It was the familiar scenario with Jesus—He had gone off alone to pray. In His time of communion with the Father, Jesus understands it is time to ask His disciples the question: “Who do you say I am?” This question will provoke the greatest revelation of all time. The Spirit is ready to open the eyes and ears of His disciples. They will discern who He is.
Jesus asks the question, and Peter gives the answer: the Christ, God’s Messiah (Luke 9:20). It is in no way a stretch to believe Christ was interceding in prayer for His disciples before this revelation as Jesus told Peter on another occasion of His intercession for him when Satan demanded to sift him like wheat (Luke 22:31-32). Jesus’s prayers brought this revelation of His true identity as the Messiah to Peter.
All followers of Jesus need to discover who He really is. In different circumstances of need, we call on God for help. As we cry out to God, He gives us revelation through the Holy Spirit so that we might understand and experience more of Him. The more we listen to God in times of prayer, the more He reveals His character to us. We discover that our God is omnipotent (having all power), omnipresent (everywhere at the same time), and omniscient (all- knowing). We discover He is unsearchable and all-knowing.
Peter’s revelation was so magnificent because it revealed the true character of Jesus. His deity—He is the Son of the living God. Jesus is part of the Godhead, the Trinity. This revelation also revealed Jesus as the long-awaited Messiah, the one who would take away the sins of the world.
“Who do you say Jesus is?” If we answer Messiah we will find ourselves under the watchful eye of Jehovah-Rohi, the Lord my shepherd. The good shepherd watches out for us. He is completely responsible for everything in our lives—our provision, our care and even our discipline. The character of the good Shepherd is seen in so many different ways. His watchful eye is on us at all times when we pray for safety. The good Shepherd orchestrates all things for our good in the midst of troubling circumstances. He even guards us from temptations the enemy brings our way. Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11). The Lord understands us. He knows we long for a sense of security and safety. He reveals Himself as the Good Shepherd, the Lord our shepherd, Jehovah-Rohi as we seek Him in prayer. (See Ps. 23).
So often we come to the Lord in prayer for provision—finances and the practical necessities of daily living. In prayer we come to know the identity of God that Abraham discovered in obedience by faith, as Jehovah-Jireh, the Lord our provider. When God provided a lamb for the sacrifice in place of Abraham’s son Isaac, “Abraham called the name of that place The Lord Will Provide, as it is said to this day, ‘In the mount of the Lord it will be provided'” (Gen. 22:14b). Abraham understood God didn’t merely provide for the sacrifice—He would also provide for the future. In prayer we come to understand that God is our provider both now and always. We can be freed of fear of the future. What a marvelous work of the Holy Spirit this is as we encounter this facet of our Lord’s character. By the faith He’s given us and by simple prayer we can live in the revelation that He is Jehovah-Jireh and will always make a way for us.
We know that in prayer Jesus gives us His very best, His presence in our lives. One of the most profound things we can experience in prayer is the peace of Christ. Jesus is the Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6).
Our wonderful Savior is the same, yesterday, today, and forever (Heb. 13:8). When we read the Scriptures, we see that Jesus healed often, and we can’t be anything but convinced that Jesus heals today. There is perhaps no more tangible way that we experience the character of our God than when we experience answered prayer for healing. As I talk with people, I see the great lack in our land is prayer. We lack the intimacy with our Lord gained only through prayer. But the invitation is open to every one of us. Begin anew today in presenting yourself before the Lord in prayer and the Word and experience this aspect of our Lord’s character, Jehovah-Rapha, the Lord who heals.
Of all the aspects of the Lord’s character revealed to us in prayer, the one I perhaps rejoice in the most is this—He is my righteousness. Jeremiah prophesied that there would come a day when God would raise up a righteous branch from David and He would be called Jehovah-Tsidkenu, the Lord our Righteousness. (See Jer. 23:6.) I could never be righteous enough to stand before a holy God on my own, but Christ has saved me, and He presents me before the Father clothes in His righteousness.
Through prayer, we can experience the character of our God every morning. Our understanding can be opened to who God really is. That familiarity can last throughout the day and extend through the night hours. The Holy Spirit offers us the revelation of salvation through the sacrifice of Christ. As we accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we have direct access to all that the Father is through prayer.
Prayer Power for the Week of July 29, 2018
This week, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal more aspects of the Lord’s character as you seek Him in prayer and in the Word. Thank Him that He is your good Shepherd, Provider, Peace, Healer and Righteousness. Thank Him for opportunities to share Him with others. Ask Him to lead you to others who will join with you in praying for our nation, world-wide revival and the expansion of God’s kingdom. Read: Isa. 9:6, 53:5; John 10:11; 2 Cor. 5:21; Phil. 4:19.