12 short back to school prayers

September is right around the corner which means sending our kids to school full time. Our family felt led to enroll our children in public school. Even though we have had good experiences, I am always afraid of what my children will be exposed to and what may happen while they are at school. Instead of worrying about what may happen, I have put together these 12 short back-to-school prayers. 

12 Short Back to School Prayers

I love my children very much, but I know I can’t provide them with everything they need. That is why I pray for my children, my marriage, my work and everything in between.

1. Safety 

One of my biggest fears is getting a phone call from the school letting me know my child has gotten hurt. 

I don’t like the idea that my child is at school crying and I’m not there to comfort them. So, I turn to God and ask Him to protect them and watch over them. 

Lord, I ask that you keep my child safe while they are at school. I request you to protect them from unkind words and cruel people. 

I pray you would protect them from any danger they might face at school and that they would remember they can turn to you for safety. 

12 short back to school prayers

Psalm 32:7 You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.

John 17:15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.

2. Wisdom

The world is full of crazy ideas and ideologies. When I send my kids to school, I worry they will pick up on some of this “wisdom” and walk away from what The Lord says. When I worry about this, I say a short back to school prayer about my kids receiving wisdom from the right source. 

As I send my kids to school, I fear the world will influence them. I ask that they seek council from people who love you and who would guide them in your truth. 

I pray that as situations come up at school that they would ask you for wisdom regarding how to handle what’s going on and to trust your guidance in their lives. 

12 short back to school prayers

Seek Godly Counsel: Psalm 37:30 The godly offer good counsel; they teach right from wrong.

Proverbs 3:7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. (NIV)

Proverbs 4:6-7 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. (NIV)

James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. (NIV)

James 3:17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. (NIV)

a picture of children running in a school hall. They are smiling and have backpacks on. Beside the picture are the words: 12 short back to school prayers.

3. Gentle and kind

I don’t have great memories of being in school. Kids would make fun of me or ignore me completely. Kids can be so mean. As I send my kids back to school, I pray they are kind to others. 

Lord, I pray my children would treat others as they would want to be treated. I ask that you help them be kind to those around them- even if they are not being treated well. 

12 short back to school prayers

Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

John 13:34-35 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

4. Witness to those around them

One of my biggest regrets in school is not being a great witness for Christ. I was shy to share my faith. My friends knew I was a Christian, but that’s it. My prayer is for my children to be better witnesses than I was.

Lord, we know that even a small light in the darkness shines bright. I pray my child would be that light in their class and in their school. That you would give the courage to share their beliefs to those around them and that you would protect them from any negative repercussions. 

12 short back to school prayers

1 Peter 3:15 ESV But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,

Mark 16:15 ESV And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.

5. Peace

The world is full of sin and tragedy. All these news stories can bring anxiety to kids (certainly mine). My prayer is that regardless of what is going on- my kids would feel the Peace of God in their lives. 

As my child goes to school, I pray you would fill them with your peace. I pray that no matter what is going on around them, they would feel your presence with them. I also pray that if they are feeling troubled at school, that they would remember to not be afraid and to trust in you. 

12 short back to school prayers

John 16:33 I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

6. Guard their minds

When people look at my life, it seems like there are no struggles- because most of my struggles go on inside. The Devil is a master of attacking my thoughts and has a way of leading me to second guess my faith and steps of obedience. One of my short back to school prayers is for my children to guard their minds. I know they can’t do it alone- but that God can give them the ability to do so. 

Lord, when I send my child off to school I worry about what they may learn and what they may hear. I know the school is filled with worldly wisdom and influence for evil. I pray you would guard their minds. That they would forget the bad things they hear and would remember who you are and meditate on your word. 

12 short back to school prayers

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things

Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

7. They would look to The Lord 

My oldest daughter is going into grade 7. Jr. High is the time in life when small decisions can affect the rest of your life. I worry my children will want to follow the crowd and look to their friends for advice and direction. Even though my children have great friends, my prayer is that they would first seek The Lord in all things. 

