Their job was to give me instructions.
My eight-year-old students crowded around a worktable loaded with ingredients for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
“Put the peanut butter on the bread,” said the first student. I plonked the unopened jar in the middle of the loaf, denting it.
“No! You have to take the peanut butter out of the jar,” several said while others giggled.
I scooped the peanut butter out of the jar and smeared it on the bread bag. “Mrs. Glover! Not like that.” They laughed.
“What do you want me to do?” I asked.
“Take the bread out of the bag and spread the peanut butter on the bread.”
I took out a piece of bread and smeared peanut butter on one side.
“Now the jelly,” one student said.
As I reached for the jar, another said, “No, use a knife and get the jelly out of the jar.”
“We have to tell her exactly what we want her to do,” said another.
Now that they understood good directions are not general but specific, I sent them back to their desks to write out step-by-step instructions.
A pair of blind beggars heard Jesus approach and loudly called out to him: “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”
The crowd told the beggars to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder. Their request was general: “Have mercy.” They may have thought that was enough instruction, but Jesus wanted more from them. When Jesus asked what they wanted, they answered, “We want our sight.” Jesus touched their eyes, and they immediately received their sight and followed Him.
The passage reveals several important elements of prayer. First, when in need, seize the opportunity to ask Jesus for help. Don’t put it off, and don’t assume things will work themselves out. Second, don’t be dissuaded by the crush of voices in your mind—discouraging and dismissive voices that say you’ve already asked and shouldn’t ask again. Third, be specific. The God who created us is asking what we want Him to do. Finally, wait with faith.
What do you want Jesus to do for you today? Croak out your prayer, ignore the naysaying voices, and tell Him what you need. He will act for your good.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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