One time Jesus was praying alone. His followers came together there. Jesus asked them, "Who do the people say I am?" The followers answered, "Some people say you are John the Baptizer. Other people say you are Elijah. And some people say you are one of the prophets from long ago that has come back to life."
— Luke 9:18-19
The Gospel of Luke reminds us that so many of the great moments of Jesus' life and ministry are tied to prayer. Sometime soon, get a specially colored highlighter and read the Gospel of Luke and underline every time prayer occurs or is the subject of Jesus' teaching. Then go back and make an outline of key events tied to those prayer sessions. You will be amazed at how important prayer is to the unfolding salvation of Jesus' ministry. Peter's confession of Jesus as the Christ follows this prayer time and the discussion that follows it. This is just another one of the Holy Spirit's reminders that fresh insights for life, faith, and our faithfulness often occur during our times of prayer. This was true for Jesus and his disciples and it will no doubt be true of us.
Father in heaven, God Almighty, thank you for providing me the great avenue and opportunity of prayer. To know that you listen to my words, my thoughts, and my heart is simply overwhelming. Help me hunger more for these special times in your presence. Give me wisdom and understanding as I pray and seek your will. Do your will in my life as I seek your presence. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Today's Verses in Context
One time Jesus was praying alone. His followers came together there. Jesus asked them, "Who do the people say I am?" The followers answered, "Some people say you are John the Baptizer. Other people say you are Elijah. And some people say you are one of the prophets from long ago that has come back to life." Then Jesus said to his followers, "And who do you say I am?" Peter answered, "You are the Christ from God." Jesus warned them not to tell anyone. Then Jesus said, "The Son of Man must suffer many things. He will be rejected by the older Jewish leaders, the leading priests, and teachers of the law. The Son of Man will be killed. But after three days he will be raised from death." Jesus continued to say to all of them, "If any person wants to follow me, he must say 'No' to the things he wants. That person must accept the cross (suffering) that is given to him every day, and he must follow me. The person that wants to save his life will lose it. And every person that gives his life for me will save it. It is worth nothing for a person to have the whole world, if he himself is destroyed or lost. If any person is ashamed of me and my teaching, then I will be ashamed of that person. I will be ashamed of that person at the time I come with my glory and with the glory of the Father and the holy angels. I tell you the truth. Some of you people standing here will see the kingdom of God before you die."
Related Scripture Readings
But if any of you needs wisdom, then you should ask God for it. God is generous. He enjoys giving to all people. So God will give you wisdom. But when you ask God, you must believe. Don't doubt God. The person who doubts is like a wave in the sea. The wind blows the wave up and down. The person who doubts is like that wave.
After the believers prayed, the place where they were meeting shook. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they continued to speak God's message without fear.
Also, the Spirit helps us. We are very weak, but the Spirit helps us with our weakness. We don't know how to pray like we should. But the Spirit himself speaks to God for us. The Spirit begs God for us. The Spirit speaks to God with deep feelings that words cannot explain. God can see what is in people's hearts. And God knows what is in the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit speaks to God for his people in the way that God wants.