31 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, 32 but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” 33 Peter said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.” 34 Jesus said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me.”
What does it mean for Jesus to pray for you? Both Romans and Hebrews speak of Jesus at the right hand of the Father interceding for us, so what does that mean? Does it mean that we will not have any trials or tribulations? Does it mean we will never falter or fail? This brief conversation and the ensuing events reveal to us what the intercession of Jesus does for Peter and in the same manner what it does for us. Here Jesus is telling Peter that Satan has demanded to have him, that he might sift him like wheat. In essence Satan wanted to destroy the faith of Peter forever. Jesus explains that he has prayed for Peter that his faith would not fail. Notice that Jesus did not deny Satan the opportunity to sift Peter, nor did Jesus say that Peter wouldn’t falter in his faith; in fact, Jesus tells Peter outright that he will falter; he will deny Jesus three times that very night. So one thing we can learn from this conversation is that Jesus is not praying that we have no trials in our life, he is not praying to keep Satan or his demons out of our life, he is not praying that we have perfect and wonderful lives. What it does teach us is that if Jesus was not praying for us daily, moment by moment, that not only would we falter, we would fail in our faith. Peter’s faith would have failed and we would never had heard from him again, but Jesus prayed and preserved his faith, and kept him as one of his own. This is what the intercession of Jesus does for us also. Every one of us would turn our backs on Jesus in a moment forever because we have sinful, rebellious hearts, but Jesus prays for us and keeps us in the faith, he preserves us in him because of his great grace. So then the reason you and I don’t leave him, the reason we don’t run from him, the reason we don’t reject him is solely due to the fact that Jesus is at the right hand of the Father interceding for us. I don’t know about you, but I find great comfort in this thought because I would never make it on my own. I know the sinfulness of my heart and it brings me great assurance knowing that Christ is praying to keep me and my faith will not fail. How about you?