“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:31-32.
“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:26-28.
“In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:13-14.
Shortly after recovering from a pneumonia that brought me near to death last year and also receiving word that I still faced open heart surgery I entered a period of spiritual warfare that I have discussed elsewhere in these pages. At my lowest I was in a dark place, with my shield of faith lowered and the wicked one’s fiery missiles beginning to find their mark (Ephesians 6:16). Just then, God gave me several verses which caused me to raise my shield anew and recover from the spiritual depression I was in.
The first and most important verse was Luke 22:31-32, given one night in the hospital as I was struggling with oppressive thoughts of death and the uncertain future of my health. It came to my mind out of nowhere and instantly extinguished the missiles of the enemy. Right after, the Romans verse came to mind and I remembered that, like Peter, the only way my faith did not fail was that the Spirit was praying for me, constantly interceding so my weak faith would not fail. In fact, the only way I can stand any day of my life is God praying for me, otherwise Satan would sift me like wheat.
I had not thought about these verses in a while nor had access to a Bible at the time I received them but God graciously brought the verses to memory just when I needed them. God continued to give me wonderful verses in the days following and soon the dark time passed and today I have good health (everything did work together for good) but I have often remembered these two verses since.
It has become a great comfort to me to know that my ability to stand is entirely in His hands and not in my weak nature. Satan demands of God to have me and every Christian for that matter, and absent God he would have us to sift. But we can rest in the fact that we are sealed with the Holy Spirit as the guarantee of our future inheritance and in the meantime He is constantly interceding for us to help us stand. Praise God!