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

THE WORDS lectio divina are Latin for “holy reading.” This ancient prayer practice includes the following steps: lectio (“to read”), meditatio (“to reflect”), oratio (“to respond”), and contemplatio (“to rest”).

Lectio divina allows you to listen for God’s activity using scripture and to connect to God through the ancient Word while delving into a particular passage.

The practice of lectio divina focuses on formational reading of scripture, as opposed to informational reading. Formational reading invites the text to shape you, while informational reading invites you to understand the text. Though both types of reading can be useful on a spiritual journey, the art of lectio divina allows you to interact with God’s Word through meditating on a passage and listening for God’s leading.

My personal journey has been shaped by spending time in the Word using lectio divina. Through this practice, I have realized how scripture can speak to my life regardless of what I am facing. Lectio divina has allowed me to see and hear God in new ways.

– Whitney R. Simpson
Holy Listening with Breath, Body, and the Spirit

From page 23 of Holy Listening with Breath, Body, and the Spirit by Whitney R. Simpson. Copyright © 2016 by Whitney R. Simpson. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Name other spiritual practices that have helped you experience God in new ways. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am in distress; my eye wastes away from grief, my soul and body also.

Psalm 31:9, NRSV

This Week: Pray for persons who are looking for a church family. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.

This week we remember: Joseph (March 19).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2018 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA


  • Jill Posted March 20, 2018 3:35 am

    Small group Bible study these past few years has been very good for my soul in many respects. I have learned the impact of authenticity. I have received love and care. I have learned what it means to deeply dive into the Word, to study, to meditate, to ask the Spirit’s assistance in understanding.
    Also, prayer with one or two others has deepened my desire to communicate rawly…pouring out desires while asking my Father to align my desires with His Will.
    Father, wash over me anew with Your Love today. I pray this for myself and for all who visit this site to worship and draw near.

    • Marcy Posted March 21, 2018 1:37 pm

      Jill, I don’t hope you enjoyed your time away because our minds, bodies, and emotions need a break , a joyful break, especially during or after stressful times. I admire your strength that you emulate through God and that heartens me. As always, you are in my prayers, as are your Mom, Gloria, your Dad, Larry, your sister, Becky and our precious kitties, in your case, Roger.

      • Marcy Posted March 21, 2018 2:29 pm

        Jill, oh my! This Auto-correct can be quite awful! Of course, I meant I DO hope you enjoyed your time away. Sometimes, what I would give for an edit button! So sorry!

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted March 20, 2018 4:07 am

    Welcome back, Jill!

    For me, it is the early morning when i wake up for exercise and pray. This is the time i commut the day to God and also pray for others.

    Thank you God for this precious time with you daily that i can draw strength and wisdom from you

    Blessings to all

  • robert moeller Posted March 20, 2018 6:19 am

    A newer practice for me is talking, praying while I am walking. I feel closer to God. I’m out in the beauty of His creation.

    Colder weather here lately, a few degrees below zero at night, it warmed up into the 20s yesterday with bright sun and blue skies. Enjoyed my walk.

    Prayers for Anneliese, she’s been in the hospital since Saturday. Had a brief message from her, she’s doing ok and will write more when she’s home.
    Prayers too for those who deal with chronic pain, are ill, or you are a caregiver for someone who is ill. Marcy, Julie, Gloria, Larry, Lowell, Robin, and Mary’s parents come immediately to mind here at the UR. Arnolds, Richard, and Bob at church. Caregivers, Julie’s daughter, Jill and Becky, Andrea, Connie, Mary and her brothers and sisters, Beverly, Anne, and Betty, need support too. Thank You, Lord.

    Prayers for all the UR family, there are other needs and God can and does help us with them. Thank You, Lord.

    • Marcy Posted March 21, 2018 1:45 pm

      Robert, thank you for including us in your prayers. I am very grateful to be included. I’m sorry to hear Annaliese is back in the hospital, and am keeping her in prayer, as I continue to pray for you, Erich and Pearl. Lucy has been God’s gift to me along with many others.

      I do enjoy hearing about those who are able to walk and use the time to commune with God. I have not given up hope that I will be able to do so again one day, even if it is in a limited capacity.

      Thank you, again, for your encouraging thoughts and comforting prayers to all of us here in the UR family.

