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 28 ¶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 16 ¶1-2
All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.—Rom. 3:23.
The apostle Paul had been a headstrong, harsh persecutor of Christians. But later, he acknowledged his shortcomings and was willing to change his attitude and personality. (1 Tim. 1:12-16) With Jehovah’s help, Paul became a loving, compassionate, humble shepherd. He chose to trust in Jehovah’s forgiveness rather than dwell on his failings. (Rom. 7:21-25) He did not expect to be perfect. Instead, he worked hard to improve his Christian personality and humbly relied on Jehovah’s help to accomplish his work. (1 Cor. 9:27; Phil. 4:13) Elders are not appointed because they are perfect. Jehovah, though, does expect them to admit their mistakes and to cultivate a Christian personality. (Eph. 4:23, 24) An elder should examine himself in the light of God’s Word and make any needed adjustments. Then Jehovah will help him to be happy and successful.—Jas. 1:25. w22.03 29-30 ¶13-15