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

Subscribe to The Upper Room Journal, a free monthly email with reflections, invitations, and practices to support you in creating daily life with God. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • Jill Posted August 17, 2023 6:57 am

    I want Him to arrest my attention – drawing me back to Himself. I want Him to restore balance in my life – I feel off kilter. I think it is time to fall back into the rhythm of my school time…yet – there is so much uncertainty with what lies ahead. I want Him to steady me in my trust of Him, my ability to slow the concerns which swirl in my head. Surrender and control…these things keep coming up – definitely not a coincidence. Father – in Your strength and power – guide me forward.
    Going to try to jog this morning – it will be the first time in over two weeks. I have taken some good walks the past few days – so hoping I can handle a run. I am supposed to play tennis tomorrow and Sunday.
    Dinner with two retired colleagues this evening – looking forward to this.

  • Julie Posted August 17, 2023 8:59 am

    I want Jesus to help me heal from the pain of abuse and trauma. I want to learn what unconditional love truly means and be able to accept his for me. I want a deeper relationship with him.
    I pray Jill can find someone willing to live with her following her surgery.

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *