Luke 22:31–32 (ESV): 31 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, 32 but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”
Jesus knew how hard Satan was going to attack Peter. The devil was going to try to destroy, kill, and remove Peter’s faith. If successful Peter would lose his soul. Being sifted like wheat would take a process of tribulation. A crushing and grinding to powder. The devil was going to use all means to break Peter down.
It is evident in the hours of the trials of Jesus that Satan swayed Peter to deny Christ three times. Peter’s allegiance to the Lord waned drastically. His faith was tested and found lacking. Praise God that Jesus’s prayer was answered because Peter did turn back to love, obedience and devotion to Jesus. Look how much Peter did with his faith, he preached so powerfully that Jesus’s enemies jailed him and beat him and eventually killed him. Peter turned back to Christ and built up his brethren and continues to do so through his writing and preaching.
Don’t miss the beautiful sentence “Peter, I have prayed for you.” The Savior went to the Father in prayer on Peter’s behalf . Jesus knew that Peter needed God’s help to come back from his bout with Satan. Jesus knew the fickleness of Peter’s heart, he knew Peter’s desires were right but his spirit was weak and his faith was fragile. So Jesus went to His Father to seek special help for his friend.
Jesus does the same for us because we are very much like Peter. We have trials and the devil assaults us daily hoping to destroy our faith. Notice carefully, “Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25). Remember Jesus included you in His beautiful prayer recorded in John 17.
“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me” (John 17:20–21)
Rejoice in that spectacular news, Jesus prays for you. Right in the very throne room of God; He speaks on your behalf. Jesus yearns for you to be with Him in Heaven. He knows you will face the devil and that you need Divine help to overcome. So, He asks God for that help for you. Not only that, He also promised to be with us until the end of the world (Matthew 28:20). He sent the Holy Spirit to guide us, support us and strengthen us through the written word (John 14:16-18; 16:7-16).
Peter shows us that with Jesus’s help we will triumph over the devil. Though our faith may falter, we can come back even stronger than before. Let me encourage you to build yourself up in the most holy faith. Strengthen your faith by adding the graces Peter taught in (2 Peter 1:5-9). Run with patience (Hebrews 12:1). Be faithful unto death (Revelation 2:10). Lean on the many helps Jesus provides and you will live with God forever more.