Mark 10:36 NLT
“What is your request?” he asked.
Jesus wants us to make self-discovery, so we are invited to develop the questions we bring to God. Here Jesus invites James and John to specify their request. As Katey deteriorated with MS, I obviously requested God’s healing for her. God then asked me, what did I want from that healing? This was a big question and there were layers to my response. Physical healing, yes; a testimony of God’s grace, most certainly; yet, also not to feel abandoned and alone with something I couldn’t handle. Oh, and not to have to rethink all I’d believed and taught.
The question was a good one, and so now the brothers must specify their request, which appears to be one of self-aggrandisement. Still, specific requests are far better than imprecise ones. This is part of the learning in prayer. In making our requests known to God, let’s be precise. If I ask for peace, peace from and peace for what? I must decide why I want peace and in what specific ways. God deals in specifics and the more precise I become in my request, the more precise and focused are the questions God puts back to me.
Had my general prayer for healing been answered, Katey and I would have returned to living as we had done before. The effort of renewing our minds would have been neglected for the easier route of following a well-trodden road of Christian discipleship and leadership. In short, we would have missed an opportunity to discover more of God and of ourselves, the rich reward from our way of dispossession.
Jesus, in his response to James and John, introduces the reality that friendship with God is a dialogue, not a monologue. I will have my list of concerns and demands, yet these are merely the elements for starting a conversation with God.
QUESTION: Are your requests to God specific in nature? Is there room for a dialogue?
PRAYER: Thank you, gracious Father, that you hear our requests and petitions. Help me bring them with thanksgiving and not entitlement.