Luke 9:28-29 Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white.

When Jesus prays, momentous things occur. After Jesus’ baptism, the Holy Spirit descends on him while he prays (Luke 3:21-22); Jesus selects the twelve apostles after an entire night spent in prayer (6:12-16); and Peter’s confession of Jesus as the Messiah takes place within the context of Jesus’ praying (9:18-20). In the transfiguration account, one of the most important details is that Jesus goes up on the mountain with the intention of praying, and it is in praying that he is transfigured. Luke wants readers to understand that for Jesus, prayer is a complete, intimate encounter with God, so dramatic that his face and clothing are altered.

When we pray, our faces and clothes may not dazzle, but Jesus’ powerful examples of prayer can challenge us to go beyond the surface of merely petitioning God for what we want to the deeper level of seeking and abiding in God’s presence.

MOVING FORWARD: When have you experienced a transfiguration moment? How did it change you?