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

Confession offers us the gift of imagining ourselves responding differently in certain situations while at the same time reminding us that most of us do not always act like the people we would like to be. When received with love and grace, our confessions can actually lead us toward our dreams. They can lead us to our true voice and power. Perhaps the function of confession is to help us say real and vulnerable words to one another.

—Dee Dee Risher, The Soulmaking Room (Upper Room Books, 2016)

Today’s Question

How do our confessions deepen our relationships and lead us toward our dreams? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.
—James 5:16 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

Creator God, I give this day over to you and to the mystery of faith. I commit space and time in this very day for soul work.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

How can we find light and hope in this unprecedented year? Join Blue Christmas author Todd Outcalt as we seek to find the light in a season of darkness. Register today for The Upper Room online Advent course.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • Jill Posted November 13, 2020 5:14 am

    Heartfelt confession spoken aloud to another is so challenging for me. And yet, on the few occasions I have dared to be that vulnerable, the relief and acceptance returned tenfold. I think part of why this has not been a more evident part of my life is how this went with my mom. She would get set off by an insignificant thing and I would be “forced” to apologize. And it never seemed to be accepted…as I think about this – this is something I need to offer to God and ponder with Him in prayer.
    Father – You poke me, often in surprising ways. Keep transforming me. Draw me nearer. Keep me mindful that You are the definer of good.

  • Marcy Posted November 13, 2020 6:00 am

    Prayer Is the Soul’s Sincere Desire

    1 Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire,
    uttered or unexpressed;
    the motion of a hidden fire
    that trembles in the breast.

    2 Prayer is the simplest form of speech
    that infant lips can try,
    prayer the sublimest strains that reach
    the Majesty on high.

    3 Prayer is the Christian’s vital breath,
    the Christian’s native air,
    his watchword at the gates of death:
    he enters heaven with prayer.

    4 Prayer is the contrite sinner’s voice,
    returning from his ways;
    while angels in their songs rejoice,
    and cry, ‘Behold, he prays!

    5 The saints in prayer appear as one,
    in word and deed and mind;
    while with the Father and the Son
    sweet fellowship they find.

    6 Nor prayer is made on earth alone:
    the Holy Spirit pleads,
    and Jesus on the eternal throne
    for sinners intercedes.

    7 O Thou by whom we come to God,
    the Life, the Truth, the Way,
    the path of prayer thyself hast trod:
    Lord, teach us how to pray!

    James Montgomery (1818)
    Tune: LAMBETH (Schulthes, 1871)

    James 5:16

  • robert moeller Posted November 13, 2020 6:06 am

    I find it easier to confess to God than to a person and have had only a very few people to whom I could confess. God knows our heart before we confess, we acknowledge them in the Lord’s Prayer and before taking communion. I’m not sure people know us that well. Surely some can come close. A negative is that when people knows us “too well” they can take advantage of us. God doesn’t do that. Thank You, Lord.
    Prayers for the US as election results become even more certain and the pandemic soars. Be safe in science, medicine, and the Lord. The ability to reason and have faith all come from God. Science, medicine and faith are not contradictory.. Use the common sense God gave us and be safe.

    • Marcy Posted November 13, 2020 6:10 am

      Amen and Amen! Sending Love to you, Robert!

  • Julie Posted November 13, 2020 8:40 am

    I confess to God It is interesting that this missive was given for today as I have been using my bedtime prayers as a time to confess and repent my sins. I started several days ago. I believe it improves my relationship with the Lord and gets me closer to my dream of walking closely with him.
    Prayers for Jill. Both my mom and Megan are the way you describe your mom. It gets wearisome walking on eggshells and always apaologizing even when I did nothing. I also can’t speak openly with either of them regarding anything of importance to me. I cannot share my feelings even during this very stressful time. It is difficult on me and I feel your continued pain.
    Prayers of rejoicing that Marcy felt up to posting. Thank you for your sharing this hymn.
    Prayers for Robert and I add my prayers to his. Indeed both science and the Bible can and do coexist. The study Bible I use dscribed creation and evolution by pointing out that to God a “day” does not mean what it does to us and that the Bible does not explain how God created creation, etc. It is evolution that describes the how and the Bible that points to the who.
    Prayers for Ally and David as they both continue to heal and grow stronger iindividually and as a couple.

  • Ally Posted November 13, 2020 9:31 am

    My first thought as I meditated on today’s reading is that confession helps us to be real. I can be really good a putting up a facade. If I allow God to strip away the facade and allow others to see the real me, I will be vulnerable. Can God work with someone who hides their true nature? God can do anything, I suppose, but why not be real with God, who knows our hearts? Why not be real with each other? I struggle with this myself. Loving Lord, strip away the facades that i have put up to protect me. Only by revealing my true, raw self can your work in me bear real fruit. Help us not to not be afraid to be vulnerable.
    According to the reading I’ve done, cardiac symptoms can linger among 40-50% of patients post heart cath who receive stents. It seems I am in this group. It is discouraging. Please pray that I can move to the other group as I make necessary changes in my lifestyle. A topical OTC product has given David some relief for his rash. I meet with eye surgeon on Monday for instructions for using eye drops required for 2 weeks prior to cataract surgery. We ask for prayer for a smooth road. I’ve given up driving until after my surgery. This is hard. Driving is independence.
    Jill, I hear you about dealing with someone who puts qualifications on confession and forgiveness. My mom woul apologize if she said something hurtful, but would qualify by saying, “I’m sorry , but if you had,,,or you hadn’t,,,” It truly impacts how one interacts with someone in a confession situation. I could never really let my guard down with Mama. I loved her and I miss her, but we were complicated for sure. Robert, I am in agreement with your prayers for election results. I pray that all will be more careful in taking precautions re: pandemic. I think of the Wesleyan Quadrilateral: Scripture, Tradition, Reason, and Experience. God gave us intellect and meant for us to use them. Marcy, thank you for the lovely hymn. This one is in the United Methodist Hymnal, but I’ve never heard it before. I pray you are feeling well today. May we all be real with God and with each other. Blessings to all.

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