And answering him, Jesus said, "What do you want Me to do for you?" And the blind man said to Him, "Rabboni, I want to regain my sight!"
And Jesus said to him, "Go your way; your faith has made you well." And immediately he regained his sight and began following Him on the road. (Mark 10:51,52)
In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream at night; and said, "Ask what you wish Me to give you." (1 Kings 3:5)
"So give Thy servant an understanding heart to judge Thy people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Thine?"
And it was pleasing in the sight of the Lord that Solomon had asked this thing. (1 King 3:9,10)
"..behold, I have done according to your words. Behold, I have given you a wise and discerning heart, so that there has been no one like you before you, nor shall one like you arise after you." (1 Kings 3:12)
But one day while reading my Bible, I was tremendously impressed by God's promises. The Bible said that if I would just put my faith in Jesus, praying in His name, that I would receive everything....So I said, "Father! Why should a child of the King of kings, of the Lord of lords, live without a desk, chair and bed, and walk mile after mile everyday? At least I should have a humble desk and chair to sit on, and a humble bicycle to ride on to do my home visitation." I knelt down and prayed, "Father, now I am praying. Please send me a desk, chair and bicycle." I believed and praised God.
(Six months later) ...the Spirit said, "My son, I heard your prayer a long time ago." Right away I blurted out, "Then where are my desk, chair and bicycle?" The Spirit then said, "Yes, that is the trouble with you, and with all My children. They beg Me, demanding every kind of request, but they ask in such vague terms that I can't answer. Don't you know there are dozens of kinds of desks, chairs and bicycles?...You never ordered a specific desk, chair or bicycle."....I was praising the Lord, and sure enough, when the time came, I had every one of those things... (Dr. Paul Yonggi Cho, in his book, The Fourth Dimension).
A common thread runs through all of the above quotations. When Jesus approached blind Bartimaeus, his need was obvious. Bartimaeus was blind from birth, but Jesus still required a specific request. Bartimaeus had begged for alms all his life; therefore, he could have asked Jesus for alms. It took faith to cast off his beggar's cloak, the symbol of his identity in life, and come to Jesus, expecting the supernatural. When he made that special step of faith, Jesus healed him.
The Lord required a specific request from Solomon, also. When Solomon complied, the Lord honored him. Solomon asked in faith, and God answered his faith with abundance.
Solomon lived 1,000 years before Christ, and Christ walked the earth almost 2,000 years ago. Does God still want us to pray specifically, with faith that He hears and answers?
We included the quote from Dr. Cho's book as an example. In Malachi 3:6, the Lord tells us He does not change. In James 4:2,3, we are told we do not have because we do not ask, or if we do ask, we have the wrong, self-promoting motives.
A recent event proves that God still answers specific prayer. The detailed television coverage of the Middle East War enabled those of us at home to pray specifically for individuals and situations like never before. It is doubtful this nation has ever been so unified in specific prayer prior to this. And in spite of the sin of this nation, God still answered the specific prayers!
The media had no choice but to record the unification of the people in prayer. It was so great, they couldn't ignore it. We should have been just as unified in prayers of thanksgiving.
This event showed the necessity to be specific in prayer. Maybe a few parents and spouses and children prayed, "..if it be Your will..," but the majority prayed specifically, from their hearts, for their loved ones to be spared and returned to them. God honored those specific prayers. God was glad to honor their faith, it gave Him an opportunity to show the power of the true God over the power of the false god of Islam!
That should make us aware of how important it is to be specific. It was important to God, the Father, when He dealt with Solomon; it was important to Jesus, when He dealt with Bartimaeus; it was important to the Holy Spirit, when He dealt with Dr. Cho.
This is a principle of God! Let's grasp the reality of it and stop praying wimpish prayers filled with weasel clauses! The more specific we make our prayers, the more faith is required, and Scripture is clear: without faith it is impossible to please God! (Hebrews 11:6). The more specific we are in our prayers, the more we demonstrate our faith that God is a prayer-answering God. If we ever needed that kind of a relationship with our God, we certainly need it now!
Jesus is King!
P.S. What are you doing of eternal value?
Question for today: How specific are my prayers?