One thing that scares me the most about sending my kids to school is not being with them if they get hurt. I hate the idea that they would cry and not be able to be comforted by me. In those moments, I pray they would look towards you and remember you love them and are with them. 

12 short back to school prayers

Psalm 55:22 Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you;
he will never let the righteous be shaken.

Amos 5:14-15 ESV Seek good, and not evil, that you may live; and so the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you, as you have said. Hate evil, and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.

8. Hold their tongues 

I have a tendency to say what I’m thinking. In the past, that tendency has led me to conflict with others. The Bible is clear about how powerful our tongues are. We know how much weight words can hold. One of my short back to school prayers is for my children to watch what they say and hold their tongues when they don’t know what to say. 

Lord, I know that it’s easy for children to say things they don’t mean or to say things to impress others. I pray you would help them hold their tongue. That the words that come from their mouths would honour you and would point to you. 

12 short back to school prayers

Proverbs 13:3; “Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.” 

Ephesians 4:29; “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”

9. Good friends 

If you want to know someone, you just have to look at the people they spend time with. Usually, those people reflect a person’s beliefs and so on. Not only do I want my children to find good friends, but they would be good friends to others. 

Lord, I know that the people who surround you are the biggest influence in your life. I pray you would bring good friends to my child. I also pray that my child would be a good friend towards others. I pray they are kind, and loving towards one another and their character would reflect who you are. 

12 short back to school prayers

Colossians 3:12-14 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

Hebrews 13:2 ESV Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

10. That they would try their best

I was so bored in school, and I never tried my best. I passed with mostly B. I always wonder what my grades would look like had I tried. I want better for my kids. We don’t focus on grades but on effort. We tell our children we want them to try their best. When we focus on efforts on pleasing The Lord, I find I’m more focused and have better outcomes. I want my children to learn to work for The Lord at an early age. 

It’s not about the grade, or what you have done, but who you have done it for. 

Lord, I pray that in everything my child does, that would do it in your name and for Your glory. I pray they don’t get discouraged in their work and you would remind them to continue the good work they are doing. 

12 short back to school prayers

Colossians 3:17 ESV And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Galatians 6:9-10 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have the opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

11. Honest 

My children lie to me regularly and it drives me nuts. Just this week my kids were at day camp. My youngest (5) came home and told me a girl had punched and kicked him. I knew there was more to the story, so I heard his side of the story and made a plan to talk to the staff about it. At drop off the next day, I asked the supervisor about the incident. As I was talking, my son said: I was joking about that. 

I was shocked!! The child my son was talking about could have gotten a consequence for what he had said. 

I talked to my child about telling the truth, and how his lie could have affected other children.

With this lie fresh in my mind, I continually pray that my children will tell the truth and they will feel safe to tell me when they have lied or made a mistake. 

Lord, I pray my child would be honest to me about what they are learning, who they are friends with and what is going on in their life. I pray that if they have lies, you would convict them to share the truth with me. Lord, give me the grace and wisdom to talk to my child and provide them an environment they feel safe in and feel comfortable sharing with me what they are thinking about and the concerns they may have. 

12 short back to school prayers

Colossians 3:9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices

Ephesians 4:25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.

 12. Salvation

If there was a way to earn my children’s salvation- I would do whatever it takes. But, we can’t save our children. It’s up to each of our children to decide to follow the Lord and ask for forgiveness of their sins. I pray for my children’s salvation regularly. Even though all 3 have made professions of faith0 I still pray they will desire to follow The Lord and obey His will. 

Lord, I pray for my child’s salvation. My greatest desire for my child to be saved. I pray you would open their eyes and ears so that they may see and taste who you are. I pray they chose to seek forgiveness from you and that they would desire to live a life that would bring you glory. 

12 short back to school prayers

John 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Conclusion

When my oldest daughter was born, I struggled with what school she would go to and what that would look like. My husband and I prayed over the options and found The Lord leading us to send our children to public school. 

As I prayed to understand why The Lord wanted us to send our children to camp, an answer came back. God was asking me to give Him my children every day. As my children walk away from me into the school- I can’t follow.

