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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

Reprinted 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.

 

Words of Hope During COVID-19

God promises to be with us wherever we are, says Roger Owens, author of What We Need Is Here. He discusses spiritual practices that help us be open, available, and responsive to the God who is already here.


 

Today’s Reflection

I am discovering this truth in the midst of the grieving process: I cannot rush through or avoid the desert of sadness and depression. I cannot go around, over, or under it; I must go through it. I am learning to embrace the difficult feelings and to reflect on my loss. Often I don’t sense God’s presence, but when I go deep into my inner sanctuary, at some point, I feel a nudge from God or hear the still, small voice letting me know God is with me every step of the way. Hope and healing are stirred anew.

—Nell E. Noonan, A Widow’s Prayer: Finding God’s Grace in the Days Ahead (Upper Room Books, 2015)

Today’s Question

What difficult feelings of loss do you need to embrace, with God’s help, today? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer,
my God, my rock in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

—Psalm 18:2 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

God, help me listen to—and learn from—what you are teaching my heart today.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Interested in online learning options based on your favorite Upper Room books? Check out The Upper Room eLearning.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

12 Comments

  • Marcy Posted May 16, 2020 3:32 am

    Good morning to you all as we are again renewed! Struggling with the loss of my Aunt, as we shared a special faith together in God. God is always present. I just miss the sharing of memories, her vast knowledge gained over 95 years, a kind heart to console or rejooice. We exchanged books and she told me what movies she had enjoyed. I began to see why; there was always a message in them. When I recall all this, and the wisdom from her generation in our family, I realize what a treasure she still is to us . God’s light just shone from her face! The go-to person in our family to convey God’s word in such a way, that one felt as if one had never heard it before. Her two sons, and their wives, her three grandchildren and I, will all miss her in different ways. She gave so much to each of us. Only three of us shared belief in our Father in Heaven. I embrace the loss of who she was to all her church friends, too! It has only been a short time since she went Home to be with God. I embrace this loss with the understanding that her faith led me back to my own. I know I shall have to embrace difficult days ahead as the time passes. My Aunt was the last one here, as my parents, and other aunts and uncles all went before her. No one in the family had the Holy Spirit flowing in, around and through them like she did. Those are her words and I’ve used them often when the Spirit is strong within me. Yes, I embrace God our Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit! May our Triune God flow in, around and through us, as He did through this woman of God! Father in Heaven, please help me to mourn her passing, while retaining all she taught me about You!

    Jill, It is good to “see” you again. Thank you for your prayer. Such a blessing to read your comments, as you make your way through with your father, Larry. A different viewpoint is shown and taken in. So happy you were able to go out with your good friend for take-out dinner. Used to love walking and it’s good for your mind, soul and body.! Prayers anchored in God’s Love! 🙏⚓❤

    Dear Julie, so good to “hear” from you! Thank you for keeping me in mind and prayer. I know there’s been issues with people being home together and I prayed about and for you many times.I hope h returns to some kind of employment soon, so you can have peace. I’m just happy you have Megan. I pray she and you are well! And you’re having shingles put on, so I hope you can et out for a bit with all the hammering! Is it Chai in the picture? I can’t recall. Lucy Lou is well, but losing her teeth due to a birth defect. She is eight yeaars old and I’m thinking of acquiring a little male kitten. The Lord shined His loving mercies on me with my present helper. I had to suit up to go to make a quick visit to the dr. Ha! I thanked everyone I saw wearing a mask or face covering. Have you read any books you like that are older ones? I can get cheap paper backs from Barnes and Noble shipped. Suggestions would be appreciated! I need to try to read back and see how Lou, Andrea, Robert, Connie, Betsy, April and newer sisters and brothers are! Love and many prayers, sister in Christ! 🙏❤😇❤🙏

    Hello Ally! Nice to meet you! The ladies are exemplary and I have learned much from them! Is David your husband? I’m sorry I don’t know but the news sounds like his return home has been greatly anticipated. Yes, pulmonary embolisms is to be taken seriously! I have asthma and COPD. Had a bad pneumonia 2017-2018 Holidays. No PE, but lots of swelling in the legs, so they were concerned about clotting. I will add you and David to my prayer list.

    I fell asleep from my activities Friday and awoke in the middle of the night so here I am. I may be a bit late tomorrow or will be back Sunday after livestream church. Since I wasn’t getting out much for some time, i’ve been enjoying services from my own church. We will be able to gather together again. I pray it is soon. Will be keeping all those in prayer who need them and God knows and cares for the ones we don’t see here, up in the balcony and beyond. Rejoicing with all in our Love for God!

