Mar. 4, 2012
Luke 22: 31-34
(Jesus said), “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
But Peter replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.”
Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”
Who amongst us has not let someone down?
Peter has a unique person. Jesus sees great leadership qualities within him. He expects Peter to be a leader of this movement after he dies. But within a few hours of telling Jesus that he would go to prison or die with Jesus, he denies Jesus no less than three times.
This is the interesting part of this story. Jesus already knows Peter is going to do this. So Jesus tells Peter that he has already prayed for him. He’s forgiving him before the denial even happens. This is an ultimate friend.
I have the great honor of praying for and with many people every week. This is a great privilege. I don’t always have the right words to say. Sometimes I stutter as I pray.
Quite honestly, though, I’m selfish. There are times I want someone to pray for me. I’m sure there are people who pray for me regularly. But there is something about being prayed over or with. It puts me in a different frame of mind. It reminds me how important it is for me to pray with others.
Once a week, I experience this. Rick and I have developed a Sunday morning tradition. For many years, Rick and I drove separately to church. For the last several months, we ride together. After we are parked at church, Rick reaches over, grabs my hands and prays for me. He asks God to guide me as I lead worship. He prays for the people attending worship. He invites God to make worship meaningful. No matter how tired, unprepared or unsure I am, Rick’s prayers make me prayed over.
Jesus had already prayed that Peter’s faith would not fail him. I’m confident this prayer was instrumental in Peter keeping faith, despite his denial.
We do not always know if our prayers are effective. We do not always know if they made any difference. This is not prayer’s point. If you have ever felt upheld by prayer, I pray that this will encourage you to become a prayer warrior. If you desire to have someone pray over you, ask someone to do so. I’d be glad to do so because I know how special it feels when someone prays with and over you. Thank you Jesus, for modeling this for us.
Let us pray: Hear our prayer, O Lord. Hear our prayer, O Lord. Incline Your ear to us and grant us Thy peace. Amen.