As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. They told him, ‘Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.’ He called out, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’
‘Lord, I want to see,’ he replied. Jesus said to him, ‘Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.’ Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God’” (Luke 18:35-43).
There are several prayer insights in this short passage of Scripture to inform our every day lives:
Acknowledge His Presence
First, the blind man didn’t let the opportunity to cry out to Jesus pass. He acknowledged the presence of the Son of God. If he had waited, the moment would have been gone and he may have lived the rest of his days as a blind man. How many of us let moments of need pass us by? Perhaps it isn’t our own personal need, but the need of another, or a situation that can only be changed or taken care of by the power of God. The salvation of another, the healing of a relationship, the mercy of the Father brought into a tragedy, etc. may be totally dependent upon you taking note of the nearness of God Himself in a particular moment. Do we fully believe that our prayers are relevant to the working of the power of God? The blind man certainly did! Perhaps we need to resolve not to let opportunities to call upon Jesus pass us by because we are too busy or perhaps even too shy to call out to Him.
Pray with Persistence
Although those with Jesus attempted to silence him, the blind man persisted in his request. How often do we allow ourselves to be intimidated into silence by others, or because we might be embarrassed to speak our requests aloud? How many of us give up quickly when an answer doesn’t come immediately? Scripture says we are to pray and not give up (Luke 18: 1-8).
Next, Jesus wants us to be specific with our requests. He asked the blind man, “What do you want me to do for you?” Many of us are vague with our requests in prayer. For example, “Lord, bless me.” Or, “Lord, take care of my needs.” Jesus was very pointed in his question to the blind man. He wanted a specific answer. Perhaps we are too busy or distracted to even listen to Jesus ask us what we want Him to do. He is God, and already knows before we ask (Matthew 6:8). But Jesus didn’t heal the blind man until he answered the question. How many answers to prayer might we see if we answered the question Jesus asks?
The blind man’s faith attracted the attention of Jesus, who was moved to respond to his request. Do we have the faith to believe Jesus has the power to meet our need, or to bring His power to bear upon a situation we are praying about? If not, perhaps we shouldn’t even make the request. James 1:6-8 says, “But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.”
Respond in Praise
When the blind man received his sight, his response was to follow Jesus, praising God. All those who witnessed the miracle also praised God. How often do we receive answers to our prayers and we don’t give honor and glory to the Father? Sometimes we act astonished that our prayer was answered. Other times, we may be thrilled to receive an answer, but we still forget to acknowledge that it was God who moved in response to our request. It is easy to take answered prayer for granted, or to be surprised by it. Answered prayer is for the glory of God alone. How often we pervert His purposes by refusing or neglecting to acknowledge the moving of His hand.
One brief moment in our spiritual history can change things forever. Such was the case for the blind man outside of Jericho. Because of his faith in Jesus’ ability to change his situation, he acknowledged His presence, persistently begged for Jesus to have mercy upon his condition, responded specifically to Jesus’ question, “What do you want me to do for you?”, had faith in Jesus’ ability to give him sight, and then gave God all the glory. As the blind man received his physical sight, may we receive spiritual insight to fuel our every day prayer lives.
Kim’s passion is to see God’s people recognize that prayer is a creative, continual moment by moment lifestyle with God as we align our hearts with His plans and purposes for His glory and for the sake of His kingdom. Her ministry involves writing, teaching and consulting. She also compiles and edits HPM’s free daily devotional, Connection! and blogs regularly on the HPM website). Kim is a member of America's National Prayer Committee, VP of Gospel Revivals, Inc. and on the Advisory Board for America Prays.
Kim has a BA in Psychology and a Masters degree in Spiritual Formation and Leadership.