Our God is a prayer-answering Father. And He knows what we need even before we ask Him. But since God is a gentleman and does not like messing with our free will, He patiently waits for us to voice our needs.
For instance, God may not grant healing for a leg injury unless you ask Him because, who knows, maybe you don’t really want to be healed. You probably are an attention-getter who wallows in self-pity and you actually think the limp makes you look like a cool hip-hop gangster dude. Yeah! I know that sounds weird, but trust me, there are all kinds of people out there.
So, it pays to be specific when you pray. And no one understood that better than Jesus.
There is this story in the Bible where Jesus is walking from one place to the other and He’s got this huge fat crowd following Him. And there is this blind bloke who starts calling out to Jesus. He yells “Son of David, have mercy on me” over and over until some people are so pissed they ask him to shut up. But the guy just won’t quit.
Then, Jesus calls him over and asks, “What do you want me to do for you?”
And he begins his “Son of David, have mercy on me” tirade once again.
And Jesus is all like, “Dude, I got that part. But what do you want?” (Yes, I am majorly paraphrasing here. If you want exact details, check out Luke 18.)
Now, the blind man is probably thinking, “Well, I am blind, if you haven’t noticed yet. I thought the whole world had that figured out. But since you are asking, I desperately want to see.”
Now, if it was someone like me instead of Jesus and if I had power, I would probably call that guy over and heal him instantly with a wave of my magic wand without even bothering to ask him what he was yelling so much about. But Jesus is wise. He won’t do anything until we say exactly what we want Him to do for us. I mean why risk it? What if He gave the guy his sight without asking and it turned out that the guy actually didn’t mind being blind as long as he was healthy and had a long life, or that he was actually calling out for something more important like Wisdom or Salvation.
What a person actually needs and what we assume s/he wants are often poles apart. So, it’s always better to confirm.
Anyways, coming back to our story, after all that yelling, the guy finally makes his need known. “I want to see.”
And Jesus is like, “Gee! Thanks! I thought you’d never ask. Receive your sight.”
And the blind guy starts seeing that very instant. (This is cool stuff, right?)
In many ways, Jesus personifies God here (which should not be surprising since He is, in fact, the Son).
You see, God understands our needs and is more than willing to grant our requests. However, some people never give Him a chance…ever! And more often than not, even the few that give Him a chance have their own agenda—they want God to do things on their terms, in their way and in their time.
It’s a crazy world out there. Every once in a while though even a lame hip-hop gangster finds it in him to pray. Imagine God’s delight when He sees the bloke finally going down on his knees. God’s thinking, “This is it! I am going to heal this guy today.” Imagine His disappointment when the dude raises his hands to the heavens and asks for a Ferrari.
“A tomato-red one, please.”
God is like “Man, you got one good leg on you, and I don’t want you to lose that one too. Nope! No Ferrari for you.”
The bloke then runs around giving God a bad name telling everyone praying is a waste of time as God never answers anyways.
I’d say being God is tough when you are dealing with so many nutcases.
If you are one of those lost guys, or if you are one of the good guys yelling, “Son of God, have mercy on me,” maybe you should consider changing the words a little. Be more specific. Choose your words carefully. Say it once.
God. Will. Hear.
The safest prayer to pray is: “God, let Your perfect will be done in my life. I surrender everything into Your hands.”
By praying that, you are essentially telling God, “I can’t see where my life is headed from down here, but You have a better view from up there. You can see what’s coming down the road. Please take care of it for me.”
Trust me, that’s good enough.