Tuesday, June 23, 2015

but I have prayed for thee

"And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren" (Luke 22:31-32)

When I read here this morning, I had just finished praying specifically for Grant and Titus. We're all living on a spiritual battlefield, but I feel like men and boys especially are under so much attack by Satan. In reading these verses today, I felt a powerful reminder of the opportunity and necessity we have to pray against those attacks. "Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee..." The "but" implies that if it were not for those prayers, Satan would indeed have him - and being sifted as wheat sounds awful.

Satan does not have good things in mind for us. But he is strong, and in order to be stronger, we need the Lord. It was interesting to me to read on, in the verses following, the conversation between Jesus and Peter. Jesus had just told Peter that any triumph or victory over the Devil was only because of His intercession on Peter's behalf. After that, Peter says, "Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death." To which Christ in his response essentially says, "Peter. In the next 24 hours alone, you are going to deny that you even know me. You are not ready, and you are not strong."

The threads of trust and temptation run deep throughout this chapter. Right after this conversation with Peter, Christ reminds the disciples: "And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing." In verse 40, when Christ prays for his cup to be removed, an angel is sent to strengthen him. The burden is lightened, the prayer answered.

We don't know the end of our prayers - the impact they have, the difference they will make in the life of someone else. But Christ called Peter to "strengthen thy brethren", almost as if to say - "pray for them as I have prayed for you... "that thy faith fail not."

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