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

It can be difficult to feel God when we are walking in the wildernesses of life. We face scary illnesses in ourselves or others, we mourn the death of a loved one, we struggle with loneliness or depression, and we wonder whether God is present with us. … God is here despite our feelings to the contrary. We declare God’s presence as a statement of faith, an act of surrender, a path of trusting that we are not alone in whatever wilderness we find ourselves.

—Beth A. Richardson, Walking in the Wilderness: Seeking God During Lent (Upper Room Books, 2020)

Today’s Question

What helps you notice God’s presence in times of difficulty? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.”
—Genesis 9:12-13 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

O God, help me walk through the wilderness of these days remembering who I am and whose I am. Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Join author Beth A. Richardson from Ash Wednesday, February 17, through Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021, for a special online retreat from The Upper Room, featuring the book Walking in the Wilderness: Seeking God During Lent. Learn more here.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • robert moeller Posted January 13, 2021 5:45 am

    Worship. walks in the woods, Bible study, and fellowship helps me notice God’s presence in times of difficulty. A new understanding of “faith and belief” came in yesterday’s Bible study. Scripture says faith is a gift. God gives us the ability to believe. The gifts we have from God, love, grace, mercy, and faith are amazing. God cares for us before we even know we exist. Thank You, Lord.
    The long awaited dining car on the very northern end of the Central Vermont Railway is taking shape, coming to life. The interior of the car, kitchen, dining area, and storage is being installed and painted. A nice long walk in the woods on Monday. So many prayers, a new pastor, the future of the UMC, the virus, economy, a host of other issues, family, friends, and this UR oasis. God is with us. Thank You, Lord.

  • robert moeller Posted January 13, 2021 5:59 am

    Football joy in Cleveland but not in Columbus. Wished The OSU had won.
    Glad Jill will get the vaccine if there is a return to in class teaching, hope it will all be done safely.
    Am hopeful a new pastor will come and there will be a good resolution to the issue facing the UMC.
    Prayers for well being, safety, health, and problem resolution. We all need this. Thank You, Lord, for being with us always.

  • Louise Tallman Posted January 13, 2021 7:20 am


  • Julie Posted January 13, 2021 8:40 am

    Now that my precious Tazzie has passed I am hard pressed to think of a ready example during the day, but at the end of each day I am mindful that it is only through God’s help that I made it through the day. I have been emailing with a breeder in Youngstown, Ohio and I will try talking to him today. He seems very reluctant to share details via email and I am hoping that my Christian patience and love for neighbor will help thaw his tone.
    Prayers for Robert and his church as they seek a new pastor. May a wonderful leader be found for the small but thriving congregation.
    Prayers for Jill and her school district as they consider returning to the classroom. May all teachers be fully vaccinated prior to the start of in school classes.
    Prayers for our nation ahead of the inauguration. May President-elect Biden’s call for peace and bipartisanism be heard and heeded.

  • Jill Posted January 13, 2021 6:16 pm

    My closest friends point me back towards Him. This happened today, as I had two additional unrelated cheating incidents on a quiz in one of my classes. I had just gotten back into a good space, having spoken with one of the students from the prior incident yesterday and then this. Disheartening is the best word, and I don’t know if I even have it in me to address it properly. My friend just keeps reminding me that these students are a product of the world and if they don’t have Christ – they are acting naturally. She said – talk to God about it and ask Him what He is trying to show you in this.
    I’m weary, deflated. And I know the vast majority of my students are doing their own work and doing what they are supposed to be doing. But just like the weakest link and the saying “a mother in only as happy as her saddest child”.
    Of course, this too shall pass, but what a discouragement. We can’t get back to the classroom fast enough. At least there – these outlets (internet) will not be available to them during in class assessments.
    For those of you who faithfully pray here – please pray for discernment and a Christ-like attitude, tone and words for me as I speak with these students. It needs to happen tomorrow, as we have a four day weekend. I can’t imagine sitting and stewing in this those four days. Thank you for holding me up.

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