Each Friday my writing stems from a word prompt. Five minutes, one word prompt. The prompt this week is … Back.
Upon seeing the word prompt, definitions quickly come to mind … returning back to; coming back to; going back to. All carry the connotation of going to a place where one has been before.
It also brings images of restoration.
“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31-32, NIV)
Gentle Dr. Luke, who hardly ever mentioned the failures of others, reminds us of the words of Jesus and the failure of Peter, not to emphasize the failure but the prayer of Jesus.
Jesus told Peter he would falter, would deny Him. But more so, Jesus told Peter, He Himself was praying for Peter.
Jesus prayed for Peter to be found faithful in the end.
Jesus told Peter what would happen after he had failed – He would turn back.
Peter would remember his relationship with Jesus, and his band of brothers, and he would return stronger in his faith. Peter would encourage the others to grow in their faith during the times of hardship and persecution which would come.
And Jesus also prayed for every believer who was yet to come …
“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message.” (John 17:20, NLT)
Jesus prayed for His people,
and in turning back,
may we also strengthen others.