Daily Devotional

Monday, July 24, 2017

Changing Prayer

And while [Jesus] was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white.     Luke 9:29

It has been said that our prayers don’t change God but that our times of prayer have a way of changing us. That appears to have been the case in the story of Jesus’ transfiguration as it is told in the Gospel of Luke. Jesus went up a mountain to pray, as was his custom. Jesus took Peter, James, and John with him. It was an act he had undertaken countless times before. But this time when Jesus prayed, something happened to him—he changed—he appeared to be in the company of the great luminaries of the Hebrew faith. For a moment Jesus appeared divine . . . Godlike. It was as if his true character was on display for anyone who happened to be around to see. 

Who knows how many times Jesus went off to pray and nothing happened. There must have been plenty of times when God seemed silent, Jesus felt unmoved, and there were no dazzling visions to be seen. But Jesus persisted, and in time prayer changed him so much that he didn’t even look like the same person to those who knew him best. That’s what prayer can do—it can change us, it can illuminate us, and it can make our lives dazzling!

How do times of prayer affect you?

Lord, I actually pray a fair bit, and I often wonder if it is working. By working, I tend to mean, are you working on my behalf? But what if the efficacy of prayer has less to do with you and more to do with me? What if the benefit of prayer is not that you change my life circumstances in favorable ways but that times of prayer have a way of changing me favorably? That would be a gift. I will pray for that today. In your name, I pray. AMEN.