“…Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail…”–Luke 22:31-32
The Old and New Testament both show the devil asking God for permission to torment and tempt believers with the purpose of wrecking their spiritual lives. Job is an example in the Old, and Peter in the new.
In the above Scripture, Jesus is concerned with Peter’s walk. This is remarkable considering that Jesus is only a few hours away from being killed Himself. “Peter, I’m about to be crucified, and Satan wants to crush you as well. But I have prayed for you and that is going to make all the difference!”
I recently heard Bishop Tommy McGee share a powerful devotion on this Scripture. He had heard a message years ago in Bible College that impacted his life and relayed the speaker’s thoughts. I am sure that I will remember this for years to come:
“Peter, Satan has prayed for you, but I have outprayed him!”
We don’t think of Satan as praying, but that is exactly what happened. He asked God to grant his request concerning Peter, and God granted it. But this was not the end of the subject. Jesus also prayed for Peter, and His prayer was one that would bring Peter back from defeat to a place of forgiveness and Kingdom fitness. Jesus outprayed the devil!
He always will. Hebrews 7:25 says He always lives to make intercession for us. What a comfort and a challenge. Peter needed the Lord’s prayer, and you and I need prayer as well. I would like to apply this truth in two ways:
- If you and I are making a difference in the Kingdom of God, there is no doubt that Satan desires to take us out as well. But Jesus is interceding for us, and He will always outpray the devil!
- There are many people who are targeted by the devil, some of them not even following Christ yet. Each needs someone praying for them. Led by the same Spirit that Jesus followed, you and I can outpray the devil in their lives.
Take comfort my friend. Jesus is praying hard for you. And take up the challenge: pray hard for others.