Do you know that when you pray to Jesus, He also prays for you?
As a follower of Jesus, I pray to Him most of the time. I also ask others to pray for me. But today, in my study of Luke chapter 22, I learned that Jesus also prays for me. Here’s the story. For the past few months, I’ve been reading and studying the Gospel of Luke. My reading today was Luke 22:24-38. This is where Jesus is having the last supper with His disciples before the Passover Holiday. Passover is one of the most important religious holidays for the people of Israel as they commemorate the time when God freed them from Egyptian bondage. (See Exodus 12.)
During dinner, the disciples had a dispute about who was the greatest (Luke 22:24-27). Jesus washed the disciples’ feet to show them that to be great means to serve (John 13:3-10). Since this was the last supper before the crucifixion of Jesus, He spent good quality time with His disciples. He loved them and encouraged them to be prepared for the time when He would not be with them physically. Jesus saved the last, but the best, teachings for His beloved disciples. The apostle John shares more details on the words of Jesus during that last supper in John 13-17. Take note that these last teachings of Jesus were not given to the crowds but were reserved for His 12 disciples only. However, I believe these words are specifically for the followers of Jesus – both then and now – including us. Yes, you and me!
Then Jesus broke some bad news to Simon: “And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.” (Luke 22: 31)
Simon may have looked to the left, to the right, and at his back. Using my sanctified imagination, perhaps he said, “Me? Are you talking to me, Lord?”
“But he (Simon) said to Him, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.” (Luke 22:33)
But then Jesus gave Simon some good news: “But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” (Luke 22: 32)
Most of us know the rest of the story:
Then He (Jesus) said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me.” (v.34)
In this study, however, I’m not focusing on the failure and weakness of Peter. We all know that Peter denied Jesus – a big smashing failure! But again, my focus here is not on the humanity and failure of Peter, but on the love and care of Jesus for His followers.
Remember that Jesus assured and encouraged Peter: “But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail…”
Jesus loved Peter, despite his weakness, and prayed for Him. But not just for Peter – Jesus prayed for all His followers. At the ‘last supper,’ the apostle John recorded these words, the prayer of Jesus for His disciples:
-I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. (John 17:9)
– Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are. (John 17:11)
– I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. (John 17: 15)
-Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. (John 17:17)
Again, these prayers are for the followers of Jesus. He is praying for us! The writer of Hebrews also says:
“Therefore, He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” (Hebrews 7:25)
And even the Holy Spirit prays for us! The apostle Paul said:
“Likewise, the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” (Romans 8:26)
Jude, another follower of Jesus, said:
“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless. Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy…” (Jude 24)
I don’t know about you, but I’m very encouraged by these words. Jesus is praying and always interceding for His followers. Jesus is praying for me! No matter what the adversary and the evil ones do against the followers of Jesus, He has already covered us, just like He did for Simon Peter. No matter what happens, Jesus has hold of me, so there is no need for worry or fear. While we often think that we only pray to Jesus, Jesus is praying for us – with the full backup of the Holy Spirit and the love of our Father God.
Oh Lord Jesus, thank you for Your words and truth. Thank you for praying for me, interceding for me, holding me tight, and keeping me from falling. I love you Lord! Thank you for this assurance, that You won’t allow me to be given over to the adversary. Thank You, Jesus, for keeping me in the palm of your hand. Thank you for praying for me.