“I have prayed for you” Luke 22:32 (NIV)
Do you sometimes think that prayer is an unproductive exercise? Sometimes words are hard to come by and what you do say in prayer seems flat and useless. It can be very frustrating to have such a “dry” time in your spiritual life. Yet, many of us do go through experiences where we want to give up on prayer entirely.
It was the night of the betrayal when Jesus spoke the words of our text. He was preparing the disciples for His departure from them and seeking to have them understand that some hard days lay ahead of them. The twelve were oblivious to the difficulties that night and, instead of preparing themselves for the issues in front of them, argued among themselves who should be considered the greatest.
Jesus knew that all of the twelve were the object of Satan’s plan of attack and uses the plural when He says, “Satan has desired you.” But when Jesus speaks of His prayer the word “you”, though spoken in front of the twelve, is in the singular. Jesus spoke specifically of Peter when He said He prayed. What we learn from this statement of Jesus is that His prayers are tailored to the needs of the individual. There was not a vague request for help for Peter rather Jesus focused in on the specific issue of Satan desiring to tempt Peter that night.
What we may draw from this text for today is that Jesus prays for us in our own particular circumstances. He knows exactly what to ask for when you face the common challenges of life. If Jesus is the One who speaks for you in heaven you may be confident He understands exactly what is necessary for your particular situation.
Charles Wesley one of the church’s most prolific hymn writers puts it like this:
He ever lives above for me to intercede,
His all redeeming love, His precious blood to plead.
So Jesus did not ask the Father for Peter to be exempted from this very difficult trial. Instead Jesus asked that Peter’s faith would not fail under the stress of Satan’s attack. Peter was about to be stretched to the limit and stumble in the process. However, because of Jesus’ prayer, he would rise again and be better qualified to help others through their difficulties.
We see a remarkable example of Jesus praying for His followers in John 17. It is spoken on the night when Judas betrayed Jesus. As Jesus speaks of His followers and asks for numerous things for them, He mentions a number of characteristics of the disciples. It is fascinating to notice that everything Jesus said to the Father about His people is positive. There were many negative things Jesus might have said but He ignores them all. In spite of the various ways the disciples had, and were about to fail Him, He only describes them in encouraging ways.
Can you say that Jesus has prayed for you? Are you finding this thought very important and meaningful during your difficulties? Jesus is very willing to come to your assistance if you know your need of Him. Perhaps today is when you should come to Jesus and ask Him to pray for you. Ask Him to make you a child of God, a member of His church, and an heir of His kingdom. Seek him while He may be found and call out to Him when He is near.
If you know Jesus as your Saviour already take great comfort in the fact Jesus prays for you continuously. And what Jesus asks for, He gets! His prayers make things happen.