“But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers” –Luke 22:32–
THIS VERSE BLOWS. MY. MIND.
“But I have prayed for you, Simon”…. We talk about prayer and it’s importance. We naturally think of it as the words, uttered or unspoken, from us to God. Indeed it is primordial as the means by which God moves in our lives. But this verse deeply moves me because it unfolds for us the anticipated prayer of Christ for the believer.
“That your faith may not fail”… Jesus knew what Simon (also known as Peter) was about to do: Deny him. He also knew his faith would be tested and shaken more than ever before. And he knew Peter would not have the bodily presence of Jesus to comfort him, and Peter would find himself alone. So Jesus prayed for Peter… for his faith to stand. How awesome is that! God’s purpose for Peter was not not to spare him from suffering, but to cause his faith to be strengthened.
“And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers”… Jesus had FULL RESTORATION in mind, the kind that happens AFTER the failure! And His prayers never go unanswered. He didn’t say, if you turn back, but when. What comfort to know that He anticipates, even ordains trials and testing, but He does not leave us to face them alone. He prays for us, that the Father may equip us with all that we need to go through the trial and come out triumphantly on the other side. He prays for fruit in our lives as a result of it, not only for our sake, but for the sake of those around us.
I am so encouraged by this verse. Today, I need to know that the trial I face is: 1. God-sent, 2. Bathed in the prayers of Jesus on my behalf, 3. For the purpose of strengthening and growing my faith, and 4. For accomplishing His will in my life and in the lives of those around me.