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 genre affectionately known as the Negro spiritual is acknowledged as the foundation of Black American music. Since Western African culture was expressed mainly through ritual, memory, and symbol, this oral song tradition does not claim specific composers. Notwithstanding the linguistic challenges between various tribal communities, the overlap of indigenous musical elements helped cultivate a collective religious belief system. From Africa to the brush arbors, indigenous voices of Africa would not be silenced.

The spiritual is a natural outgrowth of an oral tradition. Slaves were prohibited from congregating for fear of conspiracy or uprising. They gathered in clandestine meeting places to pray, preach, testify, and sing. Music was the primary pulse of celebration for the slave. In ritual celebrations, it was understood that “the Spirit will not descend without a song.”

—Safiyah Fosua, Robert McMichael III, and Cynthia A. Wilson, Reflect, Reclaim, Rejoice: Preserving the Gift of Black Sacred Music (Discipleship Resources, 2015)

Today’s Question

What kind of music helps you feel the presence of the Holy Spirit? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

[Jesus said] “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
—Acts 1:8 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

Bread of heaven, feed me until I want no more. Help me to understand that without you, it is impossible to survive in this world and its experiences. Thank you for being present with me in all circumstances. Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Prayer is one of the best ways to place yourself in God’s presence and deepen your spiritual life, so we offer this free downloadable resource Prayer Practices for Disciples as a gift to you in honor of The Upper Room Chapel’s 70th Anniversary. Download and learn more about the resource here.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • Jill Posted June 24, 2023 6:45 am

    I tend to latch onto certain songs and just play them and play them, over and over. One of the songs I am hooked on now is “Goodness of God”. Songs which remind me of God’s faithfulness – this is one of them…sustain me when times are hard. Also, songs written out of hard times – with a melancholy vibe – these resonate with me. Authentic worship – admitting the hard, confessing the neediness – these draw me closer to the Spirit.
    A busy few days – Thursday was tennis camp and then I met dad for lunch before our round of golf. Then I went and supported my tennis team from last year in a highly contested match which they pulled out. Yesterday – I had a very early physical therapy appointment, tennis with a group of ladies, and then an appointment with my rheumatologist. I was looking forward to coming home and just relaxing, was very tired. Was planning on eating an early dinner and going to bed early. But, my friend texted me – the one whose divorce just got finalized – and asked me to come see her apartment and do dinner and a walk. This is a rare chance for us to have time together – so of course I leapt at it. We ended up at a mexican restaurant and took a long walk nearby. It was an emotional evening. Her apartment is so stark and bare – and yet it is her space – which is exactly what she needs=. I found myself weeping this morning over it all, and here the tears come again. Part of the evening was just like “old times” – we laughed over silly things, enjoyed each others company. And a few minutes later we were deep in the weeds, discussing heavy things. I so long to support her more, to support her better, to take her pain and anxiety away.

  • Gail Posted June 24, 2023 8:03 am

    Loud organ music. Bach. 9th symphony. Some Bob Dylan. Some contemporary Christian music, but some sounds like dying cats. I like to sing out some songs (Praise to the Lord the Almighty the king of creation . . .) to shift my attention from me to God himself.

  • Julie Posted June 24, 2023 9:52 am

    There are several country songs that are faith oriented that touch me deeply.
    Today shopping with Megan. Tomorrow church then either shopping or the Heinz History Center. They have a special exhibit on the Green Book. If it will be finished soon, I will go.

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