A Different Prescription For Prayer

A Different Prescription For Prayer

In Matthew 20, Jesus shares a parable, predicts his death, teaches about serving, and heals two blind men. Nowhere does he mention prayer, yet in this chapter I see two insights about prayer.

First, the mother of James and John makes a request of Jesus. She asks if her sons can be given places of honor, sitting on Jesus’ left and right. Jesus’ response is, “You don’t know what you are asking!”

I suspect that many of our prayers evoke the same response, “You don’t know what you are asking.” Just as James and John’s mother did not have a right understanding of Jesus’ purpose and intent, missing God’s perspective, so to, we often miss God’s intent and fail to see his perspective. As such our prayers are off base, asking for the wrong things, which are inconsequential.

How often do we make a general request for God's blessing, mercy, or grace? Click To Tweet

In the account of the blind men being healed, the men boldly call out for Jesus to have mercy on them. When Jesus hears them, he asks, “What do you want?” They have already asked for mercy, but Jesus wants them to be specific.  As soon as they ask to see, he gives them their sight.

How often do we make a general request for God’s blessing, mercy, or grace? These are vague, non-expectant petitions. When making such a plea, how can we ever realize the answers? When our requests are specific, the answers become obvious—and praiseworthy.

So, when we pray, it should be specific and it should be with God’s perspective in mind.

[Read through the Bible with us this year. Today’s reading is Matthew 20-22, and today’s post is on Matthew 20:20-22 and Matthew 20:29-34.]

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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