But, I know the one who is with them. He goes before them; He is with them and He leaves behind them. He is the only one who can protect them and lead them according to His will. 

If my kids were home, I don’t think I would pray for them as much, or I wouldn’t bring them to The Lord as often as I should. But sending my kids to school every day drives me to my knees and I depend on Him every single day. 

When I shared my reason with a homeschool mom- she said her reasons were the same. She felt The Lord calling her to homeschool for the same reasons. She feels she depends more on The Lord with her kids at home than she would if she sent them to school. 

Each family makes the choice they feel The Lord leads them in. No matter what learning environment your child is in, they need your prayers. 

In the comments below, share your favourite short back-to-school prayers. 

What Does God See When He Looks At Me

What Does God see when He looks at me. This is one of those questions that I honestly can’t unpack with a single sentence. Click to read my answer.

To continue my blog series on our Identity in Christ, I have another guest blogger. Lo Tanner is passionate about sharing the gospel with everyone. To learn more about her, please read her bio at the end of this post. Today, she answers the question: What does God see when He looks at me?

What does God see when He looks at me

What does God see when He looks at me

What Does God see when He looks at me? This is one of those questions that I honestly can’t unpack with a single sentence. Not without withholding some vital information; information that can shape how you see God, how you see yourself, and how you view the gospel.

The gospel changes a lot of things; our identity is on the top of that list. So let’s unpack this.

Let’s talk about how the gospel affects what God sees when He looks at you and me.

1. Picture Perfect

It was only a few months ago that I laid in our county hospital recovering from the birth of our youngest son. It was the fastest labour I had ever experienced. It lasted only four hours from the time my water broke to the time he was born.

Want to know what my first thoughts were when I felt his smooth skin, and saw that precious face and lifted him to my chest?

I thought: He’s PERFECT.

Can you guess who had similar thoughts when He created mankind?

So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Genesis 1:27

“Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good…” Genesis 1:31

In the beginning, God looked at us and He saw good.

He saw His creation, so beautiful and pristine that when He looked at it, He saw himself.

Can you imagine that proud Papa moment?

I get glimpses of it every now and then with our boys. They just can’t help but resemble their father. I believe it was the same way the day God created man. The creation (you and I) couldn’t help but resemble our Creator. And to God that was good. But something changed.

2. I Need of A Savior

“Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil…” (see Genesis 3:22)

Sin entered the world.

How? Through deception and disobedience.

You can read this portion of the story in full in Genesis chapter three.

But long story short, sin entered the world and man who had only ever known good and perfect, was introduced to evil.

From that moment forward God saw us differently. When God looked at man He saw our sin. And while Satan would like you to think this is where it ends; he’s wrong.

Sin may be what we fell into, but it’s not where we stay. It is not who we are.

Top Verses: How God sees us

  • “…But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.” (see Romans 5:20)

When God looks at us He sees our mistakes and imperfections, but instead of letting us drown in them, He has made provisions to cover us.

  • God sees our sin, but through His conviction He points us to His love. “Love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8
  • God sees our weakness, but He carries us in His strength. “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ “ Isaiah 41:10
  • And while the enemy calls us out and accuses us; God calls us up and forgives us.

How can He do this? Because of the cross.

How the Cross Changed How God Sees Us

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

Do you know what I take to heart from this verse? That God looked at man and thought we were worth dying for.

He looked at you and saw someone He loved.

Sometimes that’s hard for me to wrap my head around.

You’ve heard the saying, “hurt people, hurt people.”

I love how God shatters that.

He completely crumbles it up and throws it out the window in the greatest act of humility ever brought to our attention.

  • Our sin hurt God, but instead of dishing out hurt He sent His Son to redeem us.
  • Our sin hurt Jesus, but instead of protecting Himself He still willingly went to the cross.

Jesus’ death and resurrection gave us an opportunity to walk in newness; to put on a new identity.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

2 Corinthians 5:17

Now when God looks, He sees someone who is forgiven. He sees a whole new you.

A New Creation

Since walking with Jesus, you and I have taken on entirely new identities.

Now when God sees us, He sees us as HIS; His very own sons and daughters.

