Monday, October 18, 2021

Devotionals for the Heart: When Jesus Christ prays for you

My Past Does Not Predict My Future
A devotional by Angela Anderson

“But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” –Luke 22:32 (NKJV)

In my profession of Human Resources, there is a technique called behavioral interviewing that is often used when assessing candidates for a position within the company.

This technique involves posing open-ended questions to the candidate that create a scenario or circumstance. The candidate will then draw upon past employment experiences and provide specific examples that demonstrate how they handled the situation. The answers to the behavioral interview questions are supposed to deliver evidence of how candidates would react under certain circumstances, using their skills, knowledge, and abilities. This technique is based on a principle indicating that past behavior predicts future behavior.

For the purposes of this devotional, let’s focus on the Bible story of when Peter denied Jesus Christ. In the scripture above (Luke 22:32), Jesus is talking to Peter, one of His disciples, about the impending danger that Peter would soon face. Jesus explained that Satan would be coming for Peter, in an attempt to steer him off course and ultimately destroy his ministry.

As a preemptive strike, Jesus prayed for Peter. Jesus knew that Peter would deny knowing Him three times and He just wanted Peter to prepare for this test of faith. Instead, Peter confidently expressed his undying loyalty to Christ by saying “…Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.” (Luke 22:33). Not too long after that, Peter ended up denying Jesus three times just as Jesus said he would do. “And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, ‘Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.’” (Luke 22:61)

After making such a grave mistake, this could have marked the end of Peter’s ministry. He was distraught by his failure. “So Peter went out and wept bitterly.” (Luke 22:62) He could have taken matters into his own hands and ended his life just like the disciple Judas who also betrayed Jesus (Matthew 27:5). However, Peter went on to do amazing and noteworthy things.

Peter was the first disciple to enter the tomb when Jesus rose from the dead (John 20:6). Peter was responsible for gathering the disciples together in the Upper Room to lead prayer meeting and select someone to replace Judas (Acts 1:12-26). Peter was the disciple who preached a powerful sermon at Pentecost that led to the baptism of over 3,000 people (Acts 2:14-41). Peter also wrote two epistles in the Bible, titled “1 Peter” and “2 Peter”, that still serve the purpose of strengthening our faith. The last part of Jesus’ prayer for Peter came to fruition, the part where Jesus said, “…when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” (Luke 22:32)

Despite Peter’s past failure, he found favor in God’s sight. Because Jesus prayed for Peter, this disciple’s past had no power over his future. The same applies to us today.

When Jesus was on this earth, he prayed for His disciples then and now—that includes you and for me. (John 17:6-26). Jesus knew that we would be in danger because the enemy wages war against believers. One of the schemes of the devil is to bring up our past in a feeble attempt to control us or make us feel unworthy. But remember, Jesus prayed for us and more importantly, Jesus died for us (John 3:16)! Those sins of the past hold no merit and they do not define who we are in Christ.

Regardless of what we have done, the blood of Jesus covers us if we confess our sins (1 John 1:9). Because of Jesus, we can confidently say that our past does not predict our future.

Let’s Pray:

Dear God,

We praise you for the blood of Jesus Christ that covers a multitude of sins. 

Thank you for loving us and caring about us enough to protect us from the enemy. 

May we always be reminded that You have erased our past and You have allowed us to have a future in You. We want to live with you forever in Heaven and on the Earth made new. 

Thank You, Father God, for everything! We love you. 

In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

*Note from Alexis: Angela’s devotional today reminds me of this song “The Mission Field” by Blessid Union of Souls. Listen to it here.

Author Bio:

Angela Anderson was born in Brooklyn, New York. She was raised in a Christian home in New Jersey. Angela dedicated her life to Christ and was baptized at the age of 12.

As a child in elementary school, she developed a penchant for writing book reports and entering writing contests. By high school, she was taking advanced placement courses in English and Speech & Creative Writing. Angela’s love for journaling also had its beginnings in high school and it evolved into prayers journals and detailed notes for prospective book ideas. As a result, Angela is the author of a published 40-day devotional book titled Just When I Thought I Knew God. She also wrote a children’s book that is not yet published.

Although Angela wanted to somehow incorporate writing in her life, she is currently a Certified Human Resources Professional. Angela graduated from Rutgers University in NJ with a double bachelor’s degree in Labor/Employment Relations & Sociology. She also has an MBA from Strayer University.

Angela founded a non-profit 501(C)(3) organization called Head to the Sky, Inc. It was formed in order to assist those in prison with their transition into society and to reduce the rate of recidivism in the community. During this venture, Angela received a certification in grant writing from The Edyth Bush Institute for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership at Rollins College. 

Angela was very passionate about teaching, training, and sharing the love of Christ in this ministry; but she had to refocus her passion when she and her husband decided to start their family.

She has been married to the love of her life, Duane Anderson for 16 years. Together they have two sons: Thomas (age 8) and Ryan (age 3). Angela’s favorite pastime is journaling and she also enjoys spending quality time with her family. Her personal mission is to empower others to achieve their goals and dreams.

Connect with Angela:
Facebook fan page for her devotional book, Just When I Thought I Knew God:

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