MARK 8:22-26: “Then He came to Bethsaida; and they brought a blind man to Him, and begged Him to touch him. So He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the town. And when He had spit on his eyes and put His hands on him, He asked him if he saw anything. And he looked up and said, “I see men like trees, walking.” Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly. Then He sent him away to his house, saying, “Neither go into the town, nor tell anyone in the town.” (NKJV)
OBSERVATIONS: Don’t stop praying! Don’t stop believing! As I read this familiar passage this morning these are the words that came flooding to my heart. Is it possible that we don’t “pray through” the difficult circumstances of our lives? There are those who teach that if we have enough faith we only need to ask “once”, and then simply thank Him for the answer. Yet, there are countless examples in Scripture that show us just the opposite, and this is one of them.
If Jesus “prayed through” in His ministry to this blind man, shouldn’t we? When Jesus had initially prayed He asked the man if He could see. Many times before Jesus simply spoke the word and the blind received their sight immediately. Yet, in this encounter the man could not see clearly after Jesus laid His hands upon him. So what did Jesus do? Did He simply say – “Have faith and just thank God!” No – Jesus “prayed through”! Jesus laid His hands on the blind man again and made him look up toward heaven, toward the Father. As Jesus directed the blind man to the Father, and as Jesus “prayed through”, the blind man’s sight was completely restored.
Let’s take this principle and look at it through another teaching of Jesus. The parable of the sower clearly shows us that fruitfulness is not immediate, and is always challenged. There is seed that is stolen (no prayer), that is withered (little prayer), and that is choked out (distracted or discontinued prayer). Only the seed that “prays through”, that holds onto the Word, that perseveres in faith is the seed that breaks forth in to fruitfulness! Could it be that we simply stop praying too soon? Could it be that we either neglect to pray, pray to little, or become distracted and discontinue our prayer – just before the breakthrough?
Some may be objecting – “You are making prayer a work!” Prayer is not a work that “earns” the blessing or breakthrough we are looking for. Prayer is the redirecting of our heart toward the only One who can bring forth the blessing and breakthrough we need. We must keep our focus on the Lord Jesus Christ! Prayer is the means by which we do this. Through prayer and God’s Word we keep our hearts open and allow the seed of His promise the time it needs to germinate and spring forth into life. Jesus taught frequently on the need and call to be persistent in prayer. Paul called us to pray with out ceasing. When Jesus “prayed through” as He told the blind man to look up – this is exactly what He was doing. If Jesus did this – shouldn’t we?
One last thought is needful. We must never take the specific encounters of Jesus in His ministry and create “methods” from them. We can glean principles, such as “praying through”, but we should never create a “method”. If we begin to advocate a “two-step” prayer, copying this encounter with the blind man, we have missed the point. Then we have made prayer a work that earns God’s favor. To “pray through” simply means we continue to call upon the Lord, to keep our hearts positioned before the Lord, and our minds open to the Lord – until He leads us into His victory and breakthrough! This may be a miracle, or it may be “grace sufficient”, but it will be clear and evident when it comes!
Lord, give me the grace and faith to “pray through”! May I continue to call upon You, direct my heart toward You, and open my mind to Your Word – until I break forth into victory!
In Jesus Name!