“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.”
Luke 22:31-32 (NIV)
Today I arranged for a prayer request to be sent to the members of my church. I asked the church to pray for someone who is suffering in several ways. Numerous times a week I receive prayer requests for different people in various churches.
It is one of our responsibilities as members of Christ’s church to pray for each other. In James 5:16 (NIV) it reads:
“Therefore confess your sins to each other
and pray for each other so that you may be healed.
The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
How comforting it is to know that other believers are bearing our burdens in prayer. Some Christians have a special ministry of prayer. Often such individuals are not able to be out and about as most of us are. In the quietness of their own suffering they enter the holy place of prayer and spend considerable time interceding.
However, for the person who is too weary to pray for themselves, there is also great comfort in the thought that Jesus offers prayer daily for His own people. Charles Wesley writing long ago put it well when he wrote of the Lord Jesus:
He ever lives above for me to intercede
His all redeeming love, His precious blood to plead
Our verse today is an example of how Jesus pleads with the Father on behalf of tempted Christians here in this world. Although Satan is limited in his evil work by the will of God (see Job 1-2), we still need strength for the trials that do come our way.
Here in this verse Jesus wants Peter to remember in temptation’s dark hour that his beloved Master has prayed for him to be rescued and gain victory over the evil one we call Satan.
In the lonely time when trials are coming at us so quickly they take our breath away, remember that the good Shepherd is always representing us before His Father in heaven and brings a comfort and help that the world cannot understand. Always remember Jesus prays.