Luke 22: (Jesus made a profound statement recorded in the gospel of Luke chapter 22). In verse 31 He said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you; that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”
Here are several observations. Jesus indicates that a conversation has taken place in the Heavenlies over the soul of Peter. In fact, the devil himself has asked permission to ‘sift’ Peter. (Similar conversation over Job in OT)
Jesus uses the analogy of ‘Sifting’ to describe the intentions of the enemy. Sifting was not a very gentle process. It involved threshing in which wheat would be placed on a hard floor and many times oxen would then be used to trample on the wheat in order to release the grain from the pods. The pile that was left after the threshing was then placed on a winnowing fan and forcefully thrown into the air.
The wind would blow away the chaff and the heavier kernels of grain would fall to the ground. Once this had taken place, the remaining grain would then be placed in what is called a sieve just before it would be put into sacks. This sieve covered with netting was then turned upside down and shaken violently. The grit and dirt fell through the netting until only the grain kernels remained.
Jesus prayed for Peter. But notice what he prayed for. He prayed that his ‘faith would not fail. Only in the sifting can that which is useless be separated from that which can be used. And one way for us to realize what we are made of is to be tested. You see, testing is not so much that God is trying to find out something, but that He is trying to show us something about us and Himself. While times of sifting are inevitable, we have the assurance that our Savior has prayed for us.
The term ‘you’ in verse 32 is plural in the Greek language. This indicates that not only did Jesus pray for Peter, but He has prayed for all of us who are His disciples. Jesus has petitioned the Father for the needed strength for us that we might endure to the end. Please notice that Jesus DID NOT pray that there would be NO sifting. Have a marvelous day, and whatever you are dealing with remember Jesus is praying for you!