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

Expectations can shape us in both positive and negative ways. They can help us become better people. Our parents teach us their expectations for how we will behave and treat our elders. Our teachers set expectations for how we conduct ourselves in their classrooms. Our spouse, children, and close friends likewise expect things from us (sometimes unstated things that we completely miss), and we have our expectations of others. However, too many expectations can leave us burdened and stressed and threaten our morale. . . .

Some churches have very low expectations of their members and attenders, for fear of driving them away. But research indicates the fastest growing churches have high expectations for their members.

—Linda Tower Pevey, We Are the Church . . . Let’s Act Like It: A Study on the Book of Acts (Upper Room Books, 2019)

Today’s Question

Would you prefer to be a member of a church that expects nothing of you or one that expects you to contribute to its life or mission?
Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold.
—Acts 4:32-34 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

God, help us be the church you created us to be. Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Do you hunger for a deeper spiritual experience? Join the next Two-Year Academy for Spiritual Formation, starting in January 2023, at Camp McDowell in Nauvoo, Alabama. Learn more.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • robert moeller Posted September 1, 2022 6:28 am

    I think churches and God expect each person to give, serve to their ability., skills, and means. Each of us has
    God given gifts that enable us to do our part. When all of us do this, God’s will is done.
    Thankful for renewed resources, bills paid, new eyeglasses, food shopping done, May God’s wisdom come to all and thus God’s will be done. Extreme care around a nuclear power plant, serious efforts to address the human causes of climate change, care for all in need, an end to conflict, justice and equal treatment for all.
    Communion this Sunday with a guest pastor. Lay Servant classes begin next week. Thank You, Lord, for Your
    ever presence. Prayers for Julie, Megan, and h; Jill, Becky, and Larry; Ally&David, April and her loved one,
    Lou, her children, and Mom; Rick and Scott, and all the NEM community. Thank You, Lord.

  • Julie Posted September 1, 2022 9:14 am

    I would like to be in a church that encourages participation. I have offered to be the leader of a Bible study but the suggestion seems to be brushed aside. I know they always ask for volunteers for their meal preperations for community distribution but we need to feed the souls within the church also.
    I had therapy yesterday. I asked h for privacy and he stayed in his room less than the hour I requested and when he entered the room I was in he asked if it was long enough. I am exasperated. He has so many demands lately, he wants this or that but every time I give him something he asks for it is never good enough.
    Prayers for Ally and David, may health and finances improve. Prayers for God to hold Ally and walk beside her through this dark time. Prayers for Jill as she supports her friends. Prayers for God to walk beside and support the friend who lost her mother and the other who is facing divorce. Prayers for God to walk beside Lou and her mother as they care for her brother. Prayers for Robert and his fellow church members as they seek to become certified lay servants.

  • Jill Posted September 1, 2022 9:52 am

    I want to be an active, contributing member. I think when there are clear expectations, the church has the ability to thrive.
    Ally – thanks for reminding me of that song of Rich Mullins. His songs are so theoligically sound. He was taken way too soon, with many songs still unwritten. I can imagine him singing in Heaven.
    I have water backing up in my basement. A call is in to a local company who assists me with this. Seems to happen every few years. I was hoping to get an appointment this morning, as I don’t have any classes and would be able to run home. But I haven’t heard back yet.
    I thank all of you for your faithful prayers for my loved ones. Know that I am holding you and your intentions in prayer as well.

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