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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

Reprinted 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.

 

Words of Hope During COVID-19

Tom Albin, Director of Spiritual Formation and Congregational Life at The Upper Room, demonstrates a prayer practice that has been meaningful and energizing for him during this pandemic. Imagining someone, someplace, or something, he holds them, gives thanks, lifts them up to the Lord, and then releases.

Today’s Reflection

Though we recognize our longing for God as the treasure hidden in our loneliness, we cannot diminish the importance of our relationships with people. As we will see later, the divine friendship enhances our friendships with one another. And human friendships have the potential to make God’s friendship with us more real. … Still, human friendships possess limitations in that by themselves they cannot fill the friendship-hole that can be filled only by God. No amount of human love can ever satisfy the other loneliness tugging away at our souls.

—Trevor Hudson, Beyond Loneliness: The Gift of God’s Friendship (Upper Room Books, 2016)

Today’s Question

How do your relationships with others enhance your relationship with God? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

Dear friends, let’s love each other, because love is from God, and everyone who loves is born from God and knows God.
—1 John 4:7 (CEB)

Prayer for the Week

Dear God, make me a channel of blessing to someone today.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Be a friend. Let someone requesting prayer on The Upper Room Prayer Wall know you are praying for and with them. Check out this helpful guide.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

10 Comments

  • Jill Posted May 22, 2020 5:32 am

    Trying to exhibit Christ-like qualities in my relationships with others keeps me in the present, tethered to Him. Being intentional about being other-oriented is important, because auto-pilot for me ultimately makes things all about me. Staying in communication and awareness with the Holy Spirit – seeking to be led by Him – it’s a win-win!
    Spent some time at a few nurseries yesterday afternoon – quite enjoyable. Did yard work and after dinner, took a walk. By then it was too late to begin planting, I didn’t have the energy for it. The weekend ahead will provide ample opportunity to get those flowers in their beds.
    Supposed to golf with dad this morning, but I don’t think we will get it in because of rain showers. This afternoon – the graduating seniors from our program – are to do a video call with the teachers. There are 31 of them – we will see how many will show up.

    • Marcy Posted May 22, 2020 9:17 pm

      Jill, I hope the weather clears quickly, so you can get your flowers planted in your garden. But more importantly, so you can go golfing with your Dad. You are such a good daughter and Larry is such a good Dad. It will be raining here near Chicago again. Prayers anchored in God’s Love. 🙏⚓❤

  • Ally Posted May 22, 2020 8:13 am

    I have learned a great deal about God from my friends through study of scripture, deep conversations about theology and the nature of God, and the mutual support we have given each other. My friends and I have been Christ to each other. Due to the love and care of my friends, I have learned to call God friend. There are favorite hymns which identify how friendship with God enhances our relationship with God. Fanny Crosby’s hymn “I Am Thine, O Lord” has this verse:
    O the pure delight of a single hour
    That before Thy throne I spend,
    When I kneel in prayer, and with Thee, my God,
    I commune as friend with friend!
    Loving Lord, help us to be Christ to others and allow others to be Christ to us. Help us to call You friend. Amen.
    David had appointment with his primary care physician. He has some swelling in his feet and ankles. Dr. feels it is probably from inactivity. He advised David to keep his legs elevated. Please pray this resolves, as David is a little worried about it. We are discovering that COVID-19 can cause all kinds of things to happen in the body and some affects may be long-term.
    Jill, I pray your call goes well and all the seniors participate. I pray you have a nice weekend for planting and that you have quality time with your dad. Lifting up Julie, Marcy, Andrea, Lou, Robert, April and Gail. Long weekend coming up. I pray all have a nice one. Blessings!

    • Marcy Posted May 22, 2020 9:42 pm

      Ally, thank you for your prayers and please know I am keeping you and David in mine. I know what you mean about learning and discussing God and the Bible with others; often good friends find each other that way through our Father in Heaven. Thank you for Hymn List. There are so many, aren’t there?

      As to David’s swelling in his feet, after I was hospitalized two years ago with double pneumonia and Influenza B, I had the same issue, but worse. My legs were swollen to mid-thigh. It was from the Prednisone for me. After I was weaned off that medication, it became just a small issue if my feet were down for too long, or I was walking too much. I wore medium strength circulation stockings for a few months. This is a different illness, so keep in touch with David’s doctor, as I know you will.

      We used to have a Bible study at my church for people with various disabilities. Our Leader was a wonderful woman who overcame much adversity. Now, there are only myself and one other left. The group is long gone and my best friend, who I met there, passed in January 2017. The one left is always busy with other things as she cares for her husband and still has health issues of her own. We talk occasionally.

