“And the Lord said, 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: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” Luke 22:31-32
Prayer plays a major role in our Christian living. Jesus during His days told the disciples that Christianity is practical and the practical aspect of it cannot be achieved without prayer.
At the beginning of His ministry He took prayer seriously. At His baptism in Luke 3:21, the bible says He was praying.
“Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened” Luke 3:21
After baptism He went for 40 days fasting and prayer in the wilderness. There are other biblical passages where Jesus was aggressive in prayer. In Matthew 6, He also taught His disciples how to pray.
“And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen”. M’t:6: 5 – 13
In Luke 18:1, He told them prayer is compulsory.
And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:
And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.
And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, though I fear not God, nor regard man;
Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.
And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.
And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? Luke 18:1 – 8
In Matthew 26, He went to Gethsemane to pray. In John 17 the bible shows how He was passionately praying for believers.
In this passage Luke 22, after the Lord’s Supper, Jesus opened the eyes of the disciples to the challenges they will face in faith walk. So He faced a man who was supposed to be their leader: Peter.
Peter was an out spoken man. A man who will always want to experiment everything Jesus says.
He was the one who spoke to Jesus that we have toiled all the night but by your word.
“And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.” Luke 5:5
He was the one who told Jesus when he saw Him walking on water that if you are the one command me to come.
And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. Matthew 14:28.
He was the one who answer Jesus in Matthew 16:16 that you are Christ the son of God.
“And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16:16
He was the one who said in Luke 9:33 on the mount of transfiguration that let us build three tabernacles, one for you, one for Moses and the other one for Elijah.
“And it came to pass, as they departed from him, Peter said unto Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias: not knowing what he said.” Luke 9;33
Jesus called him rock
“And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone. John: 1:42:
Peter was influential among the disciples. This same Peter was the target of Satan because Satan knows if he get him, he will get more people.
Peter in his human capability would not be able to withstand the challenges ahead but for the prayer of Jesus. Peter was saved by the prayer of Jesus.
Peter was a man who enjoyed the prayer of others
Jesus prayed for him against destruction
“But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” Luke 22: 32
The Church prayed for him against death
“Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him”. Act:12:5:
Today Christians are attacked everywhere. Strong men are falling on daily basis just like David said in 2 Sam.1:27, how are the mighty men falling.
“How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished!” 2Sam:1:27
Paul in 1 Cor. 10:12 said he that thinks he stand should take heed lest he fall.
“Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall”. 1Co:10:12:
Peter, out of his wealth of experience said in 1 Pet. 5:8 be sober, and be vigilant…
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” 1Pe:5:8:
The only saving grace to face the challenges of Christian faith is the prayer of brethren. James 5:16,
“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much”.
The church needs to go back to the ministry of praying for one another so that we can stand in the evil days.
Samuel told the Israelites that it’s his duty to pray for them ant it’s a sin if he doesn’t do it.
“Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way.”1Sam.12:23.
Apostle Paul encourage Timothy to pray for all men including those who are in authority.
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;1Tm:2:1-3.
He also encourage the Church of Ephesus to pray for all saints
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;Eph. 6:18
Praying for one another is a vital aspect of Christian living. It encourages the unity of brethren. It enhances effective prayer life. It helps to build one another’s spiritual life. It gives room for the supernatural acts of God. It is an obedience to God’s command.
So, pray for others as much as you pray for yourself.