31"Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. 32But 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)
For theology density it’s hard to beat this.
I have written about this (at greater length) before, but since I am sort of biding my time until I have to start preparing my Sunday School, I thought I’d discuss it briefly.
First, it points out how weak Satan is. He is not engaged in a struggle with God. If he were, we’d been in trouble, for a struggle implies that either side can win. Satan is powerful enough to do battle with us, but first he must get God’s permission. Satan acts only within the confines of God’s sovereignty. Don’t ignore Satan, but don’t credit him with more power than he has.
Secondly, Christ prays that Simon’s faith may not fail. Guess what. Simon’s faith fails. He denies Christ three times. Does this mean that God did not answer Christ’s prayer? I think it does, in the sense of what we usually mean when it comes to discussing answered prayer.
What do you think?