An Important Priority – Matthew 17:1-3

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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What do you set as your priority as you start your day? For some it is to begin by bathing and brushing their teeth. The ladies often fix their hair and makeup. Men generally shave in the morning. Most begin with a fresh set of clothes. Many always drink coffee and read the newspaper. But the most important priority to begin your day is to spend time in prayer.

Matthew 17:1-2 records the Lord Jesus Christ being transfigured on a high mountain before Peter, James, and John. However, Luke 9:28-29 tells us the Savior “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.” We are reminded by this example of the Son of God, and many others, how important it is to pray. The Lord Jesus spent time in prayer before walking on water. Later He prayed before being arrested prior to His crucifixion. Here we see the Lord praying before He was transfigured. Each of these important events was bathed in prayer before proceeding. While the Savior ministered to His apostles, He constantly instructed them to be men of prayer. He told them to pray for those who would persecute them (Matthew 5:44), pray to the Father in secret, or in a private way (Matthew 6:5-7), pray the Father would send forth laborers to harvest eternal souls through ministry (Matthew 9:38), and to pray that they enter not into temptation (Matthew 26:41).

God places all these instructions about prayer in His Word and provides the example of the Savior being devoted to prayer so that believers in every dispensation can see how important it is to cultivate the holy habit of prayer. We are to be “praying always” (Ephesians 6:18). May we allow this simple reminder, and this profound principle, to transform our lives immediately. We urge you to pause after reading this devotional to spend time in prayer. We encourage you to make a time of prayer your highest priority as you begin each day. We suggest that, as the Savior did, you particularly spend earnest time in prayer prior to any important decision or event. God desires your fellowship in prayer, your dependence upon Him demonstrated through prayer, and your access to richer blessings through prayer. Make it a priority beginning right now.

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."