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

When, like Jesus, we regularly retreat in order to attend to God’s Word in an especially focused way, then the time spent in this environment for listening will bear fruit in the many ministries of a spiritually alive life. What are these fruits? They are love and freedom, which nourish our spiritual growth and strengthen us for the work of proclaiming the Good News in word and deed.

—John S. Mogabgab, in The Wondrous Mystery: An Upper Room Advent Reader, compiled by Benjamin Howard (Upper Room Books, 2019)

Today’s Question

How often do you allow yourself time alone to pray? How can you find this time during the busy holiday season? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

After saying farewell to them, he went up on the mountain to pray.

—Mark 6:46 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

God, Thank you for what is just around the corner. In a season filled with the longest, darkest nights, I await the coming of the most beautiful light.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Holidays can be rough. This year is especially difficult for those whose family or plans have been affected by the pandemic. Join us to pray for those in need or share your own prayer request at The Upper Room Prayer Wall.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • Julie Posted December 16, 2020 8:32 am

    I do not, as yet, havesuch a spiritual practice. This is one of many New Year’s resolutions I intend to make. Unlike other years I will make a concerted effort to follow through each one. If I miss one day, I will recommit the next!
    Prayers for Jill and her students who are struggling with online learning. I understand better the situation teachers, administrators and parents find themselves trying to navigate. One can’t learn well online but can’t attend school during a surge in cases and remain safe.
    Prayers for Robert, may he remain safe from the virus until he can get vaccinated.
    Prayers for Ally and David, Lou, Marcy and Rick and Scott, may all be safe and well.
    Today was a better kitty day but I now know this does not mean anything regarding tomorrow. I have been giving treats and pets to both Booker and Asher if they are well behaved. Will update….

  • Lou Posted December 16, 2020 9:32 am

    A good friend who is a pastor said that prayer can take many forms and I believe that is true. I think listening to worship music or sharing faith with a friend are types of prayers. During advent I set aside time to pray each morning but like Julie I want to continue this practice into the new year. I pray as I walk my dog and as I think of people who need my prayers including the patients that I work with. My praying is rarely a “formal” event.
    I pray for all of you here at the UR- those who regularly comment as well as those who we haven’t heard from in awhile. It’s lightly snowing here today in the northern suburbs of Chicago.
    Please pray for my youngest who will be finishing her finals and traveling home in the next few days- pray for her safety regarding COVID and also please pray for easy travel – NYC is predicted to get 1.5 feet of snow. Please pray for family safety once she arrives as we take quarantine precautions. Thank you UR family.
    God bless you all and keep you safe.

  • Jill Posted December 16, 2020 10:11 am

    These last few days, my time in the morning has been more focused, more connected. This is how I want each day to start…not a rote thing, like my run is – which is literally something I check off my to do list, and rarely enjoy. Yes – it is much more settled, quiet, reflective.
    When my last exam was finished yesterday, the sun was out a bit – so I decided to go for a walk, despite the cold temps. I got two blocks away from home and got a text from a tennis friend who was looking for a sub to play that evening. I jumped at the chance, immediately turned around and got back to the warmth of my house. The tennis was enjoyable – good to see tennis acquaintances who I had not seen since before the lockdown.
    Lou – I pray your daughter will be able to get out of “the city” and back to you safely.
    I was thinking this morning about Christmas…wondering if dad and I will even get together. Indeed, what strange times these are. My Christmas Eve tradition with my friend and god children will likely not happen – and its disheartening.

  • robert moeller Posted December 16, 2020 3:05 pm

    Maintaining a prayer regimen is not hard, but not easy, it requires commitment. Yes, it can take many different formats, ALL OF THEM are good, helpful. For me they range from the Lord’s Prayer – thought prayers – short spur of the moment prayers as situations develop – over time prayers that go on for a while -new prayers – prayers before meals, during worship, when waking up, before sleeping – summary prayers for the blessings of the day – hymns sung or hummed – and your imagination can take you further. In some shape or form prayer is unceasing. Thank You, Lord for enabling us to do this.

    A grand journey today. From 8 am to 3 pm and roughly 240 miles physically, we contacted two cultures 19 hours apart by air travel and on opposite sides of the world. First, it was Morse’s Sauerkraut in Waldoboro ME for German food and holiday foods, then it was Sun Oriental in Portland ME for Korean food, followed by Popeye’s in South Portland ME for Cajun Fried Chicken. Home safely and delighted.

    Snow. 6-10″, predicted starting around 10 pm tonight. The snow predictions so far this year have missed the mark by quite a bit. Will see what happens.

    So thankful that vaccines are on the way, i n some cases already administered, prayers for relief from this pandemic are being answered.

    Prayers for the health, welfare, and safety of this oasis and everyone connected with it. That cats, like humans, can learn to”get along.” That the Cleveland baseball team will have a new name unoffensive to anyone. May our “anno horribilis,” as the Queen once called a tough year, come to a pleasant ending with recovery from the pandemic taking a firm hold. Thank You, Lord. Keep the faith, be safe and wise as God enables you, and be thankful.

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