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 word band, when used to discuss singing and prayer bands (and later shouting bands), should not be confused with the kind of band you might find in contemporary worship. A praying band is more like the band or society of John Wesley’s time. Prayer bands more closely resemble a covenant group than a musical ensemble. Their end goal is not just prayer and song for a particular occasion. These are women and men who view prayer and song as their sacred duty. …

The prayers and songs of the prayer bands, offered to God in deep woods and the brush arbors, connected them to one another, to their culture, and to God.

—Safiyah Fosua, Robert McMichael III, and Cynthia A. Wilson, Reflect, Reclaim, Rejoice: Preserving the Gift of Black Sacred Music (Discipleship Resources, 2015)

Today’s Question

What parts of your church’s worship services connect you to one another, to God, and to your culture? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

O sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord; bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day.
—Psalm 96:1-2 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

Bread of heaven, feed me until I want no more. Help me to understand that without you, it is impossible to survive in this world and its experiences. Thank you for being present with me in all circumstances. Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • April Posted June 19, 2023 10:22 am

    I have certainly enjoyed the topic of being the church this week. Yes, that is what we are called to be and do. Yesterday’s sacrifice of a cat made me wonder where the message was going and what happened to the cat, so I read on. I loved reading about the outreach that resulted from that cat, amazing!!
    For years I have been praying for a mission for the goodies I bake aside from connecting with neighbors, friends, and bake sales, that are only fleeting. My specialty is making soft pretzels. Last February our church announced that they were having a KNO…kids night out the end of March. I felt that this was a God wink, so I volunteered to came and we would roll/shape the pretzels and bake so they could take home. The coordinating pastor said yes!! She linked it to Lent/Easter that would be coming up soon. At the end of the KNO, when the kids went home, they took a pretzel with them in a little plastic bag with this message:
    The pretzel is a traditional Lenten food that was actually invented to be a simple snack during the church calendar season of Lent. When early Christians would pray, they would cross their arms across their chest and touch each shoulder with the opposite hand. They also fasted fairly strictly during Lent, making their bread with only water, flour, and salt. A monk shaped this simple Lenten bread in the form of praying arms and served them to children. The pretzel was born!
    On the night of the KNO, we did make pretzels!! All the kids got to make at least 1 and some more. I baked and they got to eat one right away plus they had another to take home and share.
    Fast forward to this week: VBS vacation bible school. I volunteered to bake pretzels for a snack and they said yes!! So, Friday morning I will deliver regular plus gluten/dairy free pretzels. I am going to try a new recipe for the “free” pretzels and hope it works. It sure makes me realize the adjustments parents have to make for kids who have allergies.
    I am praying that the kids this week will remember the connecting between praying and pretzels. Maybe our church will have a pretzel mission. I am going to pray about this and ask that you would too, thank you.
    Yes, Happy Father’s Day to you Robert!! Great to hear all the good things that are happening in our NEM family. I pray for you all and that your gifts to the church yield blessing that never end. My dear husband is doing much better!! Thank you for keeping us in your prayers, NEM family or might we be a NEM prayer band?

    • Ally Posted June 20, 2023 11:11 am

      Great to hear from you, April. I like homemade pretzels. I like to bake,, but I’m sort of intimidated by baking with yeast.

  • robert moeller Posted June 19, 2023 12:41 pm

    The prayer time where we share joys and concerns combines all three of these. Our prayers are shared not only in person, but also on the internet.
    Thankful for new and returning attendees at church. Encouraging.!
    A wonderful post from Gail. Thankful your husband is doing better.
    Thank You Lord for the blessings of the day..

  • Jill Posted June 19, 2023 3:32 pm

    I feel most connected to others during the singing and our reading of a confession prayer. I enjoy observing others as they sing/worship – and the emotional movement which is so unique to each one.
    Gail – so good to hear from you – and thank you so much for your pretzel story. Sure wish I could have some of your warm, soft pretzels. Pretzels are my guilty pleasure.
    Dad and I were to golf this morning, but I received a call very early from Becky saying she had dad at the ER last night. He broke out in hives, very much like when we were in Utah and I had to take him to the ER. I think he recalled that and panicked – so he and Becky were at a very busy ER for about 4 hours. He was given some benadryl and a steroid shot and sent home. He seems to be doing fine today, thankfully.
    So – I enjoyed a lazy morning, with naps and reading. Had a dentist appointment this afternoon – all is well. I play tennis about an hour away tonight and am riding up with my partner. It will give us time to catch up. She is my absolute favorite partner to play with – she is about 20 years younger than me – but we have a wonderful connection on the court. We don’t get to play together as much now as we used to. We are not sure if we are playing together tonight – but will get good quality time in the car going to and fro. Hopefully – we will play together as well.

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