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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

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

I am human and make mistakes often, but I have been given a gift that grounds me and humbles me every day: peace. This gift allows me to value and honor my body, including its imperfections. This gift also creates in me longing to listen for God with each breath I take and to invite you to do the same.

In scripture, as with my story, the word peace is often considered a gift. It is interpreted with various meanings including “wholeness” and “well-being.” Choose to explore God’s gift of peace today. A crisis is not required to learn how to listen for God’s activity in and around you, to use your breath and body, and to recognize God’s Spirit dwelling in you.

—Whitney R. Simpson, Holy Listening with Breath, Body, and the Spirit (Upper Room Books, 2016)

Today's Question

Can you spare two minutes? Pause. Feel your lungs rise and fall with each breath. Use the words from this week's breath prayer to help you focus. Repeat for a full two minutes. When your mind strays, calmly refocus on your breath. After the two minutes, consider how this exercise felt. Was it difficult? How might it enhance your time with God each day? Join the conversation.

Today's Scripture

The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
—Philippians 4:7 (NRSV)

Breath Prayer for the Week

Inhale: Jesus
Exhale: Give me peace.
—Whitney R. Simpson, Holy Listening with Breath, Body, and the Spirit
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

As the war in Ukraine continues, we invite you to join us for a special Prayer Summit in The Upper Room Chapel on May 25, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. (CDT). We will hear firsthand stories from Ukrainians and from those serving Ukrainian refugees. Together, we continue to pray for peace and an end to violence in Ukraine and around the world. Please plan to join us on Facebook Live and YouTube.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

0 Comments | Join the Conversation.

 

Today's Reflection

[Following a debilitating stroke,] my body and brain weren’t able to work together in that way. I collapsed onto the floor and cried tears of frustration. Will I ever be able to do more than one thing at a time? I wondered. Why am I being limited in this way? I had no choice but to listen to my body and focus on one task at a time as I cried out to God.

Yet even this struggle offered treasures in the long run. While I have improved greatly in my ability to multitask, I now recognize and understand that my limitation has served me well in certain ways. My inability to function at a level to which I was previously accustomed—a level our world tells us is relatively healthy—forced me into a listening space with God, one I never could have envisioned for myself. I began to understand deep listening in a brand-new way, and the new pace of my body was largely to thank for the opportunity. God was knitting my experiences together with my breath and body and drawing me nearer to God’s Spirit within.

—Whitney R. Simpson, Holy Listening with Breath, Body, and the Spirit (Upper Room Books, 2016)

Today's Question

What have you learned from your own weaknesses? Join the conversation.

Today's Scripture

My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
—Psalm 73:26 (NRSV)

Breath Prayer for the Week

Inhale: Jesus
Exhale: Give me peace.
—Whitney R. Simpson, Holy Listening with Breath, Body, and the Spirit
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

As the war in Ukraine continues, we invite you to join us for a special Prayer Summit in The Upper Room Chapel on May 25, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. (CDT). We will hear firsthand stories from Ukrainians and from those serving Ukrainian refugees. Together, we continue to pray for peace and an end to violence in Ukraine and around the world. Please plan to join us on Facebook Live and YouTube.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

4 Comments | Join the Conversation.

 

Today's Reflection

God has already given you everything you need to live a whole life—no matter your hurts or wounds. Over the years, I told myself that if I were in good health, had a rewarding job, made good choices as a parent, spent time with people I cared about, and had the right tools for listening to God, I would finally discover God’s peace. Instead, while I am grateful for rewarding and fruitful seasons of life, no latest and greatest item, season, skill, or technique will draw me nearer to God. Getting a good report from the doctor or being out of debt may offer comfort, but they will not foster a relationship with God. By prioritizing time and space with God and learning the ways you best connect with your Creator, you may find you already have everything you need to listen for God.

—Whitney R. Simpson, Holy Listening with Breath, Body, and the Spirit (Upper Room Books, 2016)

Today's Question

When and where do you experience peace? Join the conversation.

