Prayer for Peter
“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift 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.” But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.” Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”
I was, earlier in my life, a lot like Simon Peter. I had it all figured out. If you had a question, I had the answer. If you needed a job done, I was the one to do it. In my eyes, I was “Practically perfect in every way!” Those were pretty tough years for my family, I think. They saw the areas of my life where I had glaring weaknesses, but I did not. My parents tried to warn me. My older sister pointed out my obvious shortcomings all the time! But I was never ready to listen. So, my parents prayed for me. They prayed that I would not be tested, and, they prayed that when I was tested, I would find God to be the faithful one, truly the One who is faithful and perfect in every way.
Peter could not see the truth about himself. When Jesus tried to point it out, he was unwilling to listen. So, Jesus did the one necessary thing. He prayed for him. He prayed that when all was said and done, and the rooster had crowed, that his faith in God would not fail, that he would turn back to Him!
What Jesus saw coming for Peter happened, just as he foretold. Peter was tested and he failed. We can only imagine the shame that overwhelmed him. I can relate to this sense of failure. We can, if we are honest, put ourselves in his shoes.
But our Lord is faithful. There is forgiveness for those of us who fail in the time of testing. There is work for us to do. Peter returned to the Lord, and God set him apart to do his work! He does that for us, too!
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