Last month I had the privilege of traveling to Sydney, Australia to attend Hillsong Conference. One of the guest speakers was Erwin McManus, pastor of Mosaic (church) in Los Angeles, California. He gave a challenging sermon about prayers and I want to share my insights with you.
He preached from Matthew 20:29-34 –
As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. 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.
Erwin raised the question as to why Jesus would ask ‘What do you want me to do for you?”. Why didn’t he just heal them?
God is omniscient. He’s aware of what we need and what we want, but he poses the question to see if we know. By asking questions he engages with us instead of dictating to us.
When the two blind men answered the question they revealed the size of their faith. They could have asked for anything: an unlimited supply of food, money, a donkey for transportation. Yet they asked for a seemingly impossible healing instead of settling for something that would just get them by.
Do we really believe God for big, humanly impossible things?
Erwin stated that often we pray small prayers that we can fulfill ourselves instead of asking for huge things. Why? Maybe deep down we think we’ll be disappointed because we don’t believe God can meet our big requests. In our minds we place restrictions on his ability and therefore limit our blessings by asking God for too little.
Our imaginations are limited but his power is not.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us – Ephesians 3:20
God can and will help us, but he will not force himself into our situation. Though Jesus knew what the blind men wanted, they still had to ask Him for it.
The same is true for us. We must ask and believe for our miracle. The bible says if we have faith the size of a mustard seed we can move a mountain. I wonder what could happen if we exhibited faith the size of a mountain.
I think we’d pray bold expectant prayers knowing that He can and will according to his will. We’d look at people and situations through the lens of “anything is possible with God” and speak life over them. We wouldn’t be hesitant to dream things that seems outlandish to others because we know that faith defies logic.
What is it that you want?
God is asking each of us this question and he will provide based on our response. It’s not that He can’t do more, it’s that we don’t ask for more. In asking for less we risk living disappointed, and that is not God’s plan for us (John 10:10).
Our lives should showcase His glory and power.
So let’s be people who live and pray like we believe God is in the business of making the impossible a beautiful reality.