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

James and John want [Jesus] to commit to doing whatever they want without engaging him in relationship. Jesus doesn’t bite; he makes no promises. Nevertheless, he asks them the same question he later asks Bartimaeus: “What do you want me to do for you?” James and John are looking for what they call “glory.” They’re looking for prestige, power, and reputation—quite a different definition from how Jesus sees glory. Two things seem to bother Jesus: (1) Jesus knows that feeding James’s and John’s desire for these things won’t actually help them at all. Jesus only gives good gifts, and this would be a bad one. (2) Jesus knows they’re barking up the wrong tree. If they want prestige, Jesus’ “glory” is hardly the place they’re going to find it.

—Matthew Croasmun, Let Me Ask You a Question: Conversations with Jesus (Upper Room Books, 2018)

Today’s Question

What do you want Jesus to do for you? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” And he said to them, “What is it you want me to do for you?” And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”
—Mark 10:35-38 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

Lord, help me know the difference between what you ask of me and what the world asks of me.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

We often think of Jesus as someone with all the answers. But over and over in scripture, he asks questions, seeking to engage with people and genuinely interested in their responses. Author Matthew Croasmun invites us to enter into conversation with Jesus by answering the questions Jesus asks. Learn more about this week’s featured book, Let Me Ask You a Question.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

Save 45% and get free shipping on the regular and enlarged-print editions of Disciplines 2021 with promo code DISC45. Offer good while supplies last.


  • robert moeller Posted August 19, 2021 5:31 am

    Lord, continue to guide and direct me on the path that leads to doing God’s will. I’m thankful for the love, mercy, and grace offered, given to me through Your redeeming power. May all the world come to know and accept You, Lord Jesus, In Your precious name,I pray. Amen.

  • Jill Posted August 19, 2021 8:08 am

    I want Jesus to continue to direct my paths, that I will have discernment in how best to honor dad. I am grateful for His presence and His peace…one and the same.
    I certainly did not intend to miss 2 days, but it seems that I have. I spent yesterday afternoon at school. A former student of mine will be teaching 1/2 day at my school and 1/2 day at the middle school which is attached to our building. I was also able to get my room arranged in a favorable way – considering social distancing. I have arranged the desks in pods of 4…remains to be seen if the students will be able to move them around to face each other for group work. We were instructed to set our rooms up with every desk facing the same direction. Far from ideal.
    My feline friend had been sporadically sick the last few weeks. I thought he had come out of it, as he had been 2 weeks without vomiting. But then he got sick Tuesday evening. Seemed ok yesterday, but then woke up this morning before 5, hopped off the bed and started heaving…mostly foam. I came downstairs with him – he had climbed up on the back of the couch by the window – his most favorite spot. He hasn’t eaten anything this morning – which is not him at all. I tried to invite him up to sit with me in the recliner, but he remains on the back of the couch. I will keep my eye on him.
    Julie – thanks for the suggestion. He is so disciplined in his workout routine and fitness, because he doesn’t want his muscles to atrophy. That is his big word – atrophy. That, and sedentary. His best friend is fairly immobile and very hunched over when we does walk. Dad doesn’t want that to happen to him. He takes pride in his good physical condition. I think there has been improvement for him the past few days. He has been unable to golf with his buddies, though, due to a lot of rain in our area. He is hoping they will play tomorrow.

  • Julie Posted August 19, 2021 8:46 am

    I would like God to guide me through this dark valley. It is unfamiliar and overwhelming to me, but not to Him. I need His help in carrying the burdens and making the decisions. I need His support.
    Jill, I suspected this to be the case. Perhaps his doctor could address this at Larry’s next appointment. Perhaps quell his concerns regarding instant decline should he rest for a few days and the need to do so to allow healing. Also, in my opinion, Roger needs to see the vet and soon. Bringing up bile only and not eating are dangerous for kitties. If a cat has no food for even two days their kidneys will begin to fail. Glad to hear from you as I was beginning to worry.
    Megan starts caring for her friend’s dogs today. They are retired greyhounds and high strung with many health issues.
    Prayers for Ally and David’s health and finances. Prayers for Jill, Larry and Roger, may all receive healing. Prayers for Robert and Erich, may their relationship heal. Prayers for Marti and her staff. Thank you for your prayers and may God bless all who visit.

  • Ally Posted August 19, 2021 2:43 pm

    I like to think that I have not asked Jesus for “that” kind of glory, but I know I have. I ask Jesus to get us through this season of troubles. I ask that He give me ears to hear what He wants me to hear, what He wants me to learn.
    My Dr. Thinks I have something bacterial. The antibiotic seems to be helping. I feel a lot better and thank you for your prayers. Please pray for my cousin Brad. He has been experiencing some cardiac symptoms and had a heart Cath and will have bypass surgery, probably tomorrow. Brad is like my brother and I love him very much.
    Robert, agreeing with you in prayer. I’m praying for your and Erich’s relationship, for healing and reconciliation. Jill, I’m much in prayer for Larry, that he will find ways to be active which are not too taxing and stressful to his body. Praying also for little Roger. May you find out what’s going on with him. Praying also for an easy fix. Prayers for your school situation, that you find ways to make your class manageable for teaching and that all remain safe. Julie, prayers as you walk this dark valley. You are not alone, though sometimes it can feel like it. Praying Megan’s dog sitting gig goes well. L
    The situation in Afghanistan weighs heavily on my heart. I have 2 friends who are veterans and saw action in Afghanistan. They feel that difficult as it is, the time has come to pull out. I agree, but it is a tragic situation. The resurgence of the pandemic is on my heart as well. I pray people will do the right thing and love their neighbors as themselves. I read an interesting essay written by Martin Luther during a plague outbreak. He addressed how believers should respond. Basically, he said that we should not put others in harm’s way. May we protect each other and stay safe. Blessings to all.

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