A Spiritual Practice: The Jesus Priority

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Christopher Maricle, in his book, The Jesus Priorities: 8 Essential Habits, identifies Jesus’ priorities based on “Jesus’ most repeated words and actions” in the Gospels. Maricle concludes that Jesus’ top three priorities are Heal, Love, and Pray.

Jesus Priority One: Heal

Practices 

  • stay deeply connected to compassion
  • say yes to strangers
  • do what is within our power to do
  • see with the heart

Reflect on the Gospel

When Jesus saw [Mary] weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus began to weep.

—John 11:33-35 (NRSV)

Reflect on Your Priorities

How do you intentionally act with compassion? How can you say yes to strangers? Does somebody near you, or on the edges of your life, need compassion? What is within your power to do? Think about someone you may have judged harshly. If you look again with your eyes and your heart, what do you see? 

Prayer

Abba, help me to stay deeply conscious of your compassionate love for people. Teach me to treat strangers no differently than family and to see all your children with compassionate eyes. Grant me the courage to do what is within my power to do. Amen.


Jesus Priority Two: Love

Practices 

  • show mercy no matter what 
  • forgive without limit 
  • love others as God loves

Reflect on the Gospel

In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.

—Matthew 7:12 (NRSV)

Reflect on Your Priorities

Who needs your mercy? Who is the one person in your life with whom you would most like to be reconciled? How can you create opportunities to give to those who cannot give back?

Prayer

Abba, help me to be a source of your mercy. Teach me to forgive others before I seek forgiveness for my own actions. Grant me the courage to extend your love to the stranger and the needy. Amen.


Jesus Priority Three: Pray

Practices 

  • pray alone 
  • pray persistently 
  • pray in the presence of others 
  • pray simply

Reflect on the Gospel

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!

—Luke 11:13 (NRSV)

Reflect on Your Priorities

How can you protect time for prayer in your daily routine? How can you cultivate ongoing opportunities to pray with others? What are some ways you can keep your prayer life simple? In prayer how much are you listening?

Prayer

Abba, help me to find the solitude I need in you. Teach me to seek you constantly and to learn your will. Teach me how to pray with others. Grant me the simplicity to talk with you honestly about my struggles. Amen.



Adapted from The Jesus Priorities: 8 Essential Habits by Christopher Maricle. Copyright © 2007 by the author. Used with permission of Upper Room Books.

 

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Rejoice!

I chose the book Because of This I Rejoice for our Sunday Spiritual Formation class. Our leader gave instructions for individuals to choose a 'discipline' to put into practice each week. Several class members have commented, "I like this book.” Read more.