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

BECAUSE WE are human, we experience happiness and sorrow, joy and suffering, times of welcoming new life and mourning life’s passing. God’s child, Jesus, experienced human life just as we do. And we have, as he did, the gift of God’s presence with us in everything we face. Whatever we encounter, God is with us.

—Beth A. Richardson, The Uncluttered Heart: Making Room for God During Advent and Christmas  (Upper Room Books, 2009)

Today’s Question

When have you been aware of the gift of God’s presence?  Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

“It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
—Deuteronomy 31:8 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

Clear away the clutter, O God, that I might have more room for you.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Slow down, simplify, and add a burst of color to your Advent. The spiritual practice of coloring mandalas (circular designs), lighting candles, and praying regularly can help us stay centered on God during this busy time of year. Give it a try. Color as you pray this Advent season.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

Sponsored by The Upper Room. Copyright © 2019 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA


  • Jill Posted December 15, 2019 5:43 am

    More often than I deserve! Father, thank You for Your presence, for my awareness of it. May I never take it for granted. May I always be grateful.
    Spent some time with dad yesterday afternoon. He is quite swollen from on one side of his face, due to the tooth extraction. But his pain has decreased significantly – grateful. If he feels up to it – he will come over this afternoon for dinner and to watch football. He hopes to go to church this morning.
    Alice – may God go with you and give you the gift of His presence as you make needful decisions for your sister.
    Wishing all who stop by here a wonderful third Sunday of Advent.

  • Anonymous Posted December 15, 2019 6:26 am

    Thankful for God in my life

  • David Posted December 15, 2019 6:33 am

    At my walk to Emmaus this spring. I felt it even stronger went I went to the candlelight service for my wife a week later. So powerful.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted December 16, 2019 4:38 am

      Welcome David!

      Glad that the Emmaus walk enable you to experience a fresh awareness of God’s presence!


  • Andrea Posted December 15, 2019 7:17 am

    Thank you, Julie, for your prayers. God bless you and Megan this Advent season.

    The bell choir I am in performs this morning. I get much joy from the beautiful sound of bell choir music.

    I ask for prayers for my daughter, who has a difficult situation at work with a colleague.

    Psalm 5:3 – My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning I will direct it to You, and I will look up.

    Blessings and prayers.

  • Julie Posted December 15, 2019 8:02 am

    I feel God with me as I pray each morning which includes reciting Bible verses and the Serenity prayer. I pray for each of the UR members by name and also friends and feel God is with them.
    Prayers for Jill and Larry. May Larry’s condition improve quickly.
    Prayers for Andrea and her family. May her daughter be safe in her workplace and may all be resolved quickly and well.
    Prayers for Alice and her sister, may difficult circumstances lead to new arrangements which are beneficial to all.
    Prayers for David and his loss and his closeness to the Lord.
    Prayers for Connie, may her health improve and may her Advent be filled with warm encounters.
    Prayers for Mary and her church, may all be enriched by her music and leadersip.
    Prayers for Marcy, may she well and safe and receive help soon.
    Prayers for Robert and Erich and their new undertaking.
    Prayers and thank you UR

    • Andrea Posted December 15, 2019 4:11 pm

      Thank you, Julie. I pray you and Megan are having a blessed Advent

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted December 16, 2019 4:42 am

      Thank you Julie!

      May you always find joy, peace and love in God’s presence!


  • Linda Posted December 15, 2019 9:33 am

    I feel the presence of God’s daily! I know the Holy Spirit is with me! It keeps peace in my heart & makes each day a blessing regardless of what is happening in it!

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted December 17, 2019 4:36 am

      Welcome Linda!

      Indeed God’s presence gives us peace and blessings!

      • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted December 17, 2019 4:42 am

        I’m sorry Linda! I posted earlier but there was some internet problem. Just discovered that it wasn’t posted.

