Sifted by Satan
“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers
In the evening just before His betrayal, capture, torture, and trial, Christ turned to Simon with these final words, encouraging him to remain strong. Of course, Peter boldly proclaimed that he would never deny Christ, but Christ knew better
Luke 22:33-34 Peter said, “Lord, I am ready to go to prison with you, and even to die with you.” But Jesus said, “Peter, let me tell you something. Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.”
Actually, Luke 22:31-32 is quite forceful. Christ claimed that Satan has “begged earnestly” (literal translation of “desired”), not just for Peter, but for all the disciples, as seen in the plural pronoun “you,” to “sift you like wheat.” Satan knew (as he still knows) that the fall of Christian leaders causes many others to fall, and if all of the disciples could be made to abandon the faith, the gospel could not be spread.
Christ turned specifically to Peter as the generally recognized spokesman for the disciples, and even though He knew Peter would fall, Christ informed him that he had been prayed for, that his “faith should not fail.” Indeed, Peter did turn around, once he saw the risen Lord, and became a leader in the fledgling church in Jerusalem, as well as a missionary. Through the witness of Peter and those he strengthened, the gospel has come to us.
Satan’s desire has not abated,to sift those who would spread the gospel and lead others. He knows the destruction it causes in the lives of those influenced by the one who falls. The “ripple effect” may last for years, and many weaker brothers and sisters may never recover. But take heart!
The One who prayed for Peter “He lives forever to intercede with God on our behalf.“.
Just as God answered Christ’s intercessory prayer for Peter, so He will answer Christ’s intercessory prayer for us.
Therefore he is able, once and forever, to savethose who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.
“I have revealed you to the ones you gave me from this world. They were always yours. You gave them to me, and they have kept your word.Now they know that everything I have is a gift from you, for I have passed on to them the message you gave me. They accepted it and know that I came from you, and they believe you sent me.
“My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you. All who are mine belong to you, and you have given them to me, so they bring me glory. Now I am departing from the world; they are staying in this world, but I am coming to you. Holy Father, you have given me your name;now protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are. During my time here, I protected them by the power of the name you gave me. I guarded them so that not one was lost, except the one headed for destruction, as the Scriptures foretold.
“Now I am coming to you. I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy. I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world.I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. They do not belong to this world any more than I do.Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth.
“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.
“I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one.I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began!
“O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know you, but I do; and these disciples know you sent me. I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them.”