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

In solitude we discover that we are not what we do but what we are given; that we are not the result of our judgments but born out of God’s love. In solitude we find space in which God can be revealed to us as the great lover who made us and remade us. In solitude we discover that we can only do something for others because God did something for us; we can only love because we have been loved first; we can only bring freedom to others because we have been set free; we can only give because we have been given.

—Henri J.M. Nouwen, in The Wondrous Mystery: An Upper Room Advent Reader, compiled by Benjamin Howard (Upper Room Books, 2019)

Today’s Question

How often do you allow yourself to seek solitude? What gifts can solitude offer you? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.
—Matthew 14:19 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

God, Thank you for what is just around the corner. In a season filled with the longest, darkest nights, I await the coming of the most beautiful light.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Holidays can be rough. This year is especially difficult for those whose family or plans have been affected by the pandemic. Join us to pray for those in need or share your own prayer request at The Upper Room Prayer Wall.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • robert moeller Posted December 14, 2020 7:29 am

    I can and do enjoy solitude. QT in the morning, walks in the woods are examples. They ate the best times to talk to God . God knows what’s on mu=y mind, in my heart, but wants to hear me say it. How amazing is that!
    Thankful the vaccine is being delivered. Hope people accept and make use of it. I understand the skepticism. All the CDC advise should still be followed. We’re moving through the forest, not out of the woods yet Thank You, Lord, for the wisdom and skill given those who produced vaccines in record times that have such high effective ratings.
    Continued prayers for the needs of dear UR family members, the nation, and the world in this time of deadly pandemic. Thank You, Lord.

  • Julie Posted December 14, 2020 8:33 am

    I am often alone, but I rarely seek “solitude” as I believe is meant in this missive. I seldom sit and take time for reflection and conversation with the Lord. Maybe that should be a New Year’s resolution…
    Prayers for Robert and I add my prayers to his for those who were given God’s wisdom during the development of the vaccines. I also pray with him that people avail themselves of this life saving opportunity and I add that I pray that the government agency’s responsible for the distribution also follow God’s plans.
    Prayers for Jill and her friend’s battling cancer, may all feel God’s arms holding them.
    Prayers for Ally and David and their kitties, may all be well, may David’s rash improve and may Ally’s cardiac PT help her to improve.
    Prayers for Lou and her family, Rick and Scott and Marcy. May all be safe and well and may God let them know they are being remembered in prayer.

  • Jill Posted December 14, 2020 3:49 pm

    I love solitude and simplicity. Yes, in intentional time with God where striving to keep my mind focused on Him – blessings are noticed and considered, grace is pondered and reflective thanksgiving bubbles up. The simplicity of coming to Him, casting cares on Him, taking up His yoke, fluid confession and open communion. Yes, Father – more of this.
    Praying that those near to me and those who gather here will ponder the glory of this Advent season, intentionally look for the Light, and be effusive in thanksgiving and praise.

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