Luke 22:31 – 32, “……. Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat; But I have prayed for you, that your faith fail not. And when you are converted, strengthen the brethren.”
You would think that after spending 3 years with Jesus, Peter would have already been converted…. but there are LOTS of people in his position, they have attended church for decades, taken communion, lived a “good Christian life” (done many good works of charity to neighbors) and yet they are not converted …. how is this possible ?
Maybe the way of salvation has never been explained to them in a way that they could understand…. or like the Jews, a veil was over their hearts so that they just “did not get it”….. the fact remains, people can do all sorts of pious “works”, sing all sorts of inspiring hymns and pray all sorts of “deep spiritual” prayers and still…. “not get it”…. AMAZING !
Next we see that Jesus PRAYED for him…. are we praying for our loved ones also ? …. we all have unsaved relatives (and others we cannot be sure about)…. and many have nobody praying for them…. in some cases we have “given up” on our relatives… it’s so easy to say, “I have done the best I could” and stop praying for them…. thinking they are stubborn, or they deserve what they get or they are a “waste of time”…. but practically…. we cannot pray for everybody we know continuously, it would take too long… OUR TIME DOES NOT ALLOW us to do this…. so what we SHOULD be doing is asking God to bring into our minds who HE wants us to pray for… this is why I avoid long written “prayer lists”… and besides, when you pray down a list like that, it’s easy to just “mouth off” words without deep feeling behind it…. the longer the list, the quicker we “rattle it off” trying to get to end in the allotted time (it’s a real challenge)… my suggestion is to ask the Holy Spirit who He wants you to pray for each day and then pray for those who “pop” into your mind.
Finally, Jesus said he was to strengthen the brethren…. this is the duty of all who are converted… we are not just saved to enjoy our own lives… we have duty to those around us and the other church members… many times, some church members may “resent” our “attention” to their “spiritual welfare”… and we must NOT come across as “super spiritual” or “better than them”…. only the Holy Spirit can give you the needed love and the correct approach to various people, but it takes TIME…. your time…. and we all should be praying about the use of our time and be willing to be led by the Holy Spirit in this area…. the importance is “willingness to be led” and this is self-sacrifice because we can always find “something else that we would rather be doing”.
Prayer for Today:
Loving Heavenly Father, time is all we have…. and there never seems to be enough time… help us to be sensitive to Your priorities and give us faith to believe that we will still get our affairs completed (while attending to Your Will) …. and what ends up getting “left out” does not matter anyhow…. Amen