      Thank you for naming your cats for me. Wow! You have seven; what a dream! Unfortunately, I am only allowed one cat in my apartment housing. I once had five cats at one time; Trevor McGee (black and sleek), Alexis (Blue Russian with ‘tude), Trevor (gray and white tuxedo), Little Guy (dropped on the side of a long driveway close by. He was a gray tabby and still my favorite) and Pretty Girl (just wandered onto the deck one day and never left). This was years ago. They were preceded by Whiskers, Maximillion and Smokey (who actually was found in the Great Smokey Mountains and brought back home to Illinois. So I am left with Lucy Lou, my ginger tabby that I adopted about seven years ago.

      Sending Love to you. 💌💖💖

  • Julie Posted May 22, 2020 8:29 am

    As I have stated , I have few, if any, close friends. But my family relationships and one relationship with a friend help me stay grounded in God in many ways. The oone friend is much as Ally describes, a conduit of Christian faith and love who radiates the light of God and I learn much through her about Gd and faith and grow in my relationship to Him. In myy family relationships, I rely on God, looking to Him for His example and His strength during good times and trying.
    Prayers for Jill and Larry, may they find time to golf and garden and communicate this weekend. Prayers for Jill’s senior students, may they feel special despite the losses of traditions.
    Prayers for Ally and David as they continue to deal with the after affects of Covid 19. I also have swelling f my ankles and feet, they are due to the phlebitus Ii have had since college when I had DVTs and a PE. In fact I am seeing my dctr today regarding a new development of a line of what appears to be leaked blod under my kin on my right foot. Please pray that this is just bld leaked due to the aspirin I take and not something more serious.
    Prayers for Robert and his diorama work.
    Prayers for Marcy, Lucy and Roxy, may all be healthy and keep one another company.
    Prayers and thank you and good health dear UR

    • Marcy Posted May 22, 2020 10:20 pm

      Julie, thank you for your prayers for Roxy, Lucy and I. Roxy won’t be back until Monday at 11am for a short day. I’m thankful I have her. I only had one best friend; we acted more like family than friends. After she passed, I just haven’t met another like her. Maybe never will. My h saw to it that I had none of my friends from before our marriage.

      I always look for you here, Julie. There are similar experiences we’ve both had, while still being different in big ways like you having your daughter. I do live a little vicariously through you in that regard. It is nice to hear about Megan. Listening, while reading your words, we are often comforted and reminded of God’s Love. This is a great Blessing. Thank you.

      I am praying that you had good news at your Dr.’s appointment today. I pray it not a re-occurrence of either of the quite serious conditions you’ve had in the past. Please Lord, Let it be nothing at all, at all!

      I still have not heard a word from my sister. A cousin in AZ says he hasn’t had any news.

      Prayers being sent with love and affection, dear Julie, anchored in God’s Love! 🙏💌💖🙋⚓👑❤

      Lucy says hello to Tazzie and Chai. 🐈👋🐱🐈

  • Gail Posted May 22, 2020 8:41 am

    Being a friend and having friends makes me a more “whole” person (I hope). God has more to work with. Granted, we are weak but He is strong.

    • Marcy Posted May 22, 2020 10:22 pm

      Very true statement, Gail! 🙏🙏

  • April Posted May 22, 2020 9:34 am

    How do your relationships with others enhance your relationship with God?
    My relationships here give a glimpse at what my relationship with God will be in that, as wonderful as these earthly relationships are, those with God are and will be so, so much more. Just a few minutes ago I had an email from a friend in another state. It was like she had just dropped by for a visit and we were going to go to hear a pipe organ performance. You see, last night our church presented one online and I emailed her about 20 minutes before it was to start…I had forgotten to do so earlier in the day…and she said that she missed it, was it being repeated? I just looked and yes…I am listening to it right now and I am imagining she is too 😊)
    I loved the thought from Tom this morning on lifting up concerns/people and then letting go!! I have lifted up before, but did not let go….yes, that completes the action, for then it is in God’s hands!! I will now add this to my thoughts as well as adding that may God Bless them. I have been listening to a morning homely and it always starts with asking God to Bless you/me. The last few days it has also included, This is the Day the Lord had made, Let us rejoice in it and be Glad. This day may not be the day you have planned, but it is the day of the Lord, let us try to rejoice in it.
    I will be lifting you each up during the day, May God Bless you.

    • Marcy Posted May 22, 2020 10:33 pm

      April, I thinks there’s a good possibility that serendipity is actually God working in our lives! Ha! Sometimes it just couldn’t be anything else.

      Tom Albin’s prayer practice today has just been personally adopted! I’m sure many will do the same. He is just so calming to listen to, also. I’ve been working on my gratefulness list again and have also began singing a praise song right after prayers. Can’t wait to try the new prayer practice!

      Praying for you and your family, April. And sending Love. 🙏🙏😇❤❤

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