Well one trait that seems to have infected every member of our family is the enjoyment of getting just the right gift for each other. So over the years you would often hear the question, "so what would you like for your birthday, or your anniversary, your graduation, Christmas?" And the least appreciated answer goes something like this, "I don't know, anything is fine." Oh, great! I was hoping for something a little more specific.
Now to show you the other side of this - Oh, our boys were always very helpful when it came to Christmas gifts. Like a full page list with model numbers, colors, sizes, brand names, at least a month in advance! Okay, so it was a little direct, but at least we knew what they wanted.
Well, I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "So What Do You Want?"
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Matthew 20, and I'll begin reading at verse 30, "Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!' The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet but they shouted all the louder, 'Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!' Jesus stopped and called them, 'What do you want Me to do for you?' He asked. 'Lord,' they answered, 'We want our sight.' Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed Him." I love this, the first face they ever saw was Jesus' and they followed Him from then on, I think. Now in here we have three secrets of prayer that will get a miracle response. You could probably use that, right? First of all, when you make a request to the Lord and you want to get a miracle it needs to be persistent. Notice, these guys go, "Lord have mercy on us," and when they're told to be quiet they keep at it. They're stubborn in their request. Persistent prayer brings miracles.
And then verse 33 gives us a second secret because they were very bold - when the Lord said, "What do you want Me to do," they said, "We want our sight." Here's something so big only God could do it! God loves those kinds of prayers - so, it's persistent, it's bold, it's miracle getting prayer. But let's focus on the one secret of prayer that we miss all too often. It's in verse 32 when Jesus says, "What do you want Me to do for you?" Now it seems like such an obvious question - these are two blind men saying, "Lord, have mercy on us." But Jesus says, "Well, tell Me exactly what you want Me to do?" The third characteristic of prayer that gets miracles is that it's specific. You see, these guys had already made a general request, they said, "Lord, have mercy," but Jesus insists that they narrow down their request and tell them exactly what they want, specifically. And when they do, Jesus responds with a miracle.
Now, too often our prayers are like those vague answers to my family's gift giving questions - "Oh somethin' will be fine, anything." We talk to God about "give me a blessing," "I need an answer," or "send help!", or some general spiritual request. And Jesus is standing there asking, "Well, like what?" In fact it has really expanded my praying recently to imagine Jesus standing there as I pray, saying, "Okay, and Ron, what do you want Me to do for you?" Now it isn't that He doesn't know what the need is, He wants us to know what we're believing Him for. Philippians 4 says, "present your requests to God." God honors specific faith! Not demands, but requests that are always under the umbrella under which Jesus prayed - "not My will but Yours, Lord."
Coming to God persistently, daring to believe Him for bold and specific requests, touches His heart. I know the frustration of someone giving me a general answer when I ask "what do you want me to give you?" Now Jesus is looking for specifics - listen to Him asking, "What do you want Me to do for you?"