Are you praying for something in particular, today? Do you have some special intention or longstanding desire you have been hoping will turn out in your favor? I think everyone does in some manner and I, personally, offer my prayers, works, joys and sufferings for the various intentions I have in my heart. It gives me the opportunity to contemplate the heart of Christ and how He responds to the longings of our own hearts.
I love to contemplate stories of Jesus and His interaction with the people he encountered during His earthly life because it helps me understand that He responds to us in much the same way today. In particular, the gospel of Mark tells us the story of Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, the blind beggar who sat outside the walls of Jericho, begging for money (Mark 10: 46-52). A sad story, indeed, because people like Bartimaeus were treated as complete outcasts in society. When Bartimaeus knew that Jesus was near, he called to Him loudly and made quite a scene. Jesus told the apostles to bring the blind beggar to Him and Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” Bartimaeus wanted to see and Jesus gave Him the gift of that miracle but only after Bartimaeus told Him what he wanted.
This is such a poignant event that we all can and should be able to relate to. Sometimes our circumstances in life are challenging to the point we don’t like to discuss them with others. We put on a smile and let others believe we are unaffected by what is happening in our lives, yet inside, we just want to be heard…like Bartimeus did.
Maybe we do share our difficulties with others but do not take our requests to God. I’ve heard many people say they always pray for others, never for themselves. Their intention is admirable, but, how do you think God feels about that? Jesus already knew what Bartimaeus wanted, but He wanted him to say it. Much like when He appeared to the disciples on the road to Emmaus. Jesus, of course, knew what had happened because it happened to Him, yet He did not let the disciples know this. He wanted them to tell Him about their fears and disappointments. He wanted to hear it in their own words. It is the same with us. He wants to hear about the things that are important to us in our own words.
When we look at Jesus’ life, we see He was not a passive man. He sought out people, went in search of them, especially those in need. Think about some other well-known encounters Jesus had—Zaccheus or the woman at the well—these are examples that show us God is interested in our lives. God wants you to come to him with all your cares, worries, concerns, hopes, dreams, and desires. It is not selfish to ask God for things that benefit you. He wants you to take the time to come to him and speak with him about these things.
Have you recently lost someone dear to you? Are you experiencing financial struggles? Are you lonely? If you take some time to contemplate this gospel story and place yourself in the scene, you will likely hear God’s voice say to you, What is it you want? Never forget the heart of Jesus is an bottomless ocean of love and grace. He wants to help you with all that is going on in your life. What does your heart most desires at this point in time? Spend some quiet time with God today and tell Him what is in your heart.
“Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road. Mark 10: 52