And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired [to have] you, that he may sift [you] as wheat:
Desired: Strong's G1809 - exaiteo: to ask that one be given up to one from the power of another (a) in a good sense it is to ask for the pardon or safety of that person and (b) in a bad sense it is to torture or punish that person.
Sift: Strong's G4617 - siniazo: 1) to sift or shake in a sieve; 2)fig. by inward agitation to try one's faith to the verge of overthrow.
I think it's safe to say satan doesn't "desire" us in order to ask for our pardon or safety and that he does, indeed, intend to torture or punish us.
Chuck Smith's Sermon Notes on Luke 22:31
Satan has had me in a sieve the past couple of days. He knows my rough spots just like God knows my weaknesses. I have many, but the two that seem to be causing me the most suffering and sleeplessness are taking medication when I think I hear the Lord telling me to give it up and trust Him; and eating, from the perspective of the lust of the flesh versus eating for fuel and necessity.
I find the analogy of us being like rough, not completely milled, flour interesting especially since satan wants to take us out of the Lord's hands and sift us in order to separate us from Him.
Now that Jesus is in heaven, I know that He is my advocate, pleading my case with the Father. He is, then, in the Father's presence praying that my faith not fail me in this time of suffering and sleeplessness.
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
Our growth comes from trials and just like Peter, we have to learn the value of being tested.
It gives me courage and stiffens my spine when I digest the fact that Jesus is praying for me, advocating for me, cheering for me, "egging me on", so to speak. The Lord wants me to win this race. He's standing on the sidelines watching me run and all the while He's praying, "Father, don't let her faith fail her". Thank you for that, Lord. I hope it encourages you as well.
Make sure you click on the sermon notes above, especially if you are being tested and tried right now to the point that you feel you are being sifted by Satan. I believe you will find great encouragement there as I did. As believers and followers of Christ, we have to learn that only by going through these siftings and keeping the faith and clinging to the Lord Jesus will we be able to say with Peter:
(1 Peter 4:12) Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: (1 Peter 4:13) But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. (1 Peter 4:14) If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
I think it is evident that satan is indeed a prowling lion looking to see who he can devour at this late hour on the earth. Take heart in knowing that Jesus is praying for you and do not give up your faith in Him to be able to deliver you out of satan's hands.
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for praying for me and for caring for me in everything I am going through in my life. It strengthens me to know that you are rooting for me. I want to cling to that in the days ahead. May your will be done in my life. I pray in your holy name and I put my trust wholly, completely in you. Amen.