Jesus' Prayer and Plan for Your Failures
“Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31-32, NLT)
Jesus is not surprised by your failures.
He says to Simon Peter in Luke 22:31-32, "Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers" (NLT). This very powerful verse teaches a lot about your failures.
Just as he did with Peter, Jesus knows every failure in your life before it happens. He won’t be surprised at the failures you’ll have this year or any bad decisions you’ll make far in the future. He already knows them. He knows the past, present, and future. He knows everything before it happens. That’s why he also prays for you before your failure happens.
Notice that Jesus says, "when you have repented and turned to me again." He doesn’t say “if.” Jesus already knows that you’ll recover from the sins, mistakes, and bad decisions that you're going to make in the future.
God already knows. And because he knows, he has already prayed for you. He has prayed not just for you to make it through but that you would repent from your sin and then—the last part of this verse—strengthen the other disciples.
Jesus wants you to help others as you learn from your mistakes. Part of God's dream for your life is to take the lessons of your mistakes and help somebody else.
The same four things Jesus says to Peter he is also saying to you: "I know every mistake you're going to make in life, and I've already prayed for them. Because of that, I know you're going to come back to me. Then, when you come back, I want you to help other people."
That's good news. It means that, ultimately, you can't destroy your life if you’ve given it to God, because he is going to work it all out. What a comfort!
Everyone has failures. But how you respond to failure can set you apart. As a follower of Jesus, repent of your sin; then encourage other believers in their faith, showing them how to be obedient to God’s Word.
Talk It Over
Even though Jesus knows ahead of time that you’re going to repent, why is the process of repentance still so important?
Does it comfort and encourage you to know that Jesus prays for you? Why or why not?
What failures to obey God do you need to repent of today? How will you use your experience of God’s grace to help others?
God offers second chances
No matter what you’ve done or where you’ve been, God offers you a second chance. He knows everything you’ve ever done wrong, every failure you’ve experienced, and he still loves you and cares for you.
He doesn’t expect you to earn your way into his good graces; we are saved by God’s gift of grace when we place our faith in his Son, Jesus Christ. If you are ready to accept God’s grace through Jesus, then pray this simple prayer:
"Dear God, I know I’m a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is your Son. I believe that he died for my sins and that you raised him to life. I want to trust him as my Savior and follow him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do your will. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”
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This devotional © 2022 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.