Hurting people are everywhere. Every day we pass by them, and we ourselves need healing.
Day 17 of the Pray-May Challenge: Today we cry out for Jesus’ mercy for those sick and hurting, as well as ourselves.
We will pray using the words of the blind man of Luke 18:35-43 (NIV). (And by way of connection, this is a powerful Scripture we could prayerfully read, in the style of Lectio Divina, as we explored yesterday.) Here’s the whole story.
As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”
He called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?”
“Lord, I want to see,” he replied.
Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God.
What a compelling story. Seven quick points:
- The blind man, upon hearing of Jesus’ coming, was not shy to cry out for mercy from his place of need. He did not hide.
- The blind man seemed to know something of Jesus, crying out to him with reference to his royal lineage. He professed faith even in his crying.
- There were those around him who tried to deter him, feeling he was not worthy of attention or healing, wanting to keep him in his place of hurt. He would not be silenced.
- Jesus heard. Through the crowd, Jesus’ ears were tuned to the cry for mercy. They still are.
- Jesus asked what the blind man wanted. Think about that: isn’t his need obvious? Yes, but though Jesus knew what he needed, but the man had to admit his need and articulate his desire.
- Jesus responded with compassion to this man’s desire for mercy.
- This man’s healing resulted in praise to Jesus, both from the man and from the crowds. Healing always does.
So what do we know? Crying out for mercy, we have a God who hears and responds. We can pray this simple prayer from our own place of need, as well as on behalf of others.
“Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
First, take a few moments and identify people in your neighborhood, your church, your workplace or school, and your own family who need Jesus’ mercy today. Write their names down, along with their specific need.
It may be that the person you are crying out for is experiencing deep trauma today. Cry out for them to Jesus, for his mercy. Like the four friends of Luke 5, bring someone to Jesus, knowing that your faith on their behalf matters. Others may have ongoing need for mercy, and we will ask Jesus, the Son of David, to have mercy upon them, too. For each one, ask for Jesus to have mercy.
Next, what do you need? If Jesus were to stop and look you in the eyes, asking “What do you want me to do for you?”, how would you answer? What do you want Jesus to do for you? Perhaps you have a physical need for healing, or you have been struggling with anxiety or depression, or are experiencing financial problems. Whatever your need, cry out to Jesus knowing that he hears you, and that he will respond. In the style of breathing prayer, you may even let this cry permeate your day.
Jesus will respond, though that does not always mean that Jesus will answer you according to your stated desire, as he did in the above story. But respond he will, to your deepest need and for your greatest good. Even as we ask, we declare him our king–the Son of David–submitting to his will for us. He may heal, he may call us to trust, he may have a larger vision in mind which sees beyond what we can see. We can trust him. However he responds, he is compassionately loving us.
But we do cry out boldly, not letting the “crowds” deter us, be that the crowds of doubt, cynicism, self-hatred, or insecurity. We will yell louder than any dismissive crowd. And Jesus hears. Oh yes, he hears.
Let’s cry out to him today. My prayer for us as we do: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of David, we cry to you for mercy today, knowing how compassionate, how loving, how attentive you are to the hurting, the sick, the blind, the lame, to all those who weep and mourn and struggle. Today we lift to you friends and neighbors, brothers and sisters, asking you to have mercy upon them. And for ourselves, we cry for mercy, ignoring all the voices which would seek to silence our insistent boldness, knowing that you will hear, and that you will respond. May your mercy be upon us today. Amen.
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Are you new to prayer or to this series of prayer challenges? I’m glad you joined us–you don’t need to have taken in all the month’s challenges. You can pick up right here today. However, if you are interested, scroll back through the month and discover ways we can all grow in conversation with God.