’ve got a Friend” as well as others. Those tunes brought back so many memories of friends and our times together. Though I don’t stay in contact with many of them, I know that our time together influenced my life. Living in a small community we did not have as many opportunities, so the ones we had/made were sometimes good and sometimes not. Now that I live away from that environment, I thank God that I am not there any longer and I try to influence others based on my understanding of what was really going on when I was growing up. Interesting how a look back in time assures me that God was there walking alongside me and guided me to move on. I so value education and my quest for more.
    The sun is shining, the daffodils are still blooming, one yard along my walk has thousands of crocuses smiling at me, and I am watching 2 nests high up in the trees to see if there will be baby heads one day. The Covid crisis seems to be waning although we still are taking all the precautions recommended, thank you, Heavenly Father, for Healing and Help.
    Blessings and prayers for all in our UR Family…..”if you’re down and troubled and need a helping hand…..you’ve got a friend”…..the UR Family, but more importantly…..Jesus, our BFF (Best Friend Forever)

  • Ally Posted March 13, 2021 12:10 pm

    God has blessed me with wonderful friends and companions. I think of my friends: Kathy, who is not only my best friend, but my 1st cousin and closer than a sister; my sister Amy, who is more than a sister, my dear friends Mary Nelle, Buddy, Hope, Audrey, Tonya, Lisa, Mac, Michael , Sandy, Susan, Lynda, Larissa, Cathleen, Melinda Gaye, my oldest friend. Of course, David is a soulmate and companion in addition to being my husband. Each has taught me much about following Jesus. Some have taught me through their sickness and adversity, others through being different and how they have managed those differences when family turned their backs on them. Some like David, taught me through their willingness to learn and be flexible. David left behind the faith tradition he grew up in when he realized it was no longer who he was. This was not easy. When you belong to the same church your whole life, its hard to move on, even when you know its the right thing to do. I thank God for what you, my UR family have taught me and how held me up last year while David was so ill and I was quarantined. God has always used my friends to teach me and admonish when necessary. I try to be the friend others have been to me. Thank You, Lord.
    David has done so well in therapy and we thank y’all so much for your prayers. I hopefully will have a Dr. appointment next week to investigate the symptoms I’ve had. I covet your prayers. kitty Lewis is progressing. Breathing much better, but needs to eat more. Please pray for my friend Larissa, her husband Rob, and their 3 little boys. All 3 have significant delays due to autism. Her youngest was also born with severe heart defects and has been through many surgeries to correct the defects. He has been approved after seeing many surgeons for a life-saving procedure. No surgeon thought he was a good candidate and that Larissa and Rob should let their little boy go peacefully. I am not sure of the best thing. But he was a approved by one of the best pediatric surgeons, do please pray for this family and that God’s will be done , and what is best for Connor. This family has been through so much. Rob is active duty air force and has been deployed in every theater since the 90s: Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan and has been treated for PTSD. Larissa was born with chalkenges herself and overcame them to earn her doctorate in microbiology. I am in awe of how they’ve overcome. Please pray.
    Julie, I appreciate the traditions of the Episcopal Church so much. I have 2 friends who grew up in the Baptist tradition and have been ordained as priests in the Episcopal church. Thanks so much for your prayers for my family. Praying you, Megan, and the kitties remain safe and know that God is with you on the journey you’re traveling. I sit with you in this. Jill, praying Larry enjoys Florida. Prayers for you as you and your students return to in- person learning. May you all remain safe. April, thank you for the reminder of the song, You’ve Got A Friend. It has been an encouragement to me many times. Our weather here in Central Georgia is quite warm. Highs in the 80s today. Lots of things blooming. We are known for our cherry trees and the blooms are pink and abundant.
    Thanks to all for sharing from your hearts today. You bless me greatly.

  • Jill Posted March 13, 2021 6:53 pm

    I was over visiting my friend – my surest companion these past 15+ years of vast spiritual growth, this afternoon. We walked her dogs, she grilled up some pork chops for dinner, treated ourselves to ice cream and ran a quick errand to a hardware store. When we got back, we were just sitting around and got into a deep conversation. Some of it was airing my concern over dad – and some of the things I have shared here this week. Guilt about sending him off to Florida early, the thought of honoring mom by taking care of dad, amongst other things. I have also not been feeling myself and am in the midst of changing a dosage of my medication for my thryoid. I feel “off” – and this week seems to be especially difficult as my dosage got increased on Wednesday, as well as having my treatment Wednesday. I am off and feeling on edge and did not appropriately control my frustrations on the tennis court last night and acted poorly. So, just been feeling many things today. It was good to talk with her. When I was done – she prayed with me. She is a treasure. She sincerely seems to say all the right things, sometimes I don’t want to hear them. But, tonight – they were balm to my soul. She prayed for my dad as well. I do feel like we are turning the page somewhat on this grief and isolation thing – as this change of scenery is long overdue, as we head toward the two year anniversary of mom’s passing. I am glad to be able to focus on myself and pay attention to my emotions, my stability as I re-enter the classroom. I need to just be concerned with myself here for a few weeks.
    Yesterday on the way home from school, while stopped at a light, I noticed in the median – lovely orange crocuses just doing their spring thing. A simple pleasure. I need to pause and look for these.
    James Taylor – my sister and I go to an outdoor concert of his every summer he stops in our city. Not a more enjoyable summer evening. My sister is a HUGE James Taylor fan. My favorite song is “Goin’ to Carolina (in my mind)”. I think it is my heart song, for I long to be in Carolina.
    Prayers here for concerns shared. May Larissa and Rob be in tune with the Lord’s leading in these trying times. May Ally get the medical attention she needs to deal with her GI issues.
    Thank you all for your faithful prayers for my dad and I.

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