When Satan “Prays” For You

One of the definitions of prayer is asking or making a request of God.  Using this as an extremely loose working definition, Satan does make requests of God… maybe not in the sense that we ask God for things… but it does happen none the less.  Consider for example what is found in Luke 22:31-32 when Satan “prayed” for Peter…

Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat,  32 but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.

There are a number of things to notice in these verses, the first of which is Satan’s attitude as he interacts with God.  It is not one of humility or respect (yet), but rather of arrogance and rebellion as we would well expect.  Jesus tells Simon Peter that Satan had “demanded” (A.K.A. “asked,” “requested,” and {In our very loose definition of prayer} “prayed for” {As in receiving}) to have Peter.  Likewise, there are most probably times the same thing still happens today regarding you and I.

Another thing to note is that the word “you” is not singular, but plural in Greek.  Satan was not JUST asking to sift Peter… but ALL the Apostles.  That is noteworthy!  Satan’s request of God was to go after ALL those Jesus’ followers.  Satan’s desire is to destroy the faith of all believers.  As Peter himself wrote, “Satan prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5).

A third point is inferred from what Jesus prayed.  Satan’s desire was not temporal or physical in nature so much as it was on the level of faith.  Satan wanted to test them for the purpose of causing their FAITH TO FAIL.  We know that because Jesus prayed for their faith NOT TO FAIL.

POINT: Satan doesn’t care so much about you having health or sickness… wealth or lack thereof… so much as his concern is to cause you to stumble in your FAITH.  If he can do that with sickness or health or wealth or poverty or, or, or, or… he’ll do it.  His goal is to destroy FAITH by whatever means necessary.  What I like is that Jesus’ prayer is effective and powerful over Satan’s demand.

Fourthly, Jesus prayed specifically for Peter’s faith NOT to fail.  Jesus probably prayed for all the Apostles, but for Peter specifically (It is singular in the Greek here).  The reason was that Peter needed to strengthen the rest who were tested after he was restored.

Indeed there is a spiritual war taking place that we cannot see with our human eyes (Ephesians 6).  The cosmic battle is waged in terms of spiritual actions (Prayer, faith, etc).  In order to be victorious we must use spiritual implements of war.

Satan does “pray” for us… but not in the terms we follow as Christians.  His “prayer” (Demand… request) is more for permission to attack so that our faith fails.  The thing he doesn’t get/know/understand is that God uses him as a pawn for our sanctification… holiness… and God’s glory.  This is known to be true because the Holy Spirit and Jesus pray for us according to God’s will… that our faith NOT fail but be conformed to Jesus’ image… which is found in Romans 8:29.

APPLICATION: Just like with Peter and Job (See Job Chapters 1 & 2), Satan wants to destroy your faith.  But he must have God’s permission to test you.  Not only that, Jesus prays for you so that IN the test your faith will not fail.  No matter how close to failing it may seem to you, God does not allow those who are His to fall away completely.  Not only that, God will still use you even though you fail… as Jesus affirmed with Peter in John 21:15-19…

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.”  16 He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.”  17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.  18  Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.”  19 (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.”

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One comment on “When Satan “Prays” For You

  1. Peggy Holder says:

    I have read those verses many times but have never realized the full impact of them. Thank you again for an eye opening blog. I plan to share this with some of my friends.

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