“Simon, Simon, pay attention! Satan has demanded to have you all in order to sift you like wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. When you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:31–32.
Jesus is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Hebrews 7:25
Of all the original apostles, Simon Peter is probably the most memorable. He was energetic, eager, earnest, extravagant, engaging. When his younger brother, Andrew, recruited him to begin following Jesus, he responded with wholehearted enthusiasm. When Jesus chose apostles from his band of disciples, he chose Peter first. But Peter was also a man of his times who had preconceived ideas about what he expected to happen as Jesus proclaimed the arrival of the Kingdom of God. So, he responded inappropriately to Jesus’ leadership at times, and Jesus had to correct him, especially when he opposed Jesus’ determination to let the religious leaders in Jerusalem kill him. In spite of his erratic faith, Peter remained committed to Jesus, confessing aloud that Jesus was “the Messiah, the Son of the living God,” and that only he had “the words of eternal life.” To whom else would he go? Mercifully, Jesus accommodated Peter’s weakness, as he does ours. Even though he knew Peter would fail him in a moment of great stress, he told Peter that he had already prayed for the restoration and renewal of his faith. Furthermore, he assigned Peter a significant ministry, confident that his prayer to get Peter back on track would be answered. However, Peter did not recover overnight. Jesus had to reiterate his instructions: “Care for and feed my sheep.” Eventually, he did. As we observe the outcome of Peter’s life, we learn that faltering in faith is not the same as failing. Because the Father will also answer Jesus’ faithful prayer for us, we too can anticipate being successful in the ministry he has in mind for us.
Lord Jesus, thank your Spirit who knows the greatness of my need and for your effective intercession on my behalf.