  • Rick Posted December 15, 2019 2:51 pm

    I felt the gift of his presence during service this morning, and again during fellowship after service. Although good news this week I have been holding a lot of emotion in. I felt like God was telling me he had me and I was resting in his arms. It was Good to breath and process these emotions and experience Joy. I know he is always with me. He is with us all in this sacred space here in the UR. Prayers for Lou, May she find peace and purpose after her divorce and as her children begin to experiment life and all that it has to offer. May she find comfort that she has blessed and enriched there lives that will continue to bear fruit of her relationship with God.

    Prayers for Marcy May help come soon. Your strength in this difficult times inspires me. Prayers for Jill and her keen awareness and dad may he heal quickly and experience joy in there time today. Prayers for her friends daughter as she wrestled with gender identity, may she feel safe and protected in Gods arms. Prayers for Andrea and her Bell choir lifting up her congregation today. May a resolution be quick for her daughter in her work place. Prayers for Robert and Erich as they embark on this new opportunity for Erich. Prayers for Julie, grateful for her inspiration, the serenity prayer is one I love. Prayers for Alice and her sister may she feel guided and feel your grace and blessing through these difficult changes. Continued prayers for Connie, BJ and all the UR visitors and friends.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted December 16, 2019 4:44 am

      Rick, may you rest well in God’s presence!


  • Andrea Posted December 15, 2019 4:13 pm

    Thank you, Rick. God’s arms are around you. God bless you and your husband.

  • April Posted December 15, 2019 5:32 pm

    This year my Advent readings seem to mirror the thoughts here, or maybe I am just aware of the similarities. Perhaps that is another gift that God has blessed me with.
    The reading states:
    “ Nothing escapes God’s notice, however, your awareness of His Presence falters and flickers; as a result, your life experience feels fragmented. When your focus is broad enough to include God in your thought, you feel safe and compete. When your perception narrows so that problems or details fill your consciousness, you feel empty and incomplete. Though the world is unstable and in flux, you can experience continuity through your uninterrupted awareness of God’s Presence. Fix your gaze on what is unseen, (God’s Presence) even as the visible world parades before your eyes.”
    Looking back on my life and where I have come from, I now realize that God was with me always. I don’t believe that I was specifically aware of God’s presence at the time, but things just “worked out” in a way that has been completely different from what I thought life would be after I graduated from High School…..oh that time when I “knew” where I was going and what I was going to do. God had a different plan for sure, one that He was directing.
    My goal now is to be aware of the gift of God’s presence at all times and know that He has my back every step of my life’s journey.
    Blessings dear UR Family. May we continue to be Advent People as we pray for each other and shine our lights in this dark world.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted December 15, 2019 5:37 pm

    In times of grieving, trials, every day when I spend time in prayer.

    Thank you God for your presence!

    Blessings to all and may we always be aware of the gift of God’s presence!

  • robert moeller Posted December 16, 2019 4:01 am

    The strongest feelings of God’s presence came twice about 20 years ago as I lay in bed, but God is always there and surely has helped with many situations since that time. Thank You, Lord.
    Thankful for Jill and her help with her Dad, glad he is recovering and benefitting from the tooth extraction.
    Glad Andrea plays in a bell choir, pray her daughter’s situation at work is resolved well and soon.
    God’s peace to Alice and her sister, and to David.
    May Connie recover and may she have many more warm encounters this Advent.
    The community Mary helps will be blessed by her contribution.
    Prayers for Marcy’s health, insurance restoration, assistance, and life needs.
    Thankful for the prayers of the UR community for Erich and me. He is well prepared for a dj opportunity in January. The kitchen is being painted, and Christmas dinner is both well planned and being readied.
    Than you Rick for your prayers, blessings to you and your husband.
    Prayers for the family of Howard West who passed away Friday.
    Thankful for a wonderful Christmas concert in a beautiful church on a not so easy day to drive.
    Than You, Lord, all our blessings come from You.
    Had a good FT with my daughter and grand-daughters yesterday.

    • Andrea Posted December 16, 2019 9:43 am

      Thank you for your prayers, Robert. Prayers for you and Erich. May God direct your steps, may your Advent be peaceful and joyful.

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