Have you ever disowned someone you loved, someone only months before you would fight for? I have. I could write story after story about broken relationships—things you would relate to—but I will spare you those narratives. There is another point-of interest that captures my attention, an area of prayer where I am growing.
Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly. —Luke 22:60-62
At the end of every year I review my relationships, particularly those with people I consider friends. Several years ago, I discovered that I had developed a particular pattern with a “person”. Each year, this “person” would change, but every year I would meet someone during the same part of the year. We would be close from the jump as if we had known each other before, but by the year’s end we would not speak. Isn’t that strange? How could you be so close and within twelve months be so far apart?
Once I realized that this happened year-after-year, I began to spot this “person”. This awareness helped me in that at the end of the year I would note the situation causing the breakdown, but because I knew it would happen I was prepared for its occurrence. The emotional sting I felt in preceding years was no longer there. I simply moved on, never considering that that person would care enough to mourn. Now, I am reconsidering my stance. (Pray for me.)
The reality of life is, no one is perfect. People will make mistakes straining relationships with even their closest loved ones. I have made mistakes. You have made mistakes. We all have made them. This understanding, however, leads me to my point of reconsideration. Jesus knew Peter would betray Him and therefore prayed for him.
“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” —Luke 22:31-32
Admittedly, there were many years when I identified this “person” and failed to pray over our relationships. (Note, to pray for the “person” is different than praying over the “relationship”. Both are necessary.) This pains me really, but I thank God for growth. I first had to learn to pay attention to divine relationships. Then, I needed to understand how vital it is to constantly pray over them. We have work to do! In truth, nobody is happy about divine relationships being damaged but Satan. Ah, but I have found the blessing in knowing betrayal from a known place so I will do better. Will you?