Read Matthew 16:21-23.
As I read through this passage, I was reminded of the impact it had on me in previous years and the considerations it presents for our prayer lives.
The time had come for Jesus to reveal the difficult truth of His upcoming suffering and death. Before this time Jesus hadn’t shared this because it was going to be hard to hear. Even when Jesus did share about His death, Peter took Jesus aside and began to chide Him, “Heaven shield You, my Lord! This must never be Your lot!” (Williams Translation) Peter was quick to respond in order to defend Jesus and protect Him from trouble. In our lives we too can receive news that negatively affects one of our friends or family. We are tempted to respond like Peter so that people don’t have to suffer.
But Jesus said to Peter, “Get out of My way, you Satan! You are a hindrance to Me, for this view of yours is not from God but from men.” Jesus had a severe response to Peter because Peter’s prayer was seen as a stumbling block to Jesus. It was a hindrance to His assignment from the Father to suffer and die for the sake of all mankind.
Those of us who pray for others can learn from this example in the Word. Let’s take the time to look unto the Lord and find the direction He wants us to pray for our friends. We don’t want to express the view of man instead of the view of God and to be a stumbling block for the work of God in their lives. Instead, let’s be those that empower one another to be able to yield to God and come through the trials of life with victory and purpose just as our Beloved Savior did. Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane needed His friends to watch with Him, and to support Him in the very difficult task at hand. Let us do the same for those for whom we pray.
Prayer: We thank You, Heavenly Father, that we are given a place to stand in the gap before Your Throne on behalf of those we love and those that are called according to Your purposes.