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Petra


Last week, I shared about the prayer group a few moms started in 2003, praying for our families according to God's Word and for His glory. Today, I thought you might appreciate some of the things Elohim has taught us through our collective prayers.

First, we called our prayer time "Petra" from a discussion Christ had with his disciples in Matthew 16. Jesus, our Jewish Rabbi, often used things around Him to emphasis the meaning of a parable or statement. Jesus and His disciples were in Caesarea Philippi a city built by Herod Philip at the base of Mount Hermon during the Roman occupation. Although a Roman territory, the area was the center of worship for Pan, the Greek God of fertility. The city was filled with shrines and temples, including an outside a cave referred to as the Gate of Hades, where these pagan gods were thought to live.

Christ may have been sitting in front of the "gate" when He asked the disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”

They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

“But what about you?” He asked. “Who do you say I am?”

Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter,and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it." Matthew 16:13-18 NIV

Although Christ typically spoke Aramaic, He may have used the Greek words to convey His message. Individually we may be a Petros, a single stone among many stones, but on "this" Petra, a mass of stone or bedrock, we will be the Bride of Christ, His Church, with the strength to stand against all the gods of Hades. This was what our families needed, Christ's love to join us with someone who understood our struggles, so together in unity, strength and confidence in Christ and His power, we could approach the Father by one Spirit.

He [Jesus] came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through Him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In Him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. Ephesians 2:17-22 NIV

When we feel like the world is crashing down on us and at every turn there are obstacles and enemy attacks, it is comforting to know that we are united with other believers through the blood of Jesus, our Savior. It is easier for the world and evil influences to attack us when we are alone, remember poor Job? In one day he lost his children and his livestock, then Satan afflicted Job with "painful sores from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head" (Job 2:7 NIV). The sad part is Job's friends tried to convince him to humble himself and repent of his sins. If his friends had come alongside Job to pray and encourage him in his suffering, they may have been able to share in the LORD's reward for Job's faithfulness.

When we pray with and for each other, we are able to agree in petitions for our Savior's intercession to the Father. Sometimes we are so burdened by our circumstances that we cannot pray for ourselves, but joined as a collection (mass) of individual stones, we will stand strong against the enemy's schemes for the glory of our Redeemer.

O LORD, Your word is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from Your sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, help us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have One who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet He did not sin. Adonai, may we then approach Your throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:12-16 NIV) Amen

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