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

We often fall short because our new year intentions depend so much on our willpower and our efforts without being grounded on, rooted in, or supported by the pull and push of the Spirit. A friend of mine says willpower is an exhaustible resource; it just takes too much effort to keep going. The intention of getting more exercise is good, yet how does it fit into a holistic plan for caring for God’s temple, the body? Our willpower can only get us so far. God’s care and nudges can sustain us over the long haul.

—Larry J. Peacock, The Living Nativity: Preparing for Christmas with Saint Francis (Upper Room Books, 2018)

Today’s Question

How are you inviting God to guide your intentions for the year ahead? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

Youths will become tired and weary,
young men will certainly stumble;
but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength;
they will fly up on wings like eagles;
they will run and not be tired;
they will walk and not be weary.

—Isaiah 40:30-31 (CEB)

Prayer for the Week

Creator God, Give me wisdom to learn from the blessings, stresses, and sorrows of all that lies behind, and give me the strength and hope to press on to what lies ahead.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

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Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • robert moeller Posted December 30, 2020 7:44 am

    I haven’t made new year plans all of my life. The change from one year to the next has never been a big deal for me. Can’t stay awake to see the new year come. Yes, I have hopes and wishes, some already made plans to accomplish important tasks, but that’s as far as it goes. There’s too much over which I have no control. It’s in God’s hands.

    I do find the Wesleyan Covenant Service at the end of the “Almost Christmas” Advent Bible study a good way to start the changing calendar. While we didn’t do it in the Bible study, it was examined and discussed. Letting God be in charge is important. Still working with “Almost Christmas” devotions until tomorrow.

    Am inching my way toward completion of the café-grill car. Have car sides on the underbody and now am fitting the roof. The assembly method for this car was very different and the first time is always the hardest. Once finished, a second mail-express, but in a different paint scheme, and a dining car well underway will be next.

    In the 20s here, sun up, a partly cloudy day. Thankful to be warm, dry, and safe. Pray that all of you are too. Thank You, Lord.

  • Ally Posted December 30, 2020 8:31 am

    I haven’t verbalized by intentions for the year 2021 I guess I should start thinking about them. I do want to accomplish some things this year: for example, my main goal is to become stronger and healthier. Steps to help me meet my goal are to complete cardiac rehab, attend nutrition classes ( I know the right things to do, just need encouragement to stay with a plan), and apply the principles I learn. God is my help in accomplishing my objectives. I also plan to launch my business next month. Will be working on marketing and networking after tomorrow. I have asked God to order my steps and walk ahead of me as I seek God’s wisdom.
    As 2020 draws to a close, I ask Holy Spirit to cover us. I pray for gracious transition of power next month for the USA. I pray that the vaccine roll-out process smooths out and we start at some point, to see a decrease. Thank You Lord, for Your tender mercies.

    • Julie Posted December 30, 2020 8:43 am

      I add my prayers to yours for God to guide you as you begin your new business. May he guide each step and advise you you throughout and may your new business be a success.

  • Julie Posted December 30, 2020 8:39 am

    I usually try making resolutions, though mine are never the typical ones most others make. I already excercise and am vey mindful of myeating habits as my health is greatly impacted by both. This year all of my resolutions are guided by God. I am resolving to spend more time in quiet reflection, to spend time journaling, delve deeply into several books I have bought regarding spiritual matters and to attend Zoom church services and Bible studies. I again thank Ally and her sister for their kind assistance with the Zoom church services and Bible studies.reslutions. I have tried to find local ones, to no avail.
    Prayers for Marcy who I texted regarding allof your prayers for her with no response received.
    Prayers for Robert and his children, may this be the year his children accept offer of salvation.
    Prayers for Alyy and David, may this year bring more healing and a new and more suitable job.
    Prayers for Jill and her former student/player who needed minimal surgery to remove the cancer. May she recover quickly with minimal discomfort. Prayers for Jill as she may need to interact with a new principal who is less than ideal for the position.
    Prayers for Lou, Rick and April may all be well and safe and enjoying time with family.

  • Jill Posted December 30, 2020 10:42 am

    I am inviting God to help me extend grace to the students who have cheated. I am inviting God to continue to grant me wisdom and ability to walk with dad through this season. I am inviting God to show me where and how to extend my desire, ability and gifts in the cancer support groups – especially when they get back up and running in person.
    And one thing in particular, I acted on this morning. I parted ways with my spiritual director in April, once visits were cancelled due to Covid. While mom was ill, our sessions were somewhat hit and miss. I was thinking she might be retiring soon and figured once she did, I would not search for a new director. I felt she had taken me as far as she could and she was very gracious when I told her I thought our time had come to an end. For the past few months I have been talking to God about maybe searching out a new director. In November, an inquiry was a dead end as the director was not accepting any new directees at the time. When I began at my current church, thanks to the invite of my tennis friend – I mentioned to her that I was receiving spiritual direction. She was very intrigued by it and we had a nice discussion around it. She mentioned a lady in our church and said she would be great at it. During this time away from school I am reading a book I had set aside (I believe I mentioned it when one of our weekly readings were from this author.) She is frequently talking about her sessions with her director. I am trying to discern if my desire is heightened by the current circumstances of the isolation and pandemic – and quite possibly they are. So, this morning, I reached out, via email to this lady at my church. We have had conversations in the past and I have connected a little with her daughter who is a music teacher in the area. I anxiously await her response. I believe she will go before the Lord in prayer about it – and I am not even sure if she is familiar with spiritual direction.
    Ally – we will all be holding this new year with your new job in prayer with you. May God direct your steps. Father – also – continue to watch over Megan and Julie. Thank You that Megan’s case was not severe and that, thus far, Julie has been spared. Father – thank You for the simplicity and discipline Robert shares with us. Father – You have been with Marcy through all of this, may she continue to know she is in Your grip. If it be Your will, Father, may this new year bring her ample support…financially, pain management and emotional encouragement.

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