      • robert moeller Posted March 22, 2018 3:30 am

        Thank you Marcy for the Audio Lecto information. I will look into that. Still no word from Anneliese, thankful there is health insurance to help her, hopeful she is getting the help and care she needs. She has been helped at this hospital in the past.

        Prayers that you have the help and care you need to improve.

        Pets, aka animal family members, do a lot to help us. I’m very thankful for Pearl, she is adjusting very well.

  • Betsy Posted March 20, 2018 7:08 am

    Journaling is a spiritual practice that I began years ago during my early morning devotional time. Noting prayer concerns, writing down Bible passages and thought provoking quotes are ways that I feel connected and grounded. Going back and reading these dated writings can give me a new perspective on a problem.
    Glad to see you back, Jill. Hope your weekend away was restful. Prayers for all of you here who are caring for a loved one; Jill, Robert, Marcy, Mary and many others I can’t name. May God give you strength and peace in your role.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted March 21, 2018 6:16 am

      Thanks Robert and Betsy!

      Have a great week ahead everyone


    • Marcy Posted March 21, 2018 1:53 pm

      Betsy, journaling sounds so cathartic and helpful on one’s spiritual journey. My fingers cramp and hurt when holding writing implements. Thank you for your prayers and including me in them. As I’ve mentioned, I draw strength from them, much needed strength, as I’m sure we all do. You are always in my own morning prayers and I enjoy your posts very much!

  • Julie Posted March 20, 2018 7:55 am

    I have several study Bibles that I use when reading the scripture verses. Each provides a different perspective and I find the historical context information especially helpful. One even provides the original words and their true translation which has deepened my understanding of what each author was trying to actually convey.
    I would ask you to pray for my mother who has been experiencing pain for several weeks. She has had multiple tests with no answer as to the cause.
    Blessings and prayers for and thanks to all of the UR family. I pray for each of your concerns uttered or not.
    Where there is love, there is joy.
    Mother Teresa

    • Marcy Posted March 21, 2018 2:06 pm

      Julie, I am including your Mother in my prayers, and that you both find relief from pain. It’s a challenge to do normal every day duties, and I’m unable to do much of anything at all. I pray God will relieve us of our pain through prayer and perseverance.

      I, too, use several different Bible translations, one has the meanings of the Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek words, that help me to better understand the underpinnings of our faith. However, the presence of our Almighty God, His Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, are what truly maintain my Faith, Hope and Love. Thank you, Julie, for your welcoming spirit and accepting nature. You are truly dear to me. Sending my Love and hugs your way. (And I find the quotes inspirational!)

  • Connie Posted March 20, 2018 8:46 am

    I posted about women who have been a support in my life, but I guess it didn’t “go”. My Mother, Grandmothers, Aunts have all been a positive influence and gave unconditional love. My children’s Great-Grandmother on their Dad’s side prayed diligently for us.
    I am so happy that Spring has arrived. Maybe it will put a little “spring” in my step! The trees are in bloom where my son and family live and soon the flowering ones be in bloom here. “For lo, the Winter is past”.
    Blessings to all

  • Marcy Posted March 21, 2018 2:24 pm

    Hello beloved UR family and friends! I believe I have mentioned before that I use Audio Lectio once a week. I would use it every day if I could find a daily. If you look up Alive Now Audio Lectio or just Audio Lectio, you will find one for every Sunday. There is also one for Good Friday and Christmas Eve and Day. They are pre-selected Scripture readings from the lectionary and involve meditating on the word, the same Scripture reading, read by different people, directed by Beth Richardson. You still pick out the word or phrase that touches you to meditate on during the session. I find I can also visualize the Word this way, when the Spirit leads.

    Prayers for Mary and Connie, and praises for uplifting words. Thank you.

    I continue to pray for all in the UR family and beyond for healing where needed and praises for all celebrating health and happiness. God loves us all and always will.

    I do wholeheartedly pray for those searching for a church family. Thank you, Lord, for this blessed place and our own places of worship, whether they be from home or at a place of worship and fellowship. We are so blessed for our fellowship here in the UR family.

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

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted March 21, 2018 6:18 pm

      Thank you dear Marcy for praying for us

      May all be well with you

      May all your needs be met


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