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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Lord, Pray for Me!

There  are two cases that come to my memory where Satan has asked God for permission to attack one of His servants. One is when God brings Job to mind. The other is when Jesus tells Peter that Satan has asked to "sift him like wheat." Both cases involved men who would be great witnesses for the Lord. Both of them had made life commitments to Him.

You would think that a commitment to God would guarantee God's protection, yet this is not what happens for either of these men. Job's family, possessions and health were taken from him. Peter was tempted to do what he considered the unthinkable-deny his Lord! This seems to be Satan's continuing tactics. He will either persecute or tempt God's most committed servants.

Satan did not force Peter to deny his Lord. He simply tempted him. Peter made the choice on his own. That is why Peter wept so bitterly when he realized what he had done. He knew his guilt.

Don't you find it interesting that Jesus told Peter of Satan's permission to attack him right before Peter said that he would give his life to Jesus? There had been a dispute among the disciples as to who was the greatest. They started this argument after Jesus told them that one of them would betray Him. Peter's name somehow rises to the top.

Jesus tells Peter of Satan's claim on him. Thankfully, it doesn't end there. Jesus says that He has prayed for Peter. He has asked that Peter's faith will not fail.

Peter would repent because of his faith. He would strengthen the other disciples and become the head of the Church from this faith. His faith got very small when he denied his Lord but it did not fail for it brought him back to where he needed to be.

I believe that Satan hasn't changed his tactics. He still stands before God asking permission to sift God's committed servants like wheat. I also believe that Jesus stands there too asking and receiving permission to grant the faith to those who are enduring Satan's attack.

Maybe the next time you are going through an especially difficult persecution or even the failure in a temptation you should say, "Lord, pray for me!" In this, you will agree with His prayer.

Jesus is asking that your faith not fail.

Luke 22:31-32 (NIV)
31 "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."

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