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

A note from the author: “Celtic Christians acknowledged God’s presence in every aspect of living—from waking to sleeping, from birth to death, from mundane chores to momentous celebrations. They perceived God’s creation as a holy gift. Gratitude characterized their way of being as they affirmed the source of life and gave thanks through blessings.”

God of the earth,
Creator of the universe,
Bless this seed that I plant this day.

For the seed, for the soil,
For the rain, for the sun,
For the miracle of life,
I humbly give you thanks.

For the plant that grows from the seed,
For the life that comes from death,
I humbly give you thanks.

Let me be a caregiver,
Servant of you,
Servant of your creation.

Bless this seed that I plant this day.

—Beth A. Richardson, Christ Beside Me, Christ Within Me: Celtic Blessings (Upper Room Books, 2016)

Today’s Question

What seeds are you planting as you go about your day? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

“The seed scattered on good soil are those who hear the word and embrace it. They bear fruit, in one case a yield of thirty to one, in another case sixty to one, and in another case one hundred to one.”
—Mark 4:20 (CEB)

Prayer for the Week

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me.
(From a prayer attributed to Saint Patrick)
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Hear more from Beth A. Richardson in the Christ Beside Me, Christ Within Me eCourse.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • Julie Posted July 31, 2020 8:14 am

    I hope I sow seeds of love as I go about my everyday tasks. I try to emulate His love for me and the world and His creation. People seem taken aback at times. Yesterday I thanked the checkout person who took care of me at Walmart. I told her thank you for your sacrifice during this time and she was genuinely taken aback by my heartfelt sentiment. How precious those words were to her and they cost me nothing but a moment of time.
    Prayers for Jill and Larry, I imagine they had an early tee time, may they enjoy their time together and cherish their friendship and memories created.
    Prayers for Robert and his attempts to sow the seeds of God’s word to a nonbeliever. May they take root and flourish and result in an abundant harvestv of many other souls.
    Prayers for Louise and her pithy comments.
    I am going through a trying time right now so I hope these make sense and are typed correctly.
    Prayers, thank you and stay well dear UR one and all

  • Ally Posted July 31, 2020 9:45 am

    Good morning, UR family. I have been out of the loop due to tech issues at home and work. I started back to work Monday in my old position. My colleagues and I were glad to see one another, but I don’t think any of us are thrilled to be back. Thankful, but not thrilled. The note from the author of this week’s book described the philosophy of Celtic Christians and how they view all things in creation as a holy gift. I think they also reframed difficulties as blessings. I am trying that as well. For weeks prior to our lay-off, I prayed about the direction of our lives and what our future would look like. It seemed that when we received news of our lay-off, we got our answer. Then not even 2 weeks later, we were called back. I was excited at first, but after a few days, I had reservations; a bad feeling about going back. I attributed that feeling to anxiety. We discovered our first day that our job duties have increased substantially. I think every single one of us are continuing to look for other jobs. We started Monday and one case mgr. has decided that what is expected of us is too much. Today is her last day. So as I pray about my next steps, I can plant seeds where I am. I can do my best to serve the guys on my caseload, helping them to see where they need to make changes so that they can achieve success on the outside. I’m trying not to stress too much about the changes. I will do my best to meet the challenges by pacing myself, advocating for my guys, and being a helpful member of our team. The changes which have taken place over the last several months have presented challenges. I ask God to help me do my best to meet them, Amen.
    David and I are navigating our way through the fall-out of my being laid off. Unemployment is way behind. My last day of work was June 30 and I received my approval letter that week. I have not received any benefits, so prayers for our finances are appreciated. We are trying to focus on our blessings.
    I thank God for my UR family and your prayers. I lift all of you up as you navigate our crazy world. God is with us. I pray all are well. Blessings

  • Lou Posted July 31, 2020 3:35 pm

    For me it always starts at home- planting the seeds of peace and love with my child who lives with me- I reach out daily to send seeds of my love and God’slove to my children who do not live with me- offering support and buoying them up as I know they are struggling In this difficult COVID time as so many are. Just the unknowns are so difficult- I am so thankful they have jobs.
    Praying for all of those who do not – prayers for you Ally as you and David hopefully will receive resources soon to help alleviate the stress.
    Prayers for you Julie in the current difficulties you are experiencing- prayers for Robert and his family and Jill and her family – May all feel Gods peace and love –
    I try to send cards and letters to remind my friends near and far that they are loved – I especially am in contact with several elderly people from my church and I send them greetings frequently to remind them that they are not forgotten-
    Those are my little seeds-
    Prayers for all who come hear today – you are not alone. God is near

  • April Posted July 31, 2020 6:19 pm

    When I send a check to the organizations I support, I try to send a personal note to thank them for their services to others, especially during this COVID-19 time. Imagine my surprise yesterday when I received a letter of confirmation for my donation with a personal note included to thank me for my note of encouragement! It touched my heart to connect with others who are on the front line. Encouragement is one of my spiritual gifts and like Lou, I often send texts or letters/postcards and I hope it brightens their days as much as it does mine to think about them as I write. Maybe this is old fashioned, but I am planning to keep doing this until I am told not to :))
    Julie, how nice of you to recognize the person at the check out counter and thank her. Bless you!!
    Today I talked to a lady that was working in her yard because she had rose bushes. She walked over to look at the rose in the yard that I was concerned about and told me just what to do with it. Another gardener in our development and now friend as I learn more about roses!!
    Ally, I am sad to hear of the situation you found when you returned to work, and that your work load is being increased. I pray for you and David as he continues to recover, God is with you.
    I am so enjoying the reflection topics each day and seeing a blessing in everything. I hope to continue to do this long after we move on to a new presenter.
    Dear UR family, please know you are loved by Our Father, His Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit as well as me.

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