My prayers are ‘generalized’ and sound like this: “Please Lord, help that little boy get a bike, he really wants one, of course that is ONLY if YOU want it for him. I mean you know better than me what he needs!” Are you as non-specific as me, not wanting to presume to know what’s best? Leaning on the fact that He knows our hearts, and knows what is best for us. As I read Mark Chapter 10 I realized God wants me to be specific in prayer. I needed to know how to be more precise and better focus in prayer.
We are afraid to overstep our bounds by being specific, yet He clearly teaches us to be precise in prayer!
God starts the conversation with us each morning when he wakes us from our sleep, in my case He wants to talk often, for example, at 2:00 am, then again at 4:00 am, 5:30 am and again at 7:30! When I wake I pray and am guessing it’s not just me God wakes throughout the night, am I right? Since reading the story of Bartimaeus I pray differently when I come awake, I pray responsively. Why? He asked me to!
“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus / Mark 10:51
Imagine you are sitting on a bench, and Jesus walks up, taking a seat beside you. Stunned, you sit in silence. Well, maybe not you but I would be in shock, given the opportunity I would probably not know what to say, sit speechless, mouth agape, staring.
Now imagine Him turning to you to ask, “What do you want me to do for you today?” What would you say? He asks this question of you each morning when He opens your eyes to a new day! How do you respond to this question? And why is He asking, doesn’t he know?
He taught the crowd using Bartimaeus and is asking you to be more precise, to better focus in prayer!
Beginning in Mark 10:46 Jesus is on the road outside Jerusalem, He is on his way to the cross. A large crowd is following him. They pass a blind man, a beggar, a cast-off, he is begging for money on the side of the road, his name – Bartimaeus. This lowly beggar speaks to Jesus, he asks for mercy calling him ‘the Son of David’. The disciples, seeing and hearing the beggar hush him.
This hopeless man, crying out for mercy, was asked to be quiet! I cannot describe the HOPE this scripture gives me! I mean, even the disciples ‘messed up’, failing to consistently walk in the light and they were right there with Jesus, walking by his side. It’s OK to fumble,we are human.
Mark 10:48 – Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Bartimaeus the blind man, took a huge leap of faith, he believed Jesus to be the Messiah. And what else did he do? Bartimaeus did not give up! Christ then asked His disciples to calm him, drawing attention to ‘a shamed man’ asking for mercy. Notice how suddenly His disciples took on a different tone…”they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.”
A reminder: Just be nice!
Mark 10:51-52 “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked Bartimaeus. The blind man replied, “Rabbi, I want to see.” “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately Bartimaeus received his sight and followed Jesus along the road. Jesus gave Bartimaeus HOPE.
Jesus is in the Faith, Hope and Love business and He wants to know what you need from him.
Certainly Jesus could easily heal Bartimaeus in passing, but he chose not to, instead he stopped, why, because He wants a relationship. Reading I pondered why Jesus would ask a blind man what he wants most, I mean, isn’t it obvious, and doesn’t Jesus already KNOW what is on the man’s heart?
Then I saw it, crystal clear, He was teaching His disciples, the crowd and thousands of years later, little old me. Jesus stopped on the road to Jericho, on his way to Jerusalem and the cross because for Him it’s about conversation, having a relationship and wanting to know specifically what it is you want, what I want, what Bartimaeus wanted. He wants us to pray it, or better yet say it out loud. Try it now!
The conversation begins each time we enter into into a new day!
It is interesting what Bartimaeus chose to do next! He could have done many things, run to see things he’d only dreamed of, sat back down pretending to be blind to make money. What did he do next? He followed Jesus!
There is much to be learned from this story! Like Bartimaeus we should ‘cast-off’ anything holding us back from a full-on relationship with God and never be afraid to be more precise and better focus in prayer. To follow His lead, learn and change. We tend to get focused and are more precise in prayer when things are not going ‘right’ for us, our loved ones and friends.
When we find ourselves in turmoil, at times of stress and need, we ask for specific things. This scripture shows us specifics are required each day, every morning, as mercy reigns opening our eyes on a brand new day. Be specific!
“A new day is another chance to speak with Christ throughout the day.” – Pastor Kathy Conner
Remember “people” tried to discourage Bartimaeus , yet Christ gave him HOPE.
People will try to knock you off your path, distract, and discourage you as they attempt to steal your joy. Don’t let them! Up the conversation, focus, be specific in your prayers then stop!
Look around you, do you see a Bartimaeus there?
How many times a week do we pass by someone cast-off by society, a modern-day Bartimaeus? Christ showed us the importance of taking the focus off ourselves, recognizing the needs of others and providing hope to everyone.
We are encouraged to think specifically about how Christ helped us and share that information with someone. You never know who needs to hear it at that moment. Like Bartimaeus we need to cast off anything holding us back, open our eyes, not give up, follow Christ and share our stories!
Encourage faith, don’t doubt the promise, depend on His presence, for He is always there!
So how do you pray precisely, it’s simple, just answer the question He is asking you:
“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus / Mark 10:51
Love to all with a smile, Carlyn 😀
Thank you Lord for inviting me into this day so I can share these thoughts. Please keep me aware of your presence and help me see the world through your eyes today and every day. – Amen