About the time I was in second or third grade, our family adopted two of the sweetest little gals to ever grace this planet. The day of the adoption ceremony the judge called each of us kids up to the little podium to ask us questions and feel out how we felt about expanding our family.

Prior to speaking with each of us, the judge spoke to our parents. He said (paraphrasing, of course) “You realize that when we sign these papers these girls are legally your daughters. There will be no distinction between them and the children you birthed. They are all on a level playing field, no one having any sort of advantage over the other.” Their position as members of our family was sealed.

I believe God showers us with that same kind of love and has given us that same invitation.

He invites us all to become a part of His family and to be sealed by His Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 1:3-5
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.

This is who you are now.

And not only does God see you for who you are in Him now, He sees who you were before Him and He sees who you are becoming.

Your God-given Identity

God’s truth transforms us. So when we come to Jesus, believe in Him and confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord – we change.

We learn from Ephesians 5:8 that we were once darkness but have now been transformed into children of light.

There is a vast difference between light and darkness. To go from one to the other requires us to change.

Prodigal Children

As a result of sin, we became like prodigal sons and daughters (see Luke 15:11-32 to learn more on this).

Even so, Jesus made a way for us to come back home to the Father.

And now God is welcoming you, his daughter, back into His loving arms.

You are entering into His newness.

Seeing Yourself as God sees you

  • Freedom (Romans 6:22 and John 8:36)
  • A daughter redeemed (Ephesians 1:7)
  • His child (John 1:12)
  • His workmanship (Ephesians 2:10)
  • A citizen of His kingdom (Ephesians 2:19 and Philippians 3:20)
  • His righteousness (see Romans 3:21-22 and 2 Corinthians 5:21). Not because of our perfection; but because of His grace and willingness to call us out of sin and see us as “blameless”.
  • Joint heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17)
  • A friend (John 15:15)
  • His fruits and character (John 15:5 and Galatians 5:22-23)
  • A conqueror (Romans 8:37)

Would you believe the list gets longer?

God wasn’t kidding when He said you’re a new creation. He is literally piecing together a whole new you; where you are made in His image and likeness.

What if I don’t see what God sees?

This is the point in the conversation where people typically start to struggle.

We start to wonder how can all this be true if we don’t feel it.

I get it.

There are days when I look at me and see things I don’t like. Pride, impatience, lack of empathy. I snap at my kids. I get frustrated with my husband. Some days I even feel frustrated with God. Does that change how God sees me?

The answer is no.

Why, not?

Because when we walk with Christ our identity isn’t based on who we are, but who God is and what He declares over us.

He has begun a new work in you and I. Day after day He continues to sanctify us and He won’t stop until He is done.

…being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.

Philippians 1:6

Sanctification (leaving the old and becoming Christ-like) is a life-long journey and a daily discipline.

We may not see ourselves in the fullness of each of these traits now, but we can be confident that this is what God is cultivating in us.

Just like Abraham was called a Father of many nations before it was brought to fruition (see Romans 4:17-22) you can trust that God is calling each of these declarations in you; doing a work that only He can do.

It’s easy to want to point at all the good God brings into our life and take credit for it; to think to ourselves, “I’m a good person,” and try to wear that crown. But the truth is, God isn’t fooled.

God sees right past the mask.

There is no hiding who we are from Him.

The reason I brought you through your identity by walking through the gospel is so that you could see and better understand the transformation that takes place in us when Jesus becomes the Lord of our lives.

I want to share with you that hope.

Because without the gospel we are left hopeless and broken.

But with it; WITH JESUS, we are made whole, we are uplifted, we are anchored and hope-filled.

What If I’m Not Living for God?

You may ask yourself: What id I’m not living for God? Does that Change How He Sees Me?

Maybe you’re reading this post as someone who has yet to begin a personal relationship with Jesus and you’re wondering what God sees when He looks at you.

I’m just going to say it and pray you never doubt these words.

God looks at you and sees someone He loves, someone He desires to be close with, someone in need of a Savior.

He is so so eager to bring you into more.

