Prayers of Protection
[Peter said:] Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that he may forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. … Then Simon answered, “Pray to the Lord for me so that nothing you have said may happen to me.”
- Acts 8:22, 24
Even after Simon started to follow Jesus, he still needed to experience change in the way he saw the world. He needed to learn that God can’t be bought, can’t be manipulated, and can’t be kept in a pocket. And that’s where Peter challenged him.
Peter’s response comes off as sharp and pointed because it is. Simon was on a very dangerous path. Having started off with Jesus, he could do a lot of damage to his own soul and to his community if he was allowed to persist in his belief that God can be used as a commodity. For his good and for the good of his community, someone needed to stand up to him.
Peter’s rebuke is wrapped around an invitation to repent: change your mind and change your direction. The path of repentance that Peter lays out for Simon is not complicated. Turn away and pray and it will be okay. That’s it.
But look what Simon does … he asks Peter to pray for him. Simon could have prayed on his own. He could have gone away and repented in private. He could have walked away hard-hearted and sad. He could have argued with Peter that it wasn’t fair for him to be rebuked publicly when he didn’t know any better. But he didn’t.
Simon asked Peter to pray a prayer of protection over him. Sometimes, that’s what you need to do. Sometimes, you need to lean on your community to intercede to the Lord on your behalf. And sometimes, you need to step up and pray that the Lord would, in his great mercy, withhold from us the consequences of our brokenness and sin.
Take some time today to pray a prayer of protection:
- Protection over your own soul
- Protection over your family
- Protection over your church
- Protection over your community
- Protection over your country