“The Lord said, ‘Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail’” (Luke 22:31-32).
Jesus had foreseen the sifting that was coming to Peter and he would not stop it because the process was necessary. But Jesus quickly added, “I have prayed for you.” “I have prayed for you” not “I will pray for you.” He had probably already spent hours with the Father talking about Peter — how he loved him, how needed he was in God’s kingdom, how he valued him as a friend. When Jesus said he was praying for him, he was speaking not only to Peter, but to all the disciples — and to us today.
Jesus knew all too well the fierceness of the powers of evil and how Satan sifts the Lord’s followers. None of us can understand the great conflict raging right now in the spirit realm against saints who have fixed their hearts firmly on going all the way with Christ.
In your Christian walk, there comes a moment you cross the line into a life of obedience and dependence on Jesus, determined in your heart never to go back. When this happens, you become a threat to the kingdom of darkness and, thus, a target of principalities and powers. The testimony of every believer who turns to the Lord with all his heart, hungering after holiness and a deeper walk with Jesus, includes the sudden breaking forth of intense trials!
“Jesus … lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said … ‘I pray for them … Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me … I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one’” (John 17:9, 11, 15).
If you are sold out for God — reading his Word, spending time with him, loving lost souls — no matter what you’re going through or what lies ahead of you, Jesus is praying for you. What a wonderful comfort this is to every child of God.