When God sees you He sees someone worth saving.

The only question now is, will you accept His invitation?

If you’re curious about God and want to discover who He is, or you simply want to grow in the faith you already have, I invite you to join our Bible study group on Facebook!

There, we provide free Bible study tools and lessons on discipleship as well as free Bible reading plan that allows us to really dig into the Bible and get to know the God who inspired it. Join us here!

In the comments below, let me know what you think God sees when He looks at you.

What Does God See When He Looks At Me

How Jesus Changed Peter in the Bible

Peter is one of my favourite people in the Bible (aside from Jesus of course). Peter is known for speaking his mind and confronting situations head-on. I can very much relate to this. I have gotten myself in trouble a time or two for what had come out of my mouth. In today’s post, we will see how Jesus changed Peter in the Bible.

Even though Peter is so sure of himself and continues to stumble- Jesus still had a plan for Peter and still used him to build the universal Church. 

That humbles me. 

That regardless of my imperfections, Jesus still has a plan for me and can use me to build His kingdom. 

Let’s see how Peter changed over time. 

A man standing on rocks near the water. Beside the picture are the words How Jesus changed Peter in the Bible.

5 Things we learn about Peter

1. Peter was a fisherman

When we first meet Peter he is fishing with his brothers. 

Matthew 4:18 And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.

Jesus was gathering up disciples. He knew who He was looking for and came upon Simon (Peter) and his brother. 

These men were simple fishermen and ordinary men. God saw them and called them to follow Him.

I love that God calls ordinary people to follow and obey Him. This proves that we don’t need to have a certain level of education or knowledge to obey God and that God can use simple things and ordinary people to do extraordinary things. 

2. Peter witnessed Miraculous things

Once Jesus selected Peter as a disciple, he saw many miraculous things. 

Matthew 4: 23-25  And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people. 24 Then His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments, and those who were demon-possessed, epileptics, and paralytics; and He healed them. 25 Great multitudes followed Him—from Galilee, and from Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan.

Peter would have been witness to people being healed in front of his eyes. He would have seen people full of disease be instantly healed. He would have seen demon-possessed people be overpowered by the power of God and leave people. 

Peter had first-hand experience with the power of Jesus. These experiences were teaching Peter who Jesus was and what He could do. These years of ministry were a wonderful training ground for the purpose that Jesus had for Peter. 

3. Peter was brave

Matthew 14:22-33 Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. 23 And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. 24 But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. 25 Now in the fourth watch of the night, Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” 28 And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” 29 So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” 31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”

You probably are very familiar with this story, but it is one of my favourites. Jesus came to the disciples and walked on water. The disciples did not recognize them but when the disciples found out it was Jesus– Peter was the only one to cry out and say: “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So He (Jesus” said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.

Peter was brave enough to ask God to call him out and was even brave enough to get out of that boat when Jesus asked him to come. 

I would love to think that if I was on that boat that I would have been like Peter and ask Jesus to tell me to come. But the truth is, I don’t like risk. I sometimes don’t like not knowing what obeying Jesus to come will cost me. 

Getting out of my Boat

About 9 years ago, the youth group my husband and I helped run was studying the bible study book called: If you want to walk on water, you have to get out of the boat. 

The biggest takeaway for me from that book was relating the boat to my comfort zone and related walking on water to getting out of my comfort zone. 

The question that stayed with me was: what is your comfort zone?? Is God calling you out of your comfort zone?

At that time, I knew that my hometown (Ottawa, Ontario) was my comfort zone. 

Within a year of finishing that study, God had called my husband and I to move away from Ottawa and go to Edmonton, Alberta (pretty much the other side of the country and much more North). 

God had used that study to prepare me to trust Him as He called me out of my comfort Zone. The journey was not easy, but anytime we faltered and were tempted to not believe- God was there to catch us. 

What comfort zone are you in?? 

Do you hear God calling you?? 

Do you have the faith to step out of your comfort zone?? 

4. Peter Boldly declares who Jesus is

Matthew 16:13-18  When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”

14 So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 

Jesus spent his ministry on earth training his disciples to preach the gospel once He had ascended to heaven. As any good teacher would do, Jesus asked probing questions to make sure that the disciples understood who He was. 

