“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
What an incredible moment of care and shepherding by Jesus! Living a personal prayer life, Jesus tunes into what is about to happen. But Jesus didn’t stop at praying personal prayers. He encouraged Peter by saying, I know you’re about to hit some hard times, and I want you to know before it happens, that I’ve already prayed for you.
This week, we study this concept: how Jesus loves through you. I believe praying for someone is one of the most powerful ways for them to experience Jesus’ love. Notice in this passage, Jesus already prayed for Peter in private. That is such a significant example for us as we seek to follow Jesus. Yes, He prayed in public for people to receive healing, deliverance, and resurrection, but just as often, He prayed for others in private.
We know this action of praying alone for others as intercession, and I believe through it, Jesus invites us to learn how to love as He loves. Jesus thought intentionally about Peter—about his strengths, weaknesses, purpose, and leadership. By praying, He strengthened Peter for the test that followed where Peter would deny Jesus before men. And although Peter’s faith shook at the events surrounding the arrest, crucifixion, and death of Jesus, the prayer of Jesus prevailed. Peter’s faith remained. Jesus rose from the grave and sought Peter out to restore him to lead, and Peter received Christ’s grace to fulfill that role.