The Keeping Prayer of Christ
April 18, 2021
 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat,  but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”  Peter said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.”  Jesus said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me.” (ESV)
Main Point: Christ’s Prayers Keep Us
“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
Peter and the others will temporarily succumb, but they will recover; what is more, far from thwarting the divine will, the events now unfolding are actually caught up in God’s intention.” Joel Green
Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.” Hebrews 7:25
“Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the One who died – more than that, who was raised – who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.” Romans 8:35
“Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” 1 Peter 5:9-11
- Recognize your weakness apart from Christ
- Humble yourself and look to Jesus
A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.
And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.
That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever. — Martin Luther
Questions For Discussion/Application (Care Groups):
- Re-read the text, Luke 22:31-34. What initial observations and insights do you have from reading this text?
- In verse 31, Jesus said to Peter, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat.” In the sermon, Jeremy said, “The emphasis on Satan’s desire to sift Peter suggests that Peter’s failure later that evening is due to something more than simply his own human frailty.” While Satan is not ultimately responsible for our sin (we are), he does tempt believers and seek to undermine their faith in God at every turn. Peter said later, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).” What does it look like/mean for us as believers to be “sober-minded” in the way Peter, inspired by the Holy Spirit, calls us to here?
- Jesus said to Peter, “I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail (vs.32).” Read also Hebrews 7:25 and Romans 8:35. How does it encourage and help you to know that Jesus is praying for you?
- Jesus said to Peter, “And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers (vs. 32).” How does it encourage you when you see that even though Peter failed miserably–He denied and forsook Christ!–God still went on to use him powerfully for His purposes?
- In what ways have you seen God’s own redeeming grace in your own life–God working good in you as the result of something difficult or painful or humbling that you had to walk through?
- Jeremy gave two points of application. The first was “Recognize your weakness apart from Christ.” The second was “Humble yourself and look to Jesus.” How can we grow in daily acknowledging our weakness and depending more fully on the Holy Spirit in our lives?
- Consider taking time to pray, asking God to help us to grow in living lives of humble dependence on Him.
Questions For Discussion/Application (parents with younger children):
- Re-read the text, Luke 22:31-34.
- This event took place on the evening of the day before Jesus was crucified. Peter the next day would deny Jesus three times.
- Summarize Peter’s failure: He was asked by a servant girl three times if he knew Christ and each time, Peter lied and said he did not.
- Jesus knew that he would do this. He also knew that the Enemy, Satan was very active in trying to pull Peter away from Christ.
- The good news is Jesus is way way stronger than Satan. He told Peter that he was praying for Him.
- While Peter did fail Jesus, God ultimately got Peter back on the right track and Peter went on to do great things for the Lord!
- Illustrate: Give an example for your own life of how you have failed, yet talk about how God ultimately has helped you.
- Ask: Have you ever failed in any way? How?
- Ask: How does it make you feel to know Jesus is praying for you, He is committed to you and wants to help you?
- Pray: Thank God that Jesus is praying for us. Ask God to fill us with His Spirit and help us to live for Him today and every day!