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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

Beth A. Richardson sings “You Are My Beloved,” a blessing that she often shares in The Upper Room Chapel. As you listen, imagine God saying to you and to all creation, “You are my Beloved.”


 

Today’s Reflection

Only God can bring the loving companionship for which we so desperately yearn into our lives to face that deeper loneliness. Those who consciously enter into divine friendship find that God alone can be with them in such an intimate way that they will seldom experience that profound loneliness again. Perhaps this is what Jesus means when he says to his disciples at the end of his life, “Remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20).

—Trevor Hudson, Beyond Loneliness: The Gift of God’s Friendship (Upper Room Books, 2016)

Today’s Question

What comfort do you find in God’s loving companionship? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

Certainly the faithful love of the LORD hasn’t ended; certainly God’s compassion isn’t through! They are renewed every morning. Great is your faithfulness.
—Lamentations 3:22-23 (CEB)

Prayer for the Week

Dear God, make me a channel of blessing to someone today.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Be a friend. Let someone requesting prayer on The Upper Room Prayer Wall know you are praying for and with them. Check out this helpful guide.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

4 Comments

  • Marcy Posted May 23, 2020 4:10 am

    I could not tell you the day or even the year, that I truly felt God’s companionship. It was after I had lost both parents, but before my best friend passed. After I realized I wasn’t alone after all, that’s when I felt the comfort, the love and the strength of being one of God’s companions. It took longer to feel the courage and the peace. I was probably either working or home “alone,” when it all dawned on me. I had never stopped praying and always studied my Bible almost daily. I eventually felt just fine being the one to work holidays, especially if I could keep others company. I didn’t mind staying home and watching “cheesy” movies that made me tear up with a warm, purring cat on my lap (or somewhere on my person!)

    I will be lighting candles and burning incense as I delve into a mini-retreat of Bible study this weekend. Being able to sit at rest without the oxygen is just one of many things I find on the gratefulness list. I will also be trying the new prayer practice from Tom Albin yesterday.

    Any and all of you who are traveling this weekend, will have my prayers for safe navigation and for God’s blessings to be traveling with you.

    Praying for all those who are staying home, struggling financially, physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually. Prayers for all in the BALCONY and beyond, and all those who wish to keep their requests to themselves. Remember, Jesus said, “I am with you until the end of the age.” Praising God with those who are rejoicing always!

    Prayers for Jill and Larry. Lucy says Hello to Roger. 🐈👋🐱
    Prayers for Julie and Megan. I hope and pray Julie’s foot is alright and that Tazzie and Chai are both well.
    Prayers for Robert and Erich and new horizons with the new vehicle.
    Prayers for Ally and David, that they both are feeling better and that Ally gets some rest.
    Prayers for Rick that he’s been with us and following along. Lucy says Hi to L.C. 🐱👋🐈
    Prayers for Lou as we get even more rain today and that her daughters are safe and well. (I know at least one is at home).
    Prayers for Andrea and her family, Connie, Rusty, Mary, Francesca, Louise, Betsy and Grace, Chloe and Paige, Pam, Ami, Jean, Joan, Edy and all others who visit or did at one point.

    “Those who love me, I will deliver;
    I will protect those who know My name.
    When they call to Me, I will answer them;
    With long life I will satisfy them,
    And show them My salvation.” — Psalms 91:14-16

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

  • robert moeller Posted May 23, 2020 7:05 am

    Amazing! Very thankful for the improvement in your health, Marcy. I’m reminded of the scripture where Jesus tells the woman, “Your faith has made you well.”