When Jesus asked: Who do you say I am? Only one person answers: That was Peter. 

Peter clearly declares that Jesus is the Christ, the son of the living God. 

“This is what Barnes’ Notes on the New Testament (affiliate link, see disclosure policy) says about these verses: 

“ The Christ. The Messiah, the Anointed of God. Matthew 11:14.

 The Son. That is, the Son by way of eminence, in a peculiar sense. Matthew 1:17. This appellation was understood as implying Divinity, John 10:29-36.

 Of the living God. The term living was given to the true God, to distinguish him from idols, that are dead or lifeless blocks and stones. He is also the Source of life-temporal, spiritual, and eternal. The term living is often given to him in the Old Testament, Joshua 3:10, 1 Samuel 17:26,36, Jeremiah 10:9,10 etc. 

In this noble confession, Peter expressed the full belief of himself and his brethren that he was the long-expected Messiah. Other men have very different opinions of him, but they were satisfied, and were not ashamed to confess it.” 

When reading this passage, the question becomes personal. Who do you (insert your name) say I am? 

How would you answer that question? 

Can you declare as clearly and boldly who Jesus is? 

I know that for me, I know who Jesus is and proclaim Him as my saviour. But, when it comes to sharing the gospel with others– I fall short. 

Peter’s declaration convicts me to root my faith in Jesus and to boldly declare who He is.

 

5. Peter was Self Assured 

It’s easy to think about the disciples and believe that they were better than we were. But the bible is clear that we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God. 

That is the case for Peter. Even though he could boldly declare who Jesus was, he often faltered in other areas. 

Matthew 26: 31-35 Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: ‘I will strike the Shepherd, And the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ 32 But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.” 33 Peter answered and said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.” 34 Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” 35 Peter said to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” And so said all the disciples.

Before Jesus faced the cross, He warned his disciples what was to come. He did not use specific language but figurative language. Here Jesus warns that all the disciples would be made to stumble. 

Peter hears this and quickly exclaims that he will not stumble regardless of what other disciples do. Jesus was quick to tell him that Peter would deny Him 3 times. 

I have been a chrisitian for a long time. My history sometimes makes me confident in my ability to keep my faith. The thing is, I am rooting my faith in my abilities and not in Christ. 

I sometimes take my faith for granted and forget that I could not have faith without God. I also sometimes forget that I need God to have faith because (in my own view) I have been doing such a good job lately. 

We all know that pride comes before a fall. 

Anytime I have been so sure that I could not stumble- something comes along in my life to remind me how much I need God and that I am a sinner without Him. 

Peter was the same. He had grand ideas about how firm his faith and devotion to God was…… only to be proven wrong shortly after. 

Are you proud of your faith? What is that pride based in? Do you depend on God for your faith, or on yourself? 

 

Peter Denies Christ 

Just a little while after Peter had confidently said that He would never falter– he was tested. 

Matthew 26: 69-75 Now Peter sat outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came to him, saying, “You also were with Jesus of Galilee.”

70 But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you are saying.”

71 And when he had gone out to the gateway, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, “This fellow also was with Jesus of Nazareth.”

72 But again he denied with an oath, “I do not know the Man!”

73 And a little later those who stood by came up and said to Peter, “Surely you also are one of them, for your speech betrays you.”

74 Then he began to curse and swear, saying, “I do not know the Man!”

Immediately a rooster crowed. 75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” So he went out and wept bitterly.

Jesus had predicted that Peter would deny Him. 

We read this account and see that exactly what Jesus had predicted came true. 

Peter was asked 3 times if he knew Jesus or was part of Jesus’ circle. Each time he was asked, Peter denied knowing Jesus. 

Then Peter heard the rooster crow. At that moment he realized what he had done and left and wept bitterly. 

As christians, there are times in our life when we may be tempted or we do actually deny Christ. 

I would love to say that no matter what happened to me, I would never waiver……… But the truth is, I don’t know. 

