“And it happened that while He was praying alone, the disciples were with Him, and He questioned them saying, “Who do the people say that I am?” Luke 9:16
“And it happened” seems like such an insignificant expression when it is separated from any close connection with the intense intercession, Jesus carried out on behalf of His disciples. When Jesus prayed, it just so happened that power was released from Heaven.
The intercession of Jesus was the source of great insight, and wisdom to His disciples. His early followers received far more favor from The Father than they ever knew. His grace did not come to them as a result of their eloquent prayers, but it was granted to them due to the intimate and intense intercession of The Son. His grace always has, and His grace always will.
Since Jesus still intercedes for His followers, seated at the right hand of The Father, contemporary disciples continue to be the beneficiaries of The Son’s intercession, and The Father’s great favor. The Father’s favor graced the early disciples, and The Son’s intercession remains the source of living hope and genuine faith in the lives of His contemporary followers. Thank you, Jesus, indeed.
When Jesus walked away with from His temptation experience in the desert he had a clear insight into the purpose of Satan. The evil one wished Him no good will. What the enemy did to The Son, he would do to His friends. The three temptations from Satan convinced Jesus to prepare His disciples for what they would face. The simple truth is this. Everything in life is a test of faith. But I digress.
“While He was praying alone, the disciples were with Him.” At first glance this passage of Scripture appears to be a contradiction of terms and a physical impossibility. It is neither.
After the miracle of The Feeding of the 5,000, Jesus prayed, alone, for His disciples. Carrying the twelve basket of left overs, must have been a powerful reminder to the disciples of what they had just witnessed. As they walked and talked about what they had seen God do in the past, they were in danger of missing out on intimacy with The Son in the present tense.
“You can’t live on yesterday’s manna.” Author unknown
One of the greatest mistakes made by the people of faith, is the dropping of their guard after a great spiritual victory. The counter attack of the enemy is often swift and devastating to those who are unprepared. Jesus prayed because He knew the enemy always preyed on the unsuspecting.
The intercession of Jesus took place, as Jesus journeyed down the road with His disciples. His body was near them, but His heart was drawn towards Heaven. Prayer was The Son’s homing beacon, or His spiritual GPS. Prayer connected Him to The Father. He was alone with The Father, and at the same time He was able to pray on a dusty road surrounded by His unguarded disciples.
Jesus prayed privately, in a public place. General crowd noise is generally an annoyance, and it often distracts a wandering mind from a private conversation with The Father. Rather than allowing it to impede His intercession, Jesus used it as a catalytic converter for prayer. Prepared prayer warriors will too.
“Praying alone, the disciples were with Him,” Over-hearing His disciples did not prove to be a distraction to The Son. Their conversation fueled His attraction to The Father.
Note to self: The next time you hear more crowd noise than the still, small voice of The Spirit, start praying for those around you to hear from The Father. What you hear others say will either become a distraction or a source of discernment. If it is the latter, then it is a call to pray for people, not criticize them.
“Discernment is given for intercession, never fault-finding.” Oswald Chambers
Jesus prayed and expected results. Praying was not a devotional exercise that provided Him some information about The Father. Intercession was personal, and private conversation with The Father. When Jesus prayed, He expected to be heard. He expected The Father to respond, and His disciples to receive answers to His prayers, on their behalf.
Intercession is not about changing the will of The Father. It is more about preparing the ears of disciples to hear and softening their hearts to receive the will of The Father.
Jesus knew exactly who He was. When He questioned His disciples, He was not looking for information from them. He was expecting the results of His intercession for them.
“He questioned them saying, ‘Who do people say that I am?’ ”
Peter answered, “The Christ of God.” (v. 20) Jesus followed this response with a warning, “not to tell this to anyone.” (v. 21)
One right answer does not guarantee a believer will be right about everything. Jesus prayed, and Peter heard from God, once. Peter received Who Jesus was, but he would have a harder time grasping where Jesus went, The Cross. Still, Jesus prayed for Him, until Peter’s mind was clear, and his faith restored.
Jesus is still praying for His followers to hear from The Father, and to yield to His will and receive His direction, protection and correction. Jesus is never more WITH His disciples than when He is ALONE with The Father. For the followers of Jesus, believing prayer involves listening to and obeying The Father, not listing requests and instructing The Father. TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!