Meeting other brothers and sisters in Christ on WordPress is a great blessing. As I read various other authors’ posts, I have been enlightened, encouraged, challenged, convicted, gained wisdom, and learned more about life and Jesus.
The inspiration for my post today comes from Devotional Treasures authored by Alan Kearns. Though Alan and I have only met virtually, we have a common love for Christ and we both write devotionals. I’m often impressed by what he extracts from a single verse or two. Alan humbly credits the Holy Spirit for whatever another reader gains.
He recently wrote a three-part series about Bartimaeus, a blind man Jesus healed. The entire six-verse story can be read in Mark 10:46-52. Alan shared some wonderful truths in this series. I’ve linked each part below, by title, and in sequential order.
Alan’s devotional Simple Prayers sparked my thoughts on what I’m about to share.
Specific Desire = Specific Prayer
Early in my Christian walk, I was taught to be specific when I pray. Let me expound, when Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane he prayed a simple but specific request, “Abba, Father! All things are possible for you. Take this cup away from me. Nevertheless, not what I will, but what you will” (Mark 14:36, CSB). I’ve italicized his request for emphasis.
Likewise, Bartimaeus expressed a specific desire to the Lord when Jesus questioned what he wanted. Bartimaeus responded, “I want to regain my sight” (Mark 10:51b, NASB). Jesus nor Bartimaeus prayed a vague generalized request such as, “bless me.”
Blessing and Favor
I’m not suggesting that one should never pray for blessing or favor of the Lord for themselves or others, rather I’m proposing that when possible be explicit in your petitions to the Lord. When we are precise and clear in our request, the Lord’s answer is precise and clear.
Let’s imagine blind Bartimaeus had said, “Rabboni, bless me!” and the Lord doled out something different, a “blessing” he wasn’t expecting, anticipating, or hoping for. Then Bartimaeus may not have noticed the Lord’s blessing. He may have been confused by it or might have felt that the Lord was not answering him.
Or imagine wanting to bless a child or grandchild with their desired meal. So, you ask, “what would you like to eat?” and the child says, “Food.” You prepare and serve chicken, mashed potatoes, and carrots. The child was actually hoping for a hot dog but had not clearly expressed the desire. Your “blessing” is received as a disappointment.
A non-specific general response is vague. The dinner served was food, much fits in the category. Similarly, much fits under the general heading of blessing and favor.
General ambiguous prayers, though not wrong, leave us prone to unnoticed blessings, potentially producing ingratitude and discontentment.
Dear Reader, I encourage you to be explicit in your petitions to the Lord. Take note of Jesus’ prayer though, his flesh desired for the Father to take away the cup of suffering. Yet, Jesus surrendered to the sovereignty of God the Father. In faith and humble confidence, we can present our requests to the Lord. But we should never approach the throne of grace with arrogance.
Father God, thank You for being good, loving, and merciful. You give good gifts to Your children. Teach us to pray and communicate effectively with You. Open our eyes to see every blessing and answered prayer. Fill us with a willingness to surrender, an acceptance of Your sovereignty, and joy in obedience when our desire differs from Your plans and purpose.
May we continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of Yahweh, maker of Heaven and Earth. Amen.
I am a follower of Jesus Christ, grandmother, great-grandmother, foster care parent, and trauma survivor. I enjoy sipping tea, writing devotionals, prayers, short stories, and unburdening my heart to the Lord. Check the About page if you want to read more of my story.
Would you like to know more about the afterlife and how you can be assured of eternity in Heaven? Check the Questions page.
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