Today's Scripture

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.
—John 14:27 (NRSV)

Breath Prayer for the Week

Inhale: Jesus
Exhale: Give me peace.
—Whitney R. Simpson, Holy Listening with Breath, Body, and the Spirit
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

As the war in Ukraine continues, we invite you to join us for a special Prayer Summit in The Upper Room Chapel on May 25, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. (CDT). We will hear firsthand stories from Ukrainians and from those serving Ukrainian refugees. Together, we continue to pray for peace and an end to violence in Ukraine and around the world. Please plan to join us on Facebook Live and YouTube.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

3 Comments | Join the Conversation.

 

Today's Reflection

A life with God invites you to be honest with yourself—to admit your weaknesses and tender spots. It also asks that you allow yourself to be shaped into the likeness of Christ in order not only to better yourself but also to better the world around you.

—Whitney R. Simpson, Holy Listening with Breath, Body, and the Spirit (Upper Room Books, 2016)

Today's Question

Is it difficult for you to be honest about your weaknesses? Join the conversation.

Today's Scripture

The Spirit helps us in our weakness.
—Romans 8:26 (NRSV)

Breath Prayer for the Week

Inhale: Jesus
Exhale: Give me peace.
Whitney R. Simpson, Holy Listening with Breath, Body, and the Spirit
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

As the war in Ukraine continues, we invite you to join us for a special Prayer Summit in The Upper Room Chapel on May 25, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. (CDT). We will hear firsthand stories from Ukrainians and from those serving Ukrainian refugees. Together, we continue to pray for peace and an end to violence in Ukraine and around the world. Please plan to join us on Facebook Live and YouTube.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

5 Comments | Join the Conversation.

 

Today's Reflection

God created you as an amazing and complex human being. Science proves over and over that your body holds more wisdom than you can fathom. Your physical body also carries trauma and pain. No matter where you are on your healing journey, you are processing the traumas your body and spirit have experienced in the past. As a Christian, you look to Jesus as your model for living. Jesus not only experiences many mountaintop moments but also encounters great physical trauma and pain. So what can Jesus’ life teach you today about your body?

—Whitney R. Simpson, Holy Listening with Breath, Body, and the Spirit (Upper Room Books, 2016)

Today's Question

How would you answer the question posed in today's reflection? Join the conversation.

Today's Scripture

The Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
—Genesis 2:7 (NRSV)

Breath Prayer for the Week

Inhale: Jesus
Exhale: Give me peace.
Whitney R. Simpson, Holy Listening with Breath, Body, and the Spirit
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

As the war in Ukraine continues, we invite you to join us for a special Prayer Summit in The Upper Room Chapel on May 25, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. (CDT). We will hear firsthand stories from Ukrainians and from those serving Ukrainian refugees. Together, we continue to pray for peace and an end to violence in Ukraine and around the world. Please plan to join us on Facebook Live and YouTube.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

3 Comments | Join the Conversation.

 

Today's Reflection

God is the giver of life and breath. Miraculously, your breath flows in and out of your body, offering life. You live in the physical sense with your body and in the spiritual sense with your spirit; yet, no life exists—either in the body or spirit—without the starting point of the breath. While there are surely moments in this life that literally take your breath away—some good, some not so good—each breathtaking moment can only occur because of the moment when God first gave you breath. Since that first breath, each moment has shaped you, molded you, and made you into the person God created—one breath at a time.

—Whitney R. Simpson, Holy Listening with Breath, Body, and the Spirit (Upper Room Books, 2016)

Today's Question

What are some experiences that have shaped your life? Join the conversation.

Today's Scripture

The spirit of God has made me,
and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
—Job 33:4 (NRSV)

Breath Prayer for the Week

Inhale: Jesus
Exhale: Give me peace.
Whitney R. Simpson, Holy Listening with Breath, Body, and the Spirit
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

As the war in Ukraine continues, we invite you to join us for a special Prayer Summit in The Upper Room Chapel on May 25, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. (CDT). We will hear firsthand stories from Ukrainians and from those serving Ukrainian refugees. Together, we continue to pray for peace and an end to violence in Ukraine and around the world. Please plan to join us on Facebook Live and YouTube.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

3 Comments | Join the Conversation.