A Brief Meditation for the Month

September 2019

The Son of God, being God the eternal Son, heard and answered the prayers of his needy people again and again, yet during his earthly sojourn as a man, he was heard as he himself prayed. He who was the prayer answerer became the petitioner. It is recorded of him; “Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears…was heard,” Hebrews 5:7. It is evident from the gospels that the Saviour spent much time in private prayer, in addition to his public prayers, which have been recorded for our edification. On one occasion his disciples were so impressed with the manner of his praying that one of them requested that he would teach them to pray, Luke 11:1. We might well imagine to ourselves that it would have been a remarkable experience to be present and witness the Son of God addressing his Father in heaven, but how exceedingly remarkable to hear from the lips of that same blessed person, the words, “I have prayed for thee.” These were the words of the Saviour addressed to his disciple, Simon Peter. (Luke 22:32)

When Satan had evil designs upon Peter, intending to cause him to stumble and deny his Saviour, Jesus knew about it before it happened. Although Peter was totally ignorant of the satanic intentions, and of the personal grief he was going to experience following his fall, the great shepherd, the Lord Jesus, was aware of those intentions and took care of him. How instructive to listen to the Saviour speaking: “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not.” Peter was not praying for himself, since he was unaware of his danger and vulnerability, yet Jesus knew what was going to happen. The Saviour however did not pray against Satan, but for Peter. He who is the “Alpha and the Omega,” knowing the end from the beginning, knew the best way to pray and the correct thing to pray for. He knew that Peter would in the end, learn and benefit from his fall, and thus he did not prevent it, but prayed that Peter’s faith would not fail as a result of Satan’s strategy. We know of course from the gospel record and from Peter’s later ministry, that the Saviour’s prayer on his behalf, was heard and answered.

Simon Peter was in a certain sense a special case, yet we should never imagine that we are not of such concern to the Lord Jesus. The fact is, that every child of God has reason to believe that the words spoken to Peter are just as applicable to themselves. There is not one individual among his believing people, however insignificant they may feel themselves to be, for whom the Saviour does not pray. How different we would feel in our response to many scenarios and circumstances in our experiences, if we listened to Peter’s intercessor, saying to ourselves, “But I have prayed for thee.” No prayer could be more personalized. To have our personal case presented in heaven by the Saviour, is truly wonderful. However undeserving and unworthy the Lord’s people often think they are, Peter was directed to write to them, “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” (1Peter 5:7) If you are one of the Lord’s dear ones who is downcast or discouraged, then listen to your Saviour who loves you, who shed his blood for you, who truly cares for you; “I have prayed for thee.” Remember the Saviour’s concentrated prayer was for Peter as an individual. If you are his child, the same Saviour prays for you with the same earnestness.

G. G. Hutton.