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

Is joy out of place in a season of self-denial and spiritual devotion? The ushers would likely escort me out of our church if I started laughing at this point in the service. But perhaps the liturgy invites us to focus less on what we do or do not do, less on what we deny or add during Lent. What if Ash Wednesday encourages us to grow joyfully in our acknowledgment of God through spiritual disciplines? What if we are meant to hold ourselves as lightly as the dust from last year’s palm fronds?

—Max O. Vincent, Because of This I Rejoice: Reading Philippians During Lent (Upper Room Books, 2018)

Today’s Question

What would it look like for you to grow joyfully during the season of Lent? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

Do you not know that in a race the runners all compete, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win it. Athletes exercise self-control in all things; they do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable one.
—1 Corinthians 9:24-25 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

God, I give thanks for all you have done, are doing, and will do. Because of this, I rejoice.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

What is Lent? When is Lent? Why do we set it apart? Learn more about this special season from The Upper Room’s Lent 101 resource.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • Julie Posted February 16, 2021 8:51 am

    Every night I repent of three sins from that day. Lately, each evening I have repented of focusing all day on my problems and how to solve them. Thesethoughts have crowded out my usual thought of the Lord and his goodness and his Word.
    I would grow more joyful during Lent if I could refocus my thoughts on all things pleasant and good as the Bible instructs us.
    Prayers for Ally and ner eyesight, may both continue to improve. May Ally find a new job soon. Prayers for David and his quest for PT, may his doctor approve his request. Prayers for Rachel’s continued improvement in blood sugar regulation.
    Prayers for April and her family, may all be safe during this storm and cold temps, which are even reaching the south.
    Prayers for Jill and her sister, may Jill’s heart soften towards her sister as she examines her feelings and their origins. May God guide her in this endeavor this Lent, helping to heal their relationship.
    Prayers for Lou and her family, may Lou be safe, warm and have electricity as her area is getting much snow and cold.
    Prayers for Marcy, may she be warm as she is also in the midwest and has no control over her thermostat.
    Prayers for Robert and his church, may they be God directed as they seek an answer to their uncertain future.

  • Gail Posted February 16, 2021 9:55 am

    I like the notion of holding ourselves lightly as the dust….Rejoice always!

  • Jill Posted February 16, 2021 11:12 am

    I believe any spiritual discipline, if done correctly with the guidance of the Spirit, has an end product of more JOY. Any spiritual discipline should move one closer to God, closer to emulating His Son – how can JOY not be a by product?
    School did indeed get cancelled for today – at 8 PM last night. At that point the snow had turned to ice pellets pinging my window. It doesn’t look like we got as much as anticipated, but likely due to the icy rain weighing it down. I have not ventured out yet to shovel. Later this afternoon.
    I have been using this gift of more time to work on school work and am grateful for what I have accomplished already. Will stay at it.
    My sister and her husband arrived safely at their place in Florida at 1:45 this morning. Their drive last night took them through areas which had tornado warnings posted. Several times they had to pull off the road because the rain was coming down in sheets. We are all grateful they are safe. Now they need some time to rest up and recover from the stress of the trip.

  • Ally Posted February 16, 2021 4:37 pm

    Hello UR family, been at ER a good portion of day with David. He fell this morning and has been in quite a bit of pain. He fell on his left side and his pain is in his hip. He is in a treatment room and I’m in the car because visitors are not allowed in ER waiting. He’s been to x-ray and dr. is waiting for report. At first he refused to come, but pain was severe enough, he asked to come. Though he can walk, it’s very painful and I fear he has a broken hip. Please pray for healing and positive out. Will update when we know something. Love you all and lifting up your concerns.

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