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

DOUBT IS nothing of which to be ashamed or which causes God to turn from us. Doubt is a speed bump on the spiritual journey, and some of us have more speed bumps to cross than others. And yet, while acknowledging this condition, an invitation to resist getting comfortable with our doubts remains. Perhaps at this point we are thankfully reminded that God does not call us to journey alone. In our season of doubt it can help to remember that we have a community of persons behind us, praying, waiting to hear of our spiritual experiences, hoping to share their own stories and learning to hobble together toward deepening belief.

—Enuma Okoro, Silence and Other Surprising Invitations of Advent (Upper Room Books, 2012)

Today’s Question

Whose story encourages you during seasons of doubt?  Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”
—Hebrews 10:24 (NIV)

Prayer for the Week

Transforming God, as we wait, prepare our hearts to receive you.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

As we enter the third week of Advent, let’s step back from the encroaching busyness of the holiday season to listen to God through the silence, thanking God for the gift of Emmanuel. Help others to experience the presence of Christ by giving to The Upper Room.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

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  • Andrea Posted December 17, 2019 7:47 am

    Psalm 18:28 – For you will light my lamp; the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.

    Yes, I have had “bumps” of doubt. I like how this reflection opens: doubt is nothing of which to be ashamed or which causes God to turn from us. When I doubt, I think back to how God’s grace has worked in my life; surely, I am blessed.

    Looking out at the snowy scene outside the bedroom window, I see the tracks of deer criss-crossing our backyard. When I walk, I see deer tracks following the path I made through the snow, then leaving my path and continuing into the neighbor’s backyard. The branches of the oak trees gently hold snow along their length, creating a beautiful lacy pattern. The quiet of winter.

    Prayers and Blessings.

  • Julie Posted December 17, 2019 8:26 am

    There are stories told here every day that help me over my speed bumps. Some of these stories make me doubt and believe at the same time. And yes stories of my own show His hand.
    Prayers for Andrea and her friends, the deer, may all be well.
    Prayers for Connie and her family, may they be well and healing.
    Prayers for Lou as she searches for her new normal.
    Prayers for April, Rick and BJ and their families and unfailing faith.
    Prayers for Jill and Larry, may Larry recover quickly and may both be blessed with happy memories.
    Prayers for Mary and her family and their holiday preparations.
    Prayers for Marcy, may she be well and receive help and reinstatement of her many benefits.
    Prayers for Robert, may his health, both physical and emotional, be well cared for by compenent doctors and counselllors.
    Prayers and thank you UR

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted December 17, 2019 11:10 pm

      Thank you Julie!

      May you and Megan enjoy your preparation for Christmas too!


      The story of Abraham encourages me during seasons of doubt. I also know that Satan uses doubt as a weapon to shatter our faith. So no matter what happens, I pray that we will be strong and deeply rooted in God’s word.

      Thank you God for your word and thank you for preparing our hearts to receive you.

      Prayers for all your well-being and may we be strong and deeply rooted in God’s word!

  • Andrea Posted December 17, 2019 9:50 am

    Thank you, Julie. May you and Megan be blessed with peace and joy through all of Advent.

  • Teresa Posted December 17, 2019 11:20 am

    Doubt is another portal into seeing God in like manner to J.B.Phillips’ “Your God Is Too Small”. When see welcome doubt we’ll are welcoming Spirit in whom we move and live and have our being. Thank you for welcoming doubt today in you meditation.

  • robert moeller Posted December 17, 2019 5:40 pm

    At first a Biblical story didn’t come to mind, then the story of Thomas came followed by the stories of Zechariah and Abraham, the woman who touched Jesus garment, the many people who asked for healing, and the list goes on.

    A busy morning, and early afternoon. Finished the Advent Bible study. It was good to see all of Advent and then Christmas with Jewish insights, contrasts between Mathew and Luke, Hebrew and Greek words explained, historical facts clarified.
    Did some errands. Ran some trains.

    Yes, I too pray for many. There are blessings and concerns, long term, new, old, and short term. Have a blessed day, Advent is coming to an end, Emanuel will soon be with us. Thank You, Lord.

  • Tracy Matt Posted December 17, 2019 8:55 pm

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  • Jill Posted December 18, 2019 3:23 am

    Faith stories which encourage mine. Abraham, for sure, for me. I can’t imagine the trust as he walked up the mountain with Isaac. His long awaited son, Isaac. The absolute trust in God – oh may my trust reach that level.
    Stories in my midst – I would say the two people who have come into my life the past few years, to walk this road with me, having had similar experiences. Thank You, Father – for these two women, how you have woven them into my story line and even into each others’s story lines.

  • Rick Posted December 18, 2019 5:07 pm

    Greetings all, I’m behind this week.. my first thought was Jona and the whale, I wanted to run when I felt Gods call. Having been asked to leave the church when I was 17. This after coming out to my Pastor. Then coming back to my faith in my 40’s. I was broken and worn out. This After making some poor choices of self medicating with alcohol dealing with PTSD related to military service. I was faced with finding a Higher power… after a period of time working out my honest doubts and prejudices. I was able to find my way back. I did a lot of running but when I was able to hit my knees and ask God for help, It did come. Christ has continued to be my light. At first it was small but it has grown brightly. An earlier passage this week or last was John 1: 5 the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light. So yes, in my doubts and in my own I’m nothing . With Gods help and guidance I can be more then I could have ever imagined. Life has its ups and downs but I’m never alone. My thoughts and prayers are with you all as Julie has posted today.
    The UR has been a daily practice for me since me 2016.
    I Celebrating your Joys and keep you in Prayer for your concerns. It’s feels good to actually share with you all. For so long many of you here in the UR were my light along this journey and continue to be. A grateful servant with you all. Blessings this Advent season

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