BUT I HAVE PRAYED FOR THEE, THAT THY FAITH FAIL NOT: AND WHEN THOU ART CONVERTED, STRENGTHEN THY BRETHREN. LUKE 22:32
That prayer which the LORD taught to HIS disciples in Matthew 6:9-
The LORD's prayer is mentioned here in the passage before us. (see Luke 22:32) HE revealed that HE had prayed for Peter. At the time that the LORD told him this, Peter probably thought such a prayer to be unnecessary and something of an oddity, because he was still imagining in his own mind how strong he would be in the face of any adversity which might arise out of his discipleship.(see Luke 22:33) But, Oh the glorious thought that must have entered Peter's mind sometime later as HE contemplated the mercy of this statement. Something ultimately took place in Peter which he could neither produce nor foresee. He was "converted".
Much is often made of this word "convert" and many go to great lengths to try to define it as some experience or happening which takes place once in a person's life never again to be repeated. It has become synonymous with the word "saved" in the current religious vernacular. It is often viewed as a "possession" which one can take charge of. I have heard some speak of their "conversion" as if that was the ultimate benefit for the children of GOD. Yet it appears that what the LORD was describing here to Peter was not the first nor only work of GOD in him. The LORD had already told Peter that the confession that he had made saying "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." (Mat 16:16) was the evidence of divine revelation and not the understanding of the flesh.
The greek word "epistrepho" translated here as "converted" appears in the scriptures 39 times and is translated "turn, turn about, return,, or turn again" 29 times. Conversion seems to be somewhat synonymous with repentance which is a constant work that is taking place in the children of GOD because of the presence of the SPIRIT of GOD in them. Peter was evidently quickened by the SPIRIT and taught who CHRIST was but was yet in need of greater correction. The LORD chastens those whom HE loves and never has the rod of HIS correction been felt any keener than when Peter recalled the words of the LORD as the cock crew and he wept bitterly. (see Luke 22:60-
Paul said, "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." (Phi 3:13-
All of this takes place because the LORD has "prayed for us". HE said "I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth." (John 17:14-
Oh the glory of it! JESUS CHRIST has prayed for us, HE who set the moon and stars in place and stretches out the heavens like a curtain has interceded in our behalf as a MAN taking upon HIMSELF our sin and guilt. Even more glorious is the fact that HE presently, in the current hour, ever lives to make intercession for HIS own in the very court of heaven. But this "intercession" is not carried out with groanings and the utterance of words, but by the very fact that HE is present at HIS FATHER's right hand. As Wesley wrote:
Five bleeding wounds HE bears, received on Calvary,
They pour effectual prayers, they strongly plead for me.
Forgive him Oh forgive they cry, Forgive him Oh forgive they cry.
Nor let that ransomed sinner, die.