    Sometime between 2017 and 2019 I came to understand that no human truly knows me, but God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit have known me completely since before I was born. I have grown to understand Them better since I was reborn between 1998-1999,

    A big turning point in my life came in the years between 1969-1970. With the war in Vietnam still on I wanted to fulfill my military obligation so I could continue on my goal of becoming a teacher. I had to have an operation to get into the army. There were offers I turned down and I was also refused on things I was interested in pursuing. I ended up training to be an infantryman headed to Vietnam. I prayed that God would send me where He wanted me. Two weeks before infantry school ended l learned Korea was my destination. Had I never been sent there, I wouldn’t have come to love Korea, met a long time friend,
    returned there to teach, met my wife, and had my children. All of this led me closer to God and in a Korean United Methodist Church, I was reborn.
    My wife is with the Lord. My son lives wth me and my daughter is happily married with both a carrier and two daughters.

    I join Marcy in her prayers for the UR family and the pandemic. There are reminders every day of our need for God. Thank You, Lord.

  • Jill Posted May 23, 2020 7:43 am

    The greatest comfort I feel from God is His peace…out of which flows assurance, sustenance, presence. I know I have spoken/written about this peace quite a bit here and I still marvel at it. For so long I did not have it – and can’t say something specifically was the tipping point. Yet, when I needed it most, there it was. As I think about it, there was a tipping point perhaps – when I ultimately surrendered my will regarding my illness to Him. So, yes – that is a significant thing. But, to think, that everything preceding that had been building to the unleashing of the dam of His peace…makes me sit in wonder. So when I say there wasn’t a tipping point…I guess I am saying that from a very secular standpoint…like there was something I was doing to build up to that. Like I could be in control of how much peace I could experience. And then to realize, it is in laying down my will…duh – isn’t that what the Bible tells us time and again? Isn’t that what people wiser than us tell us over and over? And yet, for me, I had to get to a point in my life – where I was able to step aside…and then it flooded in. The time spent faithfully each morning, the devotion to Bible study, the intention of sharing with others in small group…it all built up without my knowing. Whoa! God is so good and worthy of all of my praise. Thank You, Father God!
    I can so easily see it now – now that my vertical relationship with Him is right, how much more easily it is to be in right relationships with people here on Earth, horizontally. Again, sitting here shaking my head…marveling.
    I sure can make things complicated.
    The rain lasted until dinner yesterday. So, I was a lazy recliner person with my cat most of the day. After dinner – I went to my colleague and friend’s house – to walk with her. She will have the fourth round of chemo Thursday as she is battling early stage, aggressive breast cancer. She is valiant in her fight.
    Dad and I re-scheduled golf for Tuesday. Today, his grandson and my nephew is having a small cookout for his birthday. So, we shall don our masks and head over there. Dad attended the small service last night for our friend. Dad said he got choked up while speaking with the husband and they both shed some tears together. Tomorrow is an outdoor reception in the afternoon. My sister asked to go with me.
    Julie – I hope you got good news from the doctor yesterday. Ally – will be praying David’s swelling and other issues which may arise. May you both be observant and able to reach out to medical professionals for guidance.

  • Julie Posted May 23, 2020 8:16 am

    I find comfort knowing that God knows me wholly and completely and yet loves me still. How amazing! Even though I sin in word, deed and thought, and He is aware of each and every one, He loves me infinitely and intimately. He evn works things out for my good! Despite all my shortcomings and my forgetfulness of Him at times, He has seen me through some dark times and given me light and life anew. God is great and so good.
    Prayers for Marcy, Roxy and Lucy, may all be fit and healthy. I join Robert’s rejoicing in your renewed health.
    Prayers for Robert and his children, may they grow close and cherish one another. May his children realize what a remarkable life Robert has led and may he share his experiences freely with them. My maternal uncle also served in Korea, and he also served in Vietnam..
    Prayers for Jill and her family, may they all stay safe as they gather to celebrate together. Wonderful to know Larry was able to attend the service and give solace to family during their shared sorrow.
    Prayers for Ally and David. May David continue to progress and may all his health issues resolve, including the swelling and the bedsore. May Ally receive rest this weekend and may God strengthen her during the upcoming days of many tasks. My doctor indeed said that the blood was harmless and due to the aspirin I must take because of my clotting issue.
    Prayers and thank you so much for your heartfelt prayers dear UR

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