Stop. Breathe in and out. Narrow your focus.

For a few moments, take in only what is in front of you.

Let your ears be open to the whisper of the Spirit.

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In the same way Christ also didn’t promote himself to become high priest. Instead, it was the one who said to him,

You are my Son. Today I have become your Father,

as he also says in another place,

You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.

During his days on earth, Christ offered prayers and requests with loud cries and tears as his sacrifices to the one who was able to save him from death. He was heard because of his godly devotion.

Hebrews 5:5-7

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Jesus had every right to name himself conqueror, savior, priest, prophet, or anything else he wanted. He was the Son of God, after all! But he chose to follow God with humility. When he might have puffed himself up, he lay down in tears to cry out before God. He prayed for the people of his nation. He prayed for his disciples. He prayed for the city of Jerusalem. He even prayed for the people who wanted to kill him.

Sometimes when we think about following Jesus, we think about preaching, healing, or feeding people. Those are all good things to do. But Jesus also spent a lot of time in prayer. Maybe when he slipped away from his disciples all those times, he was praying for them. If we want to obey God by following in the footsteps of Jesus, we will need to begin with prayer.

Ellen Di Giosia

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God, help me to pray. Help me to not get ahead of myself or ahead of you by jumping headfirst into doing good works. Remind me that any work I do has to begin with first talking to you and listening to you, too. Amen.

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Now widen your focus.

Let your eyes be open to the whole wide world.

Remember that God’s call to obey is intended for your good.

Ellen Di Giosia

Ellen Di Giosia is the pastor of First Baptist Church of Jefferson City, Tennessee. She is a parent, a spouse, a knitter, a napper, and a proud ex-resident of the great state of Texas.

Reflections on the Way: I will Arise and Go to Jesus - Break Thou the Bread of Life

Ken Medema

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