Thoughts and insights about prayer

This blog is for me to publish my thoughts, expereinces and insights regarding prayer from a Christian perspective and from the Scriptures

Location: Tahmoor, Wollondilly Shire / NSW, Australia

I'm 41 years old, married to Rose and have 5 boys, 3 whom are step sons. I love God, love people as well as all creation. This is where I post my thoughts,aspirations, activities and any other quirky thing that catches my interest.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Being sifted like wheat

G’day all I have been thinking about the difficulties we have as Christians, the times we seem to be constantly under spiritual attack and it seems that no matter what we do, our courage fails us right at the time it is crucial that it does not. How often does it seem that we hear the voice of God in what ever way it is that he is talking to us, and yet we don’t do as he has told us, instead we do exactly the opposite.

Peter the Apostle knew all about this, Luke records the warning, exhortation and encouragement of the exchange between both Jesus and Peter.

Luk 22:31 "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you[1] as wheat.
Luk 22:32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."
Luk 22:33 But he replied, "Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death."
Luk 22:34 Jesus answered, "I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me."

We read here that Satan has asked to sift Peter, and Jesus has said that he will do so; we know that God has given Satan permission to do so. Have you ever watched wheat sifted? A normal sieve was round about 30 – 40 cm across with sides about 100 mm – 150mm high, and a fine mesh type bottom, some sieves were bigger made of a mesh type material, about the size of a blanket and took two people to operate.

What happens is that you put the harvested wheat with the stalk etc into it and throw it up and down, shaking it, tossing it, so that the wheat is separated from the rest of the plant, and ready for use, either for storage, sowing or grinding into flour. The sifting process is a much-needed process for the grain to be any use.

So we see here that Jesus is telling Peter and not only is he talking about Peter here, he is also talking in a plural sense meaning the rest of the disciples, that he and the other disciples are going to be sifted, to be thrown about, that they will be going through some tough times, but not to worry, he has prayed for Peter and the rest of the disciples and we see this happening in John 21:15-17.

So Jesus tells us that he has prayed their faith will not fail them, that they will turn back, and in doing so strengthen many, Peter of course argues against this saying not me, and yet Jesus says, it will be you as well, and this is how it will pan out, and so the story goes and we know that indeed all the disciples bar John deserted Jesus and after the resurrection Jesus also reinstates them all, especially Peter.

How often have we been in the shoes of Peter and the other disciples, our boldness and confidence fleeing from us, we being shaken and tossed and turned in our faith, maybe not quite walking away and totally deserting our Lord denying him like Peter did, none the less our faith and walk with the Lord has been through a bit of a shaking, perhaps we have been through a dark night or season of the soul, where we know our walk with the Lord is perhaps not OK, we find the going tough, to witness to others we lack the wisdom and boldness to do so, our prayer life lacks the dynamic it once had and we wonder in the deeper recesses of our inner being if we will ever recover that dynamic again, we go to pray and we get easily distracted, or we go through the motions, not enjoying our reading of the word, that is if we do read it, going through the motions of our prayer life, and if we do pray, we can’t wait for them to be over and done with, as if we are scoring points for being so dutiful.

Perhaps you don’t know what it is I’m talking about, then for you, perhaps the time will come for you to experience it, perhaps you have gone through that and come out the other side a bit worse and wiser for the experience, and perhaps you are in the middle of such an experience right at this very moment.

If this is you, and I am talking from personal, experience of this in having personally come through it myself, then I want to encourage you with,

1Co 10:13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

Just like Peter was sifted by satan, we to are liable to being sifted by satan in all his subtle and not so subtle ways, and just as Peter was told by Jesus that he would fail, he was also told that his faith would not totally fail him, that he would bounce back and strengthen others.

What ever it is we are facing right now at this very moment, God will not allow us to face more than what we bear and he will also provide a way out, under the shadow of his wings.

Father God, I lift us all up to you tonight, individuals families and friends. Lord I ask that those who are going through the trials of being sifted that you will strengthen them, help them to both know and to see that there is light at the end of the tunnel, that you are providing a way out for them, that you will deliver them from all the shaking of the evil one. For those who have come out of such an experience I ask that you will continue to help us to walk with you in joy, in peace, in strength, in the fullness of your spirit, and for those who have not yet been through the sifting process that indeed you will prepare them for such an event if it is to be your will for them to do so, I ask that none of us will ever fall away, to deny our Lord, that we will all grow from strength to strength, faith to faith, in the power of your spirit I ask that you will do this Jesus, shielding us from the power of the evil one.

Blessings all, craig


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have often wondered what "sifted" was in our reality.
I suspect I encountered it.
For some 10 years.
I am 'suddenly" stronger, wiser, and affirm that the LOVE of jesus is what our walk is to radiate. Blessings, Bob

12:06 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have often wondered what "sifted" was in our reality.
I suspect I encountered it.
For some 10 years.
I am 'suddenly" stronger, wiser, and affirm that the LOVE of jesus is what our walk is to radiate. Blessings, Bob

12:07 pm  
Anonymous Michelle said...

Thank you for your words. Right from the Word and straight to the heart. God bless you 100 fold for all you do.

5:29 am  
Anonymous man of Jesus said...

I hope this helps some people that are going through the sifting process and don't even know it. Especially some Pastors who are thinking of throwing in the towel.

