At first, I wish Jesus had prayed differently.
I wish He’d prayed not that your faith wouldn’t fail, but that you wouldn’t.
“Simon, Simon, listen!
Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your own faith may not fail;
and you, when once you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:31-32
I wish He’d prayed that you wouldn’t fail. That I wouldn’t. I’d like to maintain my comfortable perspective of myself as someone who has it together.
But. . . Simon? Wasn’t your place of greatest failure where your faith in God grew most? Where it shifted from faith in what you could do to faith in what He could?
Wasn’t it there that you learned how small you were and how big God is, and that the messes which filled your whole person with shame couldn’t derail the divine plan?
Wasn’t it there that you experienced the grace that stood waiting to welcome you back to His table, to encourage you to speak again the love that He knew was in you, to trust you once more with the care of His beloved (John 21)?
It’s not that He wants us to fail. It’s just that He knows sometimes we will. And He wants us to know He’s strong enough to handle it when we do. And that our loved-ness is unrelated to our ability to manage life the way we think we ought.
He is giving us the freedom to try.
Something crazy is happening in me: there’s a gladness creeping in that Jesus prayed the way He did. I don’t like failure. But I like not having to fear it.