James and John went to Jesus and asked him to do something for them.
I'm pausing here to think about what usually prompts me to pray.
Let's go back to James and John. They asked Jesus for glory, to sit next to him. Jesus informed them they had no idea what they were asking. "Do you really want to be next to me? Are you prepared to do what I am going to have to do? Besides, it's not my choice anyway."
The other disciples were upset when they heard that James and John had sought preferential status. Jesus called them together and informed them of what it took to be great.
"Greatness is not lording over everybody; for us, greatness takes a different approach. To be great, you have to be the servant. Take me for example. What I came for is not to have everybody take care of me, but, instead, to serve, even to give up my life."
Then, and even now, we have church leaders who display similar attitudes to James and John. They want to be in charge, and they want everybody to know who is in charge. They display little appetite for devoting their efforts to the needs of others.
I'm trying to imagine an advertising campaign for a church that would use some of the language that Jesus used with his disciples--that drinking the cup that he was going to drink or being baptized what he was going to be baptized. He had already told them three times about his upcoming death.
Had the disciples not been listening? Have we been?