    And these three remain: Faith, Hope and Love, and the greatest of these is LOVE! ❤❤❤

    We need a lot of LOVE! Lord, please answer our prayers! 🙏🙏🙏

  • Jill Posted May 16, 2020 7:04 am

    I feel I must simply remain alongside my father, accepting where he is in the process, amidst this new isolation…trusting God to sustain the both of us. When I sense I am wearying – I must return to my Source of strength – and fall at His feet again. I believe I may have mentioned this while mom was struggling…the leader of one of the support groups said it was an honor to walk alongside his dad during his cancer. I never felt like it was an honor…I wanted to honor God and do what I could for mom – but I never viewed it as an honor. But, now as I look back over the past year – I can say it has been my honor to walk beside dad in his grief – I believe I am honoring him and my Heavenly Father.
    I can relate to what Roger Owens mentioned in the above video – I, too, am noticing the lilacs coming out. Last evening – during a break in the rain, I got out for a walk. A few times, I stopped beside lawns with lilac bushes near the sidewalk and luxuriated in their scent. Just like him I stuck my nose right next to the flowering limbs and took in a big breath of beautiful scent. Mine are forming on the side of my house, but not yet fully formed or aromatic. I did get some work done planting yesterday, and got out in the fog this morning to fertilize my lawn. Such beauty in the stillness of the fog.
    The fog should break by noon – and dad and I have a tee time at 1:30 – looks like the weather will be just right.
    My friend was to arrive last night at 1:45 AM on a train from the west. Will wait to hear from her – I am sure dad and I will go over and visit with her family.
    The aroma of the good news from Marcy and Ally is palpable this morning.

    • Marcy Posted May 17, 2020 10:20 pm

      Thank you, Jill. Busy making anthills out of my mountains! Ha! Instead of the other way around. Have a blessed day! 🙏⚓❤
      Say Hi to Roger. 🐱

  • Julie Posted May 16, 2020 8:47 am

    The only loss that I can think that I am currently experiencing is the loss of a life with a loving marriage with a God worshipping partner.
    The roofer began putting the new roof on yesterday. It has taken so long to prepare for this part of the job because it should have been replaced years ago and there was a lot of damageto the framing. He looked at the area in the hallway where the roof leaked and came through a light fixture. He will replace the light fixture and fix the drywall where they had to cut to get to the leak. Megan and I bought the light and he will also do several other jobs. There are more electrical issues and some plumbing work also. H is across from me currently so having trouble concentrating.
    Prayers for Marcy, may her heart heal regarding the loss of her beloved aunt. It is so wonderful to have you back and sounding so well! The picture is of Tazzie, he is my baby and Megan claimed Chai. Chai is much bigger than Tazzie though they are littermates. My babis are 16 years old! The vet couldn’t believe their age, she said they appear much younger.
    Prayers for Jill and Larry as they travel together through the forrest of sorrow to the meadow of acceptance and heart healing. I could guess that you would say the honor was with your father. He seems to lean on you and you appear to accept this and lean into his need with warmth and understanding.
    Prayers for Ally and David, may he continue to grow stronger and may God strngthen Ally. I feel your strength through your words shared here dear Ally and I know you have all you need to meet this new challenge. I had a PE when I was experiencing embolisms in my legs. One went to my lungs. It is indeed life threatening and quite painful and is a common symptom of those with Covid 19.
    Prayers and thank you and continued health dear UR

    • Marcy Posted May 17, 2020 10:26 pm

      Thank you for your prayers, dear Julie. I do hope the hammering wasn’t too loud on Saturday. h will hopefully take himself off some place when possible. Please Lord, be with Julie and Megan.
      That’s right! I couldn’t recall which kitty was with who. Chai has adopted Megan. Say Hi to Tazzie from Lucy. 🐈
      I am and have been praying for you, dear one. 🙏⚓❤

  • robert moeller Posted May 16, 2020 9:28 am

    Marcy posts two days in a row! Thank You, Lord. Stay safe! Respiratory concerns don’ t need the virus keeping them company. A safe a good roof job, Julie! Peace at home. Mourning comfort from the Prince of Peace, Marcy. Slow typing with my erratic keyboard.. Blessings to all!