Don't. "You have got to much Jesus in you to do that." That's what He told me when I tried to backslide. This year I made some tremendous mistakes that would have caused me to back slide. I believe just as Jesus prayed for Peter in Luke 22:31-34. Jesus has been praying for us. He is probably been praying for you. For those of you are ready to go back to Egypt. Read 1John 4:4 and Pslam 27 You will find it very difficult to back slide when you meditate on this. Just begin to praise the Lord and thanking that He loves you enough to put you through the Siffting process. You will fail yes but you won't lose your faith Amen

Bob from Milton ON Canada

4:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps satan was wanting to take the sifting process to the point of making flour out of Peter. At this point the wheat would be reduced to a state where it would no longer be able to reproduce. It would be dead. But Jesus told Peter He had prayed for him that his faith fail not or in other words, not die. Jesus indeed allowed some sifting but only to the point of purification. satan wanted to render the disciples unfruitful.

7:57 am  
Anonymous thelma said...

Wonderful article.I personally received a vision from the Lord that I would be sifted as wheat about 3yrs ago.I did not fully understand what it meant.I have always been a dynamic young person in the ministry.I am an Evangelist and I have been sifted to the point I backslide in actions,but not in heart.My faith did not fail.Now i have been Reinstated and doing greater work in the ministry.The Lord have used the process to humble me and remove the husk and shaft from my life .I am now a more fruitful and productive minister of the gosple.

7:13 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you. I've been through a season of sifting myself. Your descriptions about the whole stalk of wheat being thrown into the sieve, and it is thrown up and down, shaken, tossed, so that the wheat is separated from the rest of the plant, and ready for use, either for storage, sowing or grinding into flour. The sifting process is a much-needed process for the grain to be any use.

It reminds me of that scripture in Hebrews 12:27 about "everything that can be shaken, will be shaken, so that what can't be shaken will remain." After the process, we are stronger.. because Jesus told Peter after Satan would sift him, and Peter was "restored" to strengthen the brethren. I think the "sifting" can be an actual purifying process, and tempering in the fire process that in the end makes us stable and strong in the Lord. When there is nothing left to sift, when the sifting is over, hey Satan has nothing on us.... Nothing to trip us up with, because it's been sifted out of us, and no longer can hinder us.

9:05 am  
Blogger Dianne said...

I am 44 years old and I am from Hillsboro, Oregon. I served a mission for the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Adelaide Australia. My wife is from Adelaide. This morning I was pondering how the "great deceiver" of all mankind seems to get the better of us sometimes. When I came across the scripture in Luke I found this website. I find your thoughts very refreshing. If I may, I would like to add another scripture to your thoughts. The sifting as you described it is a real thing - a tossing and turning. A distraction from what is truth. Isaiah said: Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20) We live in a day when these things are happening before our very eyes. Another answer while we are being tossed around on this sieve: Ephesians 4: 11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

We must find power from the words of the Apostles and Prophets. They will lead us to truth and we will not be fooled by this world and all its carnal doctrine.

Thanks for your thoughts


1:45 am  
Anonymous Rebecca, Dallas, TX said...

Hello -- I was really wondering what "sifted as wheat" meant, and your description helped so much for me to get meaning from it. Thank you!

8:44 am  
Anonymous Elese from Atanta, Georgia said...

I am teaching this story about Peter today to 300 plus children at Vacation Bible School. I found your site when I googled "wheat sifting". Thank you for taking the time to share insights about the sifting process. I will be able to better explain it to the children. Our theme this week has been "Boomerang Express" and it has centered around Australia. How incredible that I could find out more from a fellow believer who lives in Australia! God is good - all the time.

8:54 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm experiencing the sifting even at this very moment. I was strengthened in the Lord with wisdom and knowledge, witnessing in the Holy Spirit. Now I'm going through trials and tribulations lacking the strength and wisdom that I had. Yet somehow, I have a peace and faith to make it through. Somehow, I have the patience and understanding to continue through the day. My faith is weak, but not gone. Yet for every trial and test I face it's as if the Lord has already brought me through a time of wisdom and understanding to face the trial.

7:19 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you for posting this blog and giving insight to 'sifting wheat' as Satan wished to do to we are approaching Easter my heart has been on what Jesus did for us sacrificing Himself for our sins..He has prayed that our faith will not fail us therefore it won't. God bless.

Sydney, Australia

3:16 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing. This was really insightful. Bless u

3:41 pm  
Blogger LithiraAlberta said...

Thank you, could I've imagined that something so good would come out of "Austria"! Just a little joke x-D!

3:58 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Craig for sharing this message. Great words of encouragement. May God Bless you and keep you near Him always.

- Montreal, Canada

1:53 am  
Anonymous Debbie said...

Bless you!, like Rebecca, I too wondered what this meant. As I was searching through google, yours stood out and answer the question perfectly.

2:16 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That really blessed me Craig. Thanks for being open and sharing. God bless you!!!!

3:59 am  
Blogger Alexa Bello said...

I thank you very much brother for the word. I am going through the sifting process right now, and it is truly uncomfortable and difficult, but I know that the Lord has me in the palm of his hands. I've been very encouraged.

God Bless You

3:51 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks a bunch u helped me alot. I myself is going through this and want to come out of it. When u listed all those examples of this sifted u found myself in one of those categories and it really got my attention. I thank you.

1:40 am  

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