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 publication of this anniversary edition of Shaped by the Word is a fitting way to remember and honor Bob [Mulholland], who died on December 20, 2015. It is also a recognition that the need to read the Bible formationally is as great now as it was when Bob first wrote this book. In fact, this need is as great as it has been since Christianity began and James exhorted believers to “be doers of the word and not merely hearers” (James 1:22). Without the kind of reading that Bob commends, we run the risk of having what John Wesley called “dead orthodoxy.”

Steve Harper, foreword to Shaped by the Word: The Power of Scripture in Spiritual Formation, Anniversary Edition, by M. Robert Mulholland Jr. (Upper Room Books, 2023) 

Today’s Question

Do you take an informational or a formational approach to reading scripture? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

[Moses said,] “Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart.”
—Deuteronomy 6:4-6 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

Help us, O God, to let you do whatever you want to do in our lives. Help us to say yes to you at the center of our being. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
M. Robert Mulholland Jr., Shaped by the Word
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

In a success-oriented world, it is easy for Bible study to become another task to perform rather than a transformational experience. For nearly forty years, Shaped by the Word has shown Christians how to read the Bible not just for information but also for spiritual formation. Learn more about the anniversary edition of this classic here.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • robert moeller Posted October 2, 2023 5:51 am

    I think both, informational comes first, but that makes formational possible. I have a response for Julie and Jill. Am trying to copy and paste it here. Haven’t done that on my phone, a new learning curve. A wonderful service yesterday, already it’s the second day of the month.
    Here’s my post:
    Julie, taking care of h is a great example of caring for those who abuse you. Prayers that one day both hand and your mom will ask forgiveness. God has you in His care. Jill, great news on how well your recovery is going, the many activities you are involved in, meeting friends and good news from your Dad on his cruise. Prayers of thanks, hope you had a wonderful World Communion Sunday. Thank You, Lord.

  • Julie Posted October 2, 2023 9:49 am

    I would think most read as Robert suggests. One must understand the basic Bible concepts before using those concepts to form their faith and relationship with God.
    Thank you for your words of encouragement Robert. They do not acknowledge wrongdoing so I know not to wait for apologies.

  • Ally Posted October 2, 2023 8:56 pm

    I think both, as knowing the story and the history are crucial, as is knowing the applications of scripture to our faith and life. I decided to download this book, as Bob Mulholland was my advisor and friend as a seminary student. He believed in me, as I had a difficult time believing in myself. It was a nudge from the Holy Spirit that, after a bit of a challenging day, I turned to UR and NEM. I thank God for the life of Bob Mulholland and for my friends here.

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