    • Marcy Posted May 17, 2020 10:36 pm

      Thankyou, Robert, for prayers of comfort and strength. I have a small laptop that was a gift from my recently late Aunt for my birthday last year. Thiught it would be easier to type on, than the phone. It is, it just jumps all over the place! I apologize, Robert. I have forgotten y our kitty’s name. Lucy says Hi in any case. 🐱 I was about to get my trains from my cousin’s house around Christmas, but i lost my insurance…again…like every year it comes up for renewal…and I lost my helper. Now it will have to wait.
      I continue to keep you and Erich in prayer. 🙏⚓❤

  • Ally Posted May 16, 2020 3:58 pm

    As I have said before, I give things to God and then snatch them back. I have to learn to move forward and not dwell on old hurts. I’ve felt what I needed to feel. Time to move on. But I struggle with what if’s and wanting to go back in time. The lessons about looking back in scripture are many. God wants us to move forward. At the same time, God blesses us in our weakness. Lord, help me to rely on You.
    David is doing well. He is still weak in his core, but we trust the Lord that healing through therapy will continue.
    Marcy, it is good to connect with you here. I thank you for your prayers and encouraging words. May you feel God’s comfort as you mourn your dear aunt. May her memory be a blessing to all who knew her! Robert, I always appreciate your wisdom. I pray your keyboard issues are resolved soon. Jill, you are a good daughter. Your love for your dad always shines through. Thanks so much for your prayers for David and me. Julie, I had wondered about your baby as well. Beautiful kitty. David and I have several feline children. They were such a comfort when David was so sick. I pray your babies continue well! Hope everyone has a blessed weekend.

    • Marcy Posted May 17, 2020 10:42 pm

      Thank you, Ally, for your kind words. Well, you got a lot of information at once from me. Ha! Thank you for reading it all and posting. What kind of cats do you have and what are their names? Lucy is my ninth cat in 46 years. I once had five at the same time! I loved it, had the space. Feeding time created a herd.
      I will continue to pray for David and of course, you also. 🙏⚓❤

  • Rick Posted May 17, 2020 5:40 pm

    Two years ago, I had to do the right thing and walk away from a situation. A place I so loved and felt the nearness to God. It was the hardest thing I had ever done. It also meant letting go and letting God. I dearly missed the folks I had come to love and who played significant rolls in my Christian life. I became involved in what was described to me as a triangulation. I was fortunate to have some amazing people around me that helped me see and understand. I was shattered and felt this void. At times I would be angry and sad. I was able to do some work around this area and connect with a group of men and women to grow and learn from it. I celebrated 7 years of recovery yesterday and some of those amazing folks I thought I had lost reached out to me and thanked me. Looking back, sometimes the right thing may seem unfair of perhaps frightening. I know that God walked me through it. I began to feel such peace I had not felt in some time. Praise God🙌🏻 Please keep me in your prayers for good outcomes in my classes during my last two weeks of this semester.
    Marcy it is a blessing to see you back and you are a gift. I think your Aunt would be proud of you and I look forward to hearing more stories about her.
    Jill, I admire you so much; your faith, strength and solid foundation through this.
    Julie, I pray that you will continue to find peace and comfort during these turbulent times with H. Your prayers are always such a source of strength for me.
    Robert, prays for you and continued health and a new keyboard.
    Ally, so grateful to hear that David is making progress and I’m praying for strength and endurance for both of you. You are a beautiful witness to Christ’s love.
    Blessings to all who visit, may you find comfort and solace and know that you are loved.

    • Marcy Posted May 17, 2020 11:06 pm

      Thank you for these very encouraging words, Rick! She and I got on very well! She was a major support when my husband and I went our separae ways for good nine years ago. There’s a lot of trauma still from that marriage, but he has paid a pretty steep price, so I still pray for him. Congratulations on your seven years recovery, Rick. Truly glad you are here to celebrate it. God is so good all the time! 🙌🙏 I have a folder with everyone’s name in it, but forget to keep it next to me when I sit down to type. So I don’t recall if you have a dog or a cat. It is good that the people you thought would not remember you on this “anniversary,” did after all reach out. That’s quite a blessing!
      Look forward to hearing more from you, too. I will keep you and your studies these next two crucial weeks. 🙏⚓❤

    • Marcy Posted May 17, 2020 11:11 pm

      Thank you for these very encouraging words, Rick! She and I got on very well! She was a major support when my husband and I went our separae ways for good nine years ago. There’s a lot of trauma still from that marriage, but he has paid a pretty steep price, so I still pray for him. Congratulations on your seven years recovery, Rick. Truly glad you are here to celebrate it. God is so good all the time! 🙌🙏 I have a folder with everyone’s name in it, but forget to keep it next to me when I sit down to type. So I don’t recall if you have a dog or a cat. It is good that the people you thought would not remember you on this “anniversary,” did after all reach out. That’s quite a blessing!
      Look forward to hearing more from you, too. I will keep you and your studies in my prayers these next two crucial weeks. 🙏⚓❤

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