Thursday, August 28, 2014

Waiting for Jesus, part 8: Prayer of Abandon

And a woman who had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and could not be healed by anyone, came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak, and immediately her hemorrhage stopped. And Jesus said, "Who is the one who touched Me?" And while they were all denying it, Peter said, "Master, the people are crowding and pressing in on You." (Luke 8:43-45 NASB)

Jairus fell at the feet of Jesus and begged Him to go with him to his house to see his dying daughter.  Jesus immediately responded by heading in that direction. It took faith for Jairus, the synagogue official, to fall at His feet in the presence of a crowd, and it took faith to ask Jesus to see his daughter and heal her. There was nothing at all wrong about his faith, nor about his asking. 

The woman with the hemorrhage also acted in faith. She, too, had a great need and she, too, took her need to Jesus. There is something about this quiet reaching for Him from behind that demonstrates a beautiful desperation. It is reminiscent of the woman with the alabaster vial who also worshipped "from behind" and was an act that said,  "I need the touch of God, whatever that may bring."  There is no doubt that she reached out to Jesus with the hope of healing, no doubt that she touched His fringe because of the symbolic authority and divine power it represented. It seems, though, that she simply brought her need to Jesus, without bringing a preconceived solution for Jesus to fulfill.  She wanted whatever resulted from touching the fringe of His garment. Her reaching out was, in its essence, the prayer that never fails. It was simply, "Thy will be done."

"Thy will be done" is an agonizingly difficult prayer for us. We are trained by our culture to place our order at the window and get that order fulfilled in a near-instant. In many ways, that behavior has made its way into our prayer life.  We have a tendency to place our "prayer order" with God and expect that order to be quickly filled. How incredibly arrogant is that? God must shake His head in wonder at our foolishness. 

How much better it would be if we simply  reached out to our Lord, offered Him our need, and submitted to His will!  We could be assured of having His perfect will every time, rather than our own. We could be certain of God's promises at work in our lives.

For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11 NASB)

There is a place for specific prayer. It helps us to see God's hand at work and easily recognize His answers to our prayers. Specific prayers are a vital part of our faith walk, but there must also be the prayers of utter abandon that say to God, "Your will, and not mine, be done."

Two people brought their needs to Jesus.   Jairus came with a great need and a specific solution in mind. The woman with the hemorrhage also came with a great need, but she left the manner of answering her prayer up to Jesus. Both prayers were answered that day, but only one was answered instantly. As the woman touched the fringe of His garment, the power of God flowed through her and healed her completely. 

Perhaps you, too, have a great need with a long-delayed solution. Isn't it time to take that need to Jesus with utter abandon? Ask Him to intervene in your situation in whatever way He sees best. No suggestions for God. No preconceived solutions. Ask for God's will. It's the only way to be sure you get His best.  
Link to last night's post:
Please pray for our precious brothers and sisters in Nigeria who are struggling because of the tyranny of Boko Haram and their persecution of Christians. Do not forget that they are allies of ISIS (Islamic State).