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

Sometimes we feel that our lives (or our very selves) are being pruned without our consent. Life’s unexpected transitions and tragedies can cut us off at the knees without warning. Pain can prune us of innocence and illusion and teach us lessons we often don’t learn from pleasure.

Just as in the garden, pruning makes us stronger, not weaker. Both pruning and being pruned spur us to new growth.

—Linda Douty, Rhythms of Growth: 365 Meditations to Nurture the Soul (Upper Room Books, 2014)

Today’s Question

When have you experienced pruning that ultimately spurred you to new growth?
Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

[Jesus said,] “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit.”
—John 15:1-2 (NRSVUE)

Prayer for the Week

Thank you, God, for sun and showers.
Thank you for each lovely flower.
Thank you for each stately tree.
Through all these, you speak to me.
A Gardener’s Prayer
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

You don’t have to be at the beach to experience the sea, the sand, the sky, and the glory of the One who created it all. In Beach Calling, author Missy Buchanan’s brilliant descriptions—intertwined artfully with scripture—paint a vivid picture that invites you to a closer, more authentic walk with God. Learn more here.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • robert moeller Posted April 20, 2024 6:03 am

    God can do anything, things we can not do or even imagine. Perhaps God has used a. declared un believer’s financial skills to help us forward. We certainly are making good measurable progress and it has led to better discussions between me and my son. There’s a calm cooperative spirit.
    49 years ago today at Luce Chapel on the campus of Yonsei University Soo Ok Kim and I were married. It was a wonderful day. Thank You, Lord, for the memory.

  • Jill Posted April 20, 2024 11:12 am

    Julie – may the time ahead be one of healing and growth for you. Your long pruning season is over. You suffered well.
    God doesn’t leave us where we are, if we consistently seek to honor Him. And while in the midst of a pruning season, it is challenging to see His hand – we must trust Him. Father God – may we be able to see that all things from You are indeed moving us towards a good, a good ordained by You.
    These past few weeks at school have been whirlwinds. I usually get my grading done at school, as well as most of my planning. Not so, lately. I can barely see my desktop – which, for me, is a rarity and doesn’t usually lead to positive head space. I finally surrendered the hope of this past week and the days upcoming until my students test – as being anything remotely close to normal. Kinda almost like a sport’s analogy – survive and advance.
    Heading to my god son’s AAU basketball tournament with his mom here soon. It will be good to have that time with her in the car, at the tournament and over meals the next day plus. I have missed seeing her regularly since the high school season ended.
    Hoping Robert is doing well, as we still note his absence.

  • Rusty Posted April 20, 2024 9:50 pm

    Julie, your late post yesterday helped me see more clearly. I echo Jill’s sentiments about pruning and growth. (Thanks Jill.) Peace and restoration be yours in Jesus during the weeks, months and years ahead.

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