“And Jesus responded, asking, ‘What do you want me to do for you?'” — Mark 10:51; Luke 18:41.
In the bustling streets of Jericho, amidst the curious onlookers, sat a blind man named Bartimaeus. His life, a canvas of darkness, was about to change when he encountered Jesus. His plea, simple yet full of pain, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” caught the attention of Christ. But Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” This question wasn’t due to ignorance of the man’s condition but an invitation for Bartimaeus to articulate his desire. It was a call for definite prayer.
This biblical narrative unfolds an important lesson in prayer – the necessity of being specific. Often, our prayers are like scattered leaves in the wind, directionless and vague. We ask for blessings, yet we don’t specify what we desire. We seek guidance but don’t articulate the decisions we face. Just as Jesus asked Bartimaeus, He asks us: “What do you want me to do for you?”
Definiteness in prayer serves multiple purposes. It forces us to introspect, to understand our deepest needs and desires. It is easy to pray for general blessings; it is an act of courage and clarity to ask for specific ones. When our prayers are definite, they not only reveal our faith but also our trust in God’s power to provide. Specific prayers become a mirror reflecting our faith, hope, and the earnestness of our desires.
Imagine a child asking a parent for a gift. The parent, loving and willing, asks, “What would you like?” If the child responds vaguely, the parent’s desire to fulfill that specific wish remains unfulfilled. Our Heavenly Father is similar. He yearns to grant us our heart’s desires, but He wants us to trust Him enough to ask specifically.
Moreover, definite prayer cultivates patience and perseverance. When we ask for something specific, we are more likely to wait eagerly for that particular answer. It fosters a deeper communion with God, as we return repeatedly to seek that which we have asked for. It’s in this persistence that our faith is both tested and strengthened.
However, being specific in prayer doesn’t mean we dictate terms to God. It’s about aligning our desires with His will. Jesus Himself exemplified this in Gethsemane when He prayed, “Not what I will, but what you will.” Our definite prayers, therefore, should resonate with the heart of God, seeking not just personal gain but the advancement of His kingdom and His will in our lives.
Word in Action
This week, take time to identify one specific need or desire in your life or in the life of someone close to you. Bring this need before God in prayer, articulating it as clearly as you can. Trust in His power and willingness to respond to your specific request.
Wonder in the Word
Reflect on your current prayer life. Are your prayers specific or general? How can you make your prayer more definite, and in doing so, deepen your relationship with God?