Jesus was leaving Jericho with a crowd of people folliwing him. Two blind men sitting by the roadside began shouting for him. Jesus heard them, stopped and asked, “What do you want me to do for you?” They responded, “Open our eyes.” We know the rest of the story, they became followers of Jesus because they began to ‘see’ immediately. (Mt 20:29-34)
‘Open our eyes’…they began to ‘see’ – literally???? That’s what we believe, right? In our calling out to Jesus we ask many things, and that is only right. He is our Lord and when we ask in faith, I believe that this pleases him. ‘Ask and you shall receive.’ We put our prayers and petitions forth, we ask for healing, for strength, for guidance, for wisdom, etc. But, imagine Jesus approaching you the way that he did to these blind men. Suppose he came to you and said, “What do you want me to do for you?” Would I present my litany of petitions to him….or would I ask him to “open my eyes?” Do I have the faith to ask for sight? Because, once my ‘eyes were opened,’ I might pray differently, follow closer, and love deeper. I might understand more clearly and surrender more willingly.
“What do you want me to do for you?” The two men from Jericho wanted Jesus to ‘open their eyes.’ Jesus made them ‘see,’ the question remains…..did he give them sight, or did he open the ‘eyes of their hearts’…..or perhaps both.
What an interesting question!
I think petitions are good and it’s okay to have some desires, but when desires get in the way of our relationship with Jesus, it becomes idolatry. And so “ask and you shall receive” isn’t a magic trick or a command from us to God, but is understood in context as you have provided.
I usually pray for qualities without turning my prayer time into a frustrating self-improvement time (although this can happen). My greatest prayer is to know God more fully (and for my life’s actions to reflect this knowing)…which I think goes along with what the blind men wanted. 🙂
Great thoughts Jade. I find that when I start telling God all of my petitions I get about half way through and then say something like, ‘you know what’s in my heart’. Your greatest prayer is truly a beautiful one.
That is an interesting question Andie, thank you for presenting it to us today.
I think that our prayerful petitions are important but in the end, to paraphrase Anne Lamott, there are really only two prayers, “help me, help me” and “thank you, thank you.”
To have our eyes opened is to have new vision and with that new vision, yes our prayers are likely to change.
I love that….help me, help me….thank you…thank you. That says it all Fran.
I think He cares about all our needs … both spiritual and physical sight.
But if He asked … in person … I’m not sure anything would matter apart from His presence.
I think you’re so right Susan. His presence is all that would matter.
I would have asked Him to heal me. Just as they did. I’m not sure we can separate what happened to them. It was His will to heal them, and, after that happened, they followed Him. Sometimes we need Him to help us physically, so that the physical pain or infirmity doesn’t blind us to His other work in our lives. And sometimes He leaves us with a weakness that causes us to lean on Him. Perhaps, as Susan said, His presence alone would have helped them to know what to ask. I also like the comments of others here who say, “help me” and “thank you” are really all we need to say…
Great point Leslie. I’m so glad that He makes the decisions and knows exactly what I need and when I need it.
Andie, I love the way you presented this. “What do you want me to do for you?” I want Him to give me the strength to walk the path He’s predestined me to walk.
Beautiful answer to the question, Bernadine. The strength to ‘walk the walk’….a great prayer indeed.
Clearly they had their physical eyes opened. It wouldn’t hurt, nonetheless, for us to pray for our spiritual eyes to be opened. Lord knows we need to see better.