Are there things on your prayer list that never get crossed off? There are times I pray for things so often that my prayers are out of habit and not out of belief – belief that He hears them and will answer. Have you ever been surprised when God has answered a prayer? I have! Then I wonder about my faith. If I didn’t believe He could answer, then why did I pray in the first place?
I’m reading an awesome book right now called Listening for Godby Marilyn Hontz. I highly recommend it. It’s about the different ways we can hear God’s voice. One of which is prayer. Today in my reading, she was talking about the story of the lady who bled for twelve years. Take a look at it to refresh your memory…
42 As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him.
43And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her.
44She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped. 45″Who touched me?” Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.” 46But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.” 47Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed.
48Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”
Can you imagine this woman? She had been bleeding for twelve years! I’m thinking, how is she even alive? She was desperate for Jesus. I imagine that she heard He was in town, and she placed herself on the side of the street hoping He might see her and heal her. She probably didn’t realize everybody else and their third cousin once removed would be there also. So she is in the middle of this “crush” of people, and she can’t get to Jesus. Then she gets an idea. Maybe, she thinks, just maybe if I could touch Him, I would be healed. That, my friends, is a LOT of faith.
The Bible tells us she touches the edge of His cloak or the hem of his garment. I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking if you’re reaching out to touch someone you would probably grab their shoulder or their arm – unless you are on the ground. She must have been. She has been bleeding for twelve years. She is weak and in poor health. She needs to reach Jesus, but hasn’t the strength to get through the crowd. She must have crawled through the throngs of legs and dusty feet to get to Him.
Okay, so now I’m back to those prayer requests that never seem to be answered. Have they been on the list at least twelve years? Maybe some of yours have, but mine have not. If we really want Jesus to answer our prayers, are we determined enough to get to Him? We need the faith and determination of that woman. Are we sitting in our collapsible camp chairs with the cup holder in the arm rest just waiting for Him to answer our prayers while sipping Diet Coke? Or are we on our knees, crawling through the dust and the legs desperate to get to Him? If Jesus walked by you in your camp chair, would you have the audacity to ask Him to come over to you, so you wouldn’t have to get up? Certainly not! But don’t we act that way in our prayer requests sometimes?
Marilyn Hontz said it like this:
…so often we say to the Lord, “Lord Jesus, bless me. Bless my efforts and come and touch me.” Are we desperate enough that we say to the Lord, “Let me just get close enough to you so that I can touch you”? I think the Lord must be pleased – even blessed – when we initiate touching Him. It shows our desperation and that we want Him. I believe prayer is a way to touch Jesus. It may not always be easy. Your phone may interrupt you at the office, the doorbell may ring, there will be unexpected interruptions, and there will always be someone or something pressing and crowding in on you to keep you from touching Jesus. But when you do touch Jesus through prayer, his power goes out to you.
So, whatever it is in your heart for which you desperately need Jesus, go touch Him today. Feel His power and hear Him say, “Who touched me?”
**The picture above is from the Loretto Chapel in Sante Fe.
I'm one sassy southern Mama who loves Jesus and isn't afraid to shout it. My passions are Jesus, my husband, my kids, and chocolate. I'm a teacher turned Christian writer. Ask me why I love Jesus and be prepared to sit a spell.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul, but don't forget to love your neighbor as yourself. I am a firm believer that we can change the world one person at a time - by being Christ with the skin on to those who are in need.
Are you a sheep or a goat?