Whoever stops up his ear to the cry of the lowly one will himself call and not be answered.—Prov. 21:13.
All Christians seek to imitate Jehovah’s mercy. Why? One reason is that Jehovah will not listen to those who fail to show mercy to others. None of us would want Jehovah to refuse to listen to our prayers, so we carefully avoid developing a hard-hearted spirit. Rather than turn a deaf ear to a fellow Christian in pain, we must always be ready to listen to “the cry of the lowly one.” Similarly, we take to heart this inspired counsel: “The one who does not practice mercy will have his judgment without mercy.” (Jas. 2:13) If we humbly remember how much we need mercy, we are more likely to show mercy. We especially want to show mercy when a repentant wrongdoer returns to the congregation. Bible examples of those who were kind and merciful can help us to embrace mercy and to avoid harshness. w21.10 41:16-17
Sit down here while I go over there and pray.—Matt. 26:36.
On the final night of his life on earth, as his ministry came to an end, Jesus sought out a quiet setting where he could meditate and pray. He found that setting in the garden of Gethsemane. On that occasion, Jesus gave his disciples some timely counsel about prayer. When they arrived at the garden of Gethsemane, it was very late, perhaps past midnight. Jesus asked the apostles to “keep on the watch,” and he went off to pray. (Matt. 26:37-39) But while he was praying, they fell asleep. When he found them sleeping, Jesus again urged them to “keep on the watch and pray continually.” (Matt. 26:40, 41) He realized that they had been under much stress and that they were tired. Jesus compassionately acknowledged that “the flesh is weak.” Still, two more times Jesus went off to pray, and when he returned he found his disciples sleeping rather than praying.—Matt. 26:42-45. w22.01 5:10-11
They will listen to my voice.—John 10:16.
Jesus compared his relationship with his followers to the close bond between a shepherd and his sheep. (John 10:14) That comparison is appropriate. The sheep know their shepherd and respond to his voice. A traveler experienced this firsthand. He reported: “We wanted to film some sheep and tried to make them come near. But they did not follow us because they did not know our voices. Then a small shepherd boy came along; hardly had he called them when they followed along.” The experience of that traveler reminds us of Jesus’ words regarding his sheep—his disciples. He said: “They will listen to my voice.” But Jesus is in heaven. How can we say that we are listening to him? A key way we show that we are listening to our Master’s voice is by applying his teachings in our life.—Matt. 7:24, 25. w21.12 50:1-2