Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Week Twelve - But I Have Prayed For You

Jesus tells Simon Peter, "But I have prayed for thee." Just think about that statement! Jesus, the Redeemer, God incarnate, prayed for Peter. And not only that, He pleads for us. He is our advocate before the throne of God.

What prompted this comment by Jesus was the threat upon Peter's life from Satan himself.  "Simon, Simon," Jesus says, "behold Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat." Jesus didn't say, "Go and pray for yourself." That might be good advice, but that's not what Jesus said. He doesn't say, "I will keep you watchful so you can fight him off." Instead, Jesus assures Peter of His personal intervention through intercessory prayer. The full comment reads, "But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren."

Spurgeon says, "Little do we know of what we owe to our Saviour's prayers." I find it totally precious and personal that Jesus prayed for Peter, and I find it humbling and amazing to think He would be praying for me. How wonderful to think that Jesus' prayers held back any mischief Satan could have done in our lives.

Spurgeon again writes, "How we shall thank Him because He never held His peace, but day and night pointed to the wounds upon His hands, and carried our names upon His breastplate!"

Notice this. Even before Satan began to tempt Peter, Jesus had already entered a plea in heaven. "Mercy outruns malice." Jesus checked Satan even in his very desire and nipped it in the bud. He entered a counterplea to the heavenly court even before an accusation was made.

"O Jesus, what a comfort it is that You have pleaded our cause against our unseen enemies; countermined their mines, and unmasked their ambushes." (Spurgeon)

That brings me to the idea of intercessory prayer. We aren't omniscient like Jesus, but we can pray ahead of time, too. Satan comes to steal and destroy, but the prayers of God's people thwart his plans. Are you praying for your grandchildren? Not just for them as they are today, but for their future spouse and career? Are you pleading with the Lord for their salvation and sanctification? Are you praying for safety over those loved ones who are traveling or commuting? Are you praying for a hedge of protection around your pastor and your church? Satan desires to sift us all, but through intercessory prayer, we call God into future situations.

"I have prayed for you." Can you say that? Are you an intercessor for others?

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