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

Each reflection this week features a meditation written by teens for other teens. Listen for words of wisdom from another generation.

“WHAT DO YOU want to be when you grow up?” That’s the question grown-ups have been asking me since I was in preschool. Anything is possible and I embraced the future with open arms. A career will not determine my personality, just as grades and physical attributes don’t determine who I am and how I feel now. I’m not scared anymore. I’ve decided who I want to be: a follower of Jesus Christ. And I trust God will guide me and give me gifts and talents that lead me to a career.

—Virginia Thomas, age 14 (Asheville, North Carolina)
Stepping Out on Your Own: Devotions for High School Graduates

From page 48 of Stepping Out on Your Own, introduced and compiled by Kara Lassen Oliver. Copyright © 2010 by Upper Room Books. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

How have your hopes and dreams for the future changed as you have gotten older?  Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

“I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you.”
—Psalm 32:8, NRSV

Prayer for the Week

Lord, lead me to still waters and restore my soul. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Something More

Interested in resources for the young people in your life? Sign up for Rising Generations, The Upper Room’s newest newsletter offering. Whether you’re a church leader or parent, this bimonthly newsletter provides tips and tools for ministry with children, youth, and young adults.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

Sponsored by The Upper Room. Copyright © 2019 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA


  • R Martin Armstrong Posted July 31, 2019 7:58 am

    I have just retired after 40 years as a UM pastor. I remember that question too, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Now it seems I may have a second chance to respond to that question except the question is different. For me and maybe others it is, “What’s next?” Retirement or any life-stage change does not mean you are done. God always has new things for old Christians.

    • Julie Posted July 31, 2019 8:10 am

      Welcome R Martin. Prayers for you as you seek God’s guidance in this new stage of your life.

  • Julie Posted July 31, 2019 8:07 am

    I shudder to think how I let down the strong young woman I once was. She worked like a dog to put herself through college while graduating at the top of her class. Achieving a master’s degree in a highly technical and male dominated field and a high paying job right after graduation. I now simply wish to survive another day, then another, especially in the winter which I already dread.
    Also, I will never as another young person what they want to be. What an onorous question to pose to a child. Why must we concentrat on their future and disregard who they are now. Each child at each stage is unique and I will ask now what do you want to be now at this moment in your life. Something for them to ponder and to put into action right then.
    Prayers for healing for Andrea, Lowell, Connie, Erich and Marcy.
    Prayers for success in new homes and situations for Betsy, ou’s daughter, Robert and Erich.
    Prayers for reconciliation for Jill and Betsy.
    Prayers for joy and abundance for Mary and her family. Pardon my ignorance regarding your culture, but waht is a seminary hostel? are you a minister or studying to be one?
    My Tazzie is doing his mournful crying with his ball in his mouth. He does this often and Megan and i conjecture that he is calling his brother to play. However, Chai rarely plays with balls, or anything for that matter.
    Prayers, blessings, warm hugs and thank you UR family

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted July 31, 2019 7:06 pm

      Thanks Julie!

      I hope your situation will change and you will enjoy every day of your life.

      Yes, I went to the seminary and was involved in school ministry, youth ministry, preaching, visitation of the sick, small groups ministry, etc.

      However, I left the ministry when my dad was very sick and then move on to teaching.

      I have also asked God “what’s next” and seeking his guidance.

      Robert, thanks for the kind words of encouragement. Praying that erich’s face will heal speedily and completely.

      Yes, having air conditioning helps as I personally cannot sleep without it.

      Welcome Martin!

      May God reveal to you what’s next in your life.


  • Anonymous Posted July 31, 2019 8:48 am

    Thanks R Martin

  • Connie Posted July 31, 2019 9:20 am

    My hopes and dreams are very simple, but even more so as I age. My coping devices are very much more compromised I am sorry to say.
    I wish you all well and may all your hopes and dreams come true.
    “Oh, Mr. Chai, come out and play with me…(Mr. Tazzie)” “Mr. Chai…I am busy doing cat things”

  • Andrea Posted July 31, 2019 9:45 am

    Thank you for birthday wishes. I find it daunting to realize I am 70 but I am grateful for each day as I age. This past year, I have been thankful for the opportunity to take advantage of free poetry classes for seniors. I especially appreciated this activity when I was laid up with a broken leg. New health issues make me realize how mortal we are. Aging is a challenge. God is our Rock of Ages, our Rock for Aging.

    Prayers for Julie, may the future bring her opportunities and new experiences. Prayers for Martin as he moves into retirement. Prayers for Connie, whose faith is so strong, may her coping be strong too. Prayers for all dear UR friends. Wishing all a blessed day.

  • robert moeller Posted July 31, 2019 11:26 am

    Over time my interests have changed, I’m no longer a high school teacher or and army reserve officer. My interest in model trains has seen a lot of obstacles. Thankfully my faith has grown as God has helped me and I hopefully have become closer to God. I am very happy that Bible study is more frequent in my new church and the possibility of a retreat this fall is coming.

    Yes, Julie, I like that change of focus from the future to now. Erich’s skin is healing, the AC has some role in that. Lots of research on jobs while he’s waited for his face to heal. Hard to imagine a sales job with facial skin problems.

    Martin, after 40 years as a pastor God has both rest and new opportunities for you. I am very sure of that.

    Andrea, you will also find new opportunities. From the posts you have made here, many talents will lead you in positive ways.

    I also pray that Julie’s home situation will soon be resolved and she and Megan will have a new beginning.

    May Jill, Larry, and Becky find God’s peace.

    Thankful the Betsy is able to move in order to be more helpful to her family.
    Praying that it all goes well.

    Mary in Singapore is also a many talented person. I’m thankful that you went to seminary, that training has helped you with many different aspects of life.

    Prayers for Marcy, hope we have a post from her soon.

    Anneliese’s friend, Doris, seems to be recovering from leukemia (doctors do not understand why), but cancer has gone to another lung. Surgery is coming.

    A very attentive doctor has done a great deal of good for Anneliese. Her thyroid needs careful monitoring. Pain meds and hemp are helping her be more active with less pain and a better lookout on life.

    A new church friend now has an AC. He carries a portable defibrillator with him.

    Thank You, Lord for the blessings of each day and for being with us always.

  • Jill Posted July 31, 2019 1:50 pm

    I am likely in the vast minority of people who knew what they wanted to be from a very young age (for me, second grade) and have been blessed to have done exactly as I intended. Now, I can’t say I desired to be teaching in an inner city school, or that was even my goal out of college. I certainly didn’t want to be a substitute teacher for two years and be on the brink (literally 5 days away) of having to change professions – because I couldn’t find a teaching job. However, the Lord has blessed me, guided me to a job where I am so incredibly fortunate to have small class sizes full of diligent, driven students whose families, for the most part, value education. And for an inner city school district which supports my program, and it looks like it will still be around until I retire. Amazing guidance from My Father.
    How have my hopes and dreams changed…significantly over the past two years. I hope and dream of playing tennis until the day I die, but realize my PsA may likely inhibit this. I do believe I am treasuring the ability to play currently. Even having an awareness of not taking it for granted is a blessing. I don’t think about PsA shortening my teaching career – but, that too, is a possibility. And, coming fresh off my dad’s friend’s funeral yesterday, my sixth funeral since February – I so want to live fully and well and face my passage to my final destination of Heaven full of hope and declaration of my Saviour Jesus, and His goodness to me. May I be known as a faithful follower of Him and hear those words…well done, good and faithful servant.

  • Ruth Posted August 2, 2019 1:28 pm

    My family

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