I always admire all the martyrs for Jesus. They were not afraid of death and declared Jesus even while facing cruel ends. 

What about you? What do you think you would do in Peter’s shoes?? 

How Jesus Changed Peter in the Bible 

In the previous part of this post, I shared some of the things we know about Peter. We learned that even though Peter could declare who Jesus was and was brave, that He was self-assured and ended up denying Christ. 

When I read these passages about Peter, I see a man who deeply loves Jesus but is not full of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit had not come yet and Peter was doing his best to love Jesus without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. 

I can hardly hold on with the help of The Holy Spirit. I hate to think about what my relationship with God would be without the Holy Spirit. 

Thankfully, where we left off in the story of Peter is not the end. Let’s keep going and see what happens to Peter after Jesus is crucified and resurrected. 

A relationship is restored

We know Peter denied Christ on the night of his trial. I’m sure Peter felt crushed about his actions. Watching Jesus die, he probably thought that it was too late to ask Jesus for forgiveness or gain back the relationship he had with Jesus before the denial. 

But, Jesus had other plans. 

John 21:15-16  So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?”

He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”

He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”

16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?”

He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”

He said to him, “Tend My sheep.”

Jesus specifically seeks out Peter and asks him 3 times if Peter loves him. Each time, Peter answers Yes, I love you. 

This portion of the bible is so precious to me. 

Jesus did not leave Peter even though Peter left Jesus. 

Jesus gave Peter 3 opportunities to declare his love for Him. 

Each of these times corresponds with one of Peter’s denials. It’s almost like one declaration of love erases one denial. 

Jesus is in the business of restoring us to Him. 

When we fall, trip, mess up— whatever– He is always there waiting for us. His death makes it possible for each of our sins to be washed away. 

The bible has many verses about the cleansing of our sins through Christ. The verse below is one of my favourites. 

1 John 1:9  If we confess our sins, He (Jesus) is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

No matter how many sins we have committed, once we ask for forgiveness we are cleansed from our unrighteousness. The cross washes away our sin. 

Jesus knows we will fall and that sometimes we will fail. BUT!!!! He is waiting for us to come to Him. 

When we ask for forgiveness, it restores our relationship with Christ. 

Do you have sin that you need to ask forgiveness for? If so, what is keeping you from seeking forgiveness??

There is no sin too small or too large. Christ has already paid the price for our sins. He is waiting for you. Will you come? 

Peter became the man God intended 

Once the disciples were filled with the holy spirit, they started doing the work that Jesus had told them to do. 

Matthew 28:19-20 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Earlier in this post, I mentioned Jesus had a plan for Peter. 

Jesus was going to use Peter to build the Christian Church.  (Matthew 16:18)

If you continue to read the book of Acts and the Books that Peter wrote himself, we see that Peter does exactly what He had planned. 

Peter becomes a pillar of the church. 

Acts 2:37-39 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”

38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”

Peter was no longer afraid or full of guilt. He had restored his relationship with Jesus and was full of the Holy Spirit. Because of this, Peter could accomplish God’s will for his life. 

Conclusion

Peter is a fascinating character. 

Before being filled with the Holy Spirit we see Peter was a simple fisherman who struggled with self-assurance and even denied Christ. He depended on his abilities and on his own strength. 

But, after the crucifixion and now being filled with the Spirit, Peter puts all his efforts into accomplishing what God had given him to do. We see Peter can boldly share the gospel and has newfound confidence. But this time, his confidence is not in himself, but confidence in Christ and dependence on the Holy Spirit. 

The indwelling of the Holy Spirit completely changes Peter’s work from fishing for food to fishing men. 

When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, God can give us a path that is so much more fulfilling than a 9-5 job. It’s not to say that we all need to quit our day jobs, but we do need to remember that each and every Christian is called to share their faith and glorify God. 

What about you? 

Do you hear God calling you to do something? 

Are you willing to step out in faith and obey God’s call? 

Who do you depend on? 

In the comments below, share which part of Peter’s character do you identify with most. 

Please help me spread this message by sharing this post. Thank you!!!

Exit mobile version