Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Sunday, February 14, 2016
This Week’s Devotional Focus is, “Prayer.”
“And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray. And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering.” (Luke 9:28–29).
Jesus prayed! This statement may not seem profound on its face, but if you press pause on your thoughts and whatever you have planned for after you’re done reading this devotional thought, and meditate on the concept for just a moment, you’ll unearth a beautiful gem of truth.
Jesus, who was one with the Father, and who took on human form, sensed His need to talk to God regularly. There is power God communicates through prayer that we would not experience any other way. No wonder Jesus was so holy and powerful. Jesus prayed.
I love the fact that Scripture gives us details in stories. Our theme text says that eight days following Jesus’ teaching about His forthcoming suffering, death, and resurrection, that He took Peter, James, and John into a mountain and He prayed. What happened next was amazing. The Bible says that “as He prayed” the appearance of His countenance was altered and His clothing flashed dazzling light. The Bible could have simply said that they went into the mountain and then the spectacular event that followed happened, but it didn’t. Inspiration wanted us to understand that He was in prayer on a mountain right before He was transfigured.
The word translated for “countenance” in this verse is very interesting. In English we often simply use “face” as a synonym. I suppose that makes sense, but it’s much more. In this verse, “countenance” communicates how our appearance, including our face, manifests our character, mood, emotions, sanction, moral support, etc. It is an indication of our very essence. As Jesus prayed, all that would perceptibly indicate His essence was altered. That manifestation was also communicated through His clothing.
When you go to that solitary place of prayer to meet God, what are your expectations? Do you go simply to talk out your concerns so you can tick the box next to prayer on your to-do list? Do you expect your very essence to be impacted by this encounter? Do you expect that God will manifest His effulgence through your countenance? I am not suggesting that when we pray, we will have the identical experience of Christ on the Mount of Transfiguration; however, there are always lessons we can, and must learn from all the Scriptures reveal. Today, we must learn that God wants to do something spectacular in our lives through prayer, which will manifest itself in our outward lives and bring heavenly agencies divinely close to us. If Jesus prayed, we should too. We should also expect that our loving heavenly Father will do great things in our lives through prayer just like He did in the life of Christ our example.