Talking to Jesus: Pray Like a Begger

“Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (that is, the Son of Timaeus), was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ ” (Mark 10:46-47)

Notice how different this prayer is from that of James and John. We just spent a few days looking at Jesus’ response to their prayer for power. Mark immediately tells us about another audacious request, but the approach is radically different.

ttj_350Bartimaeus was blind; he couldn’t do much to provide for himself. So he’d find a spot near the city gate, spread out his cloak on the ground in front of him, and start begging for people to drop money on it as they went by. But this day was different. He caught the word that Jesus was in the big crowd tramping out of town.

Like James and John, Bartimaeus believed the Jesus was the Messiah and that He had great power. But he couldn’t wait for a quiet moment alone with Jesus; he had to act now. So he started shouting to be heard. They called Jesus “teacher;” he called out to the “Son of David,” the name for the Christ. They asked for something they may have thought they were owed; Bartimaeus pleaded for mercy.

Think: Can you think of times when you’ve asked God for things with the same attitude as that of James of John? Can you think of desperate prayers submitted to God with the humility and urgency of Bartimaeus?

Prayer: Ask God to help you to be both humble and bold when approaching Him in prayer — both highly respectful and deeply honest about your desires.

Do: Write out a specific request you’ve made of God in the last week or so and notice what your words show about your attitude toward Him.