“But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail, and once you have recovered, you in your turn must strengthen your brothers.”
Jesus’ prayer for Peter is not that Peter will not fall but that once Peter has fallen, as Jesus knows he will, Peter’s faith not fail. Before Peter’s fall has even happened, Jesus already looks forward to Peter’s recovery from what was to Peter inconceivable beforehand, and afterwards might have seemed unforgivable. Sometimes we can become so overwhelmed by guilt that we cannot believe God will forgive us, and our own doubt threatens our faith more than the initial transgression, further separating us from God. But even when we cannot quite bring ourselves to believe, and especially then, we need to trust in God’s gracious love, revealed to us through the One “praying all the time for sinners” (Isaiah 53:12), looking forward to our recovery, and enabling us to carry out his commandment to strengthen our brothers and sisters.
LORD GOD, FROM THE TIME OF MOSES YOU HAVE REVEALED YOURSELF AS MERCIFUL AND GRACIOUS, SLOW TO ANGER, AND ABOUNDING IN STEADFAST LOVE AND FAITHFULNESS. THROUGH JESUS YOU HAVE CONFIRMED THESE TRAITS TO US. PLEASE STRENGTHEN OUR FAITH WHEN WE CANNOT FULLY BELIEVE IN THE ABUNDANCE OF YOUR LOVE, SO THAT WE IN TURN CAN STRENGTHEN ONE ANOTHER. AMEN.
-Shared by Kerrie Jara