Monday, October 24, 2016

Specific prayers

 "Healing of Bartimaeus" by Alexandre Bida
(Though the blind man isn't named in Luke's telling, 
he is named in Mark's - Mark 10:46-52)

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Luke 18:31-43

TO CHEW ON: “So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be brought to Him. And when he had come near, He asked him, saying, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ He said, ‘Lord, that I may receive my sight.’” Luke 18:40

Surely Jesus knew the man was blind and that he wanted to see. Yet He asked the blind man to say it, to pinpoint exactly what he wanted Jesus to do for him.

This incident says something to us about prayer (talking to God—that’s what the blind man was doing):

1. It seems our prayers are the catalyst that moves God’s hand.
Though God knows everything—knows our needs better than we do, He has invented prayer for us to tell Him what we need and want. I’m reminded of a scene in C.S. Lewis’s The Magicians Nephew. At one point the children, Digory and Polly, are hungry but all there is to eat is grass—good for Fledge the horse but not them. (Remembering that Aslan the Lion is the Christ figure):

“‘Well, I do think someone might have arranged about our meals,’ said Digory.

‘I’m sure Aslan would have, if you’d asked him,’ said Fledge.

‘Wouldn’t he know without asking?’ said Polly.

‘I’ve no doubt he would,’ said the Horse (still with his mouth full). ‘But I’ve a sort of idea he likes to be asked.’”
 
- C. S Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia, Kindle Location 1898 (emphasis added).

2. What we ask for is linked to our faith.
Jesus replied to the blind man’s ask: ‘Your faith has made you well.’ And then He healed him on the spot.

This incident encourages us to pray, and when we do, put into words what we specifically want Jesus to do for us. We are invited to pray ("'What do you want Me to do for you?'"), not in vague generalities (“Bless my family”) but specifics (“Please help my grandson with his math test”).

Do we have the faith for such praying?


PRAYER:
Dear Jesus, praying in specifics is a little scary because it reveals the state of my faith and makes prayer’s answers so measurable. Help me to trust the wisdom and love of all your answers, whether they’re “Yes,” “No,” or “Wait.” Amen.

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Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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