I attended a prayer meeting at my church for the Decision America, Franklin Graham tour. This was a city wide prayer meeting to pray that Jesus Christ will be lifted up at the rally and people will be invited to know and trust Him! I was not sure what to expect because “meeting” does not sound inviting. But I did know, based on a training I had been to by the Billy Graham Evangelical Association, that it would be powerful and the Holy Spirit would be there! We started out singing and it quickly turned to worship. We sang simple songs - no words posted or printed for us. After we opened with prayer we were told it was time to get our hearts right before we had our prayer meeting. I have to be honest - when the speaker started speaking, I thought there was a lot of chit chat going on. God quickly showed me that it was people praising God and affirming what the speaker was saying. It was so cool to have Christians from all over Wilmington, from all types of churches, who all worship differently, coming together as one and praying for our city! And for all to lift up Jesus Christ!
We prepared our hearts for prayer by encouraging our own souls. We can do this by praising God. Saying, Praise the Lord, Hallelujah or simply, Thank you, Lord! Thank Him for the many blessings and mercies. Thank Him for being kind, compassionate and loving! I feel this time of preparing my heart helps me realize just WHO I am talking to. Just how powerful He is! I am given a glimpse of how much He loves me! I am reminded of a fraction of all of the mercy poured on me. It prepares me to be ready to bow down before the King of Kings!
Mark 10:46-52, “Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “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!’ Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Jesus stopped and said, ‘Call him.’ So they called to the blind man, ‘Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.’ Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus. ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ Jesus asked him. The blind man said, ‘Rabbi, I want to see.’ ‘Go,’ said Jesus, ‘your faith has healed you.’ Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.”
As we read this passage, I was brought back to Jericho which was not one of the nicer places while visiting the Holy Land. It did not feel safe like the other places. In Bible times, Jericho was a dry, dusty, robber-filled road. Today it is paved but there was still a feeling to be cautious. In fact, there was something smoldering in the road as we drove by. The driver said it was probably a little bomb. Of course Jesus went there! He was looking to save ALL people in ALL places! Luke 19:10, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” He didn’t just go to safe places!
People were following Jesus because He was different. He was authoritative and He healed. This was a busy place with lots of people. To be heard you would have to yell above everyone else. Bartimaeus was a beggar so he was not considered important. When he yelled out to Jesus everyone wanted him to be quiet. But he yelled out, “Jesus, have mercy on me.” When we say, “Jesus, have mercy on me,” we are recognizing what we are - full of sin. And we know Jesus can rescue us. Bartimaeus may have been the low man on the totem pole but he was a smart man!
As Jesus has promised us, He hears. Psalm 145:18, “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” Psalm 34:17, “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles.” Jesus responds to the cry of His people. God answers prayer. As our speaker said, it is not our trauma or our drama that He answers. He already knows what we are going through. He answers His people’s prayer.
Have you cried out to God? You cannot receive what you have not asked for. James 4:2, “You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.” As I was reminded, I do not want to get to Heaven and see a pile of riches that God had been wanting to bless me with but I never asked. If it is in the Bible, it is His Word - “You do not have because you do not ask.”
God knew Bartimaeus was blind. And God knew He could restore his sight but God wanted to hear Bartimaeus cry out to Him. “Jesus, have mercy on me.” And Jesus responds telling the people to call him. Because Jesus was calling to Him, they all cheered the worthless beggar on even though moments before they wanted him quiet. Jesus asked, “What do you want me to do for you?” Bartimaeus said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” Rabbi meant “my Master” so again Bartimaeus knew who He was talking to. Jesus said, “Go, your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight! Bartimaeus’ sight was restored and he followed Jesus! He received because he asked.
So after your heart is prepared please pray for this evangelistic rally on Saturday, October 5, 2019, 4:00 PM at Legion Stadium. Be in prayer for all of those attending and for a great awakening in Wilmington, NC. We all need Jesus. We all have trauma and we all have drama! Jesus told the disciples in Matthew 9:37-38, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Volunteers are needed. What an honor this will be to attend and serve! For me, I believe it will be something I will never forget. And I know we will be part of a great harvest! Isaiah 55:11, “so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” We are called to wake up the church of Jesus Christ! We are called to be a missionary right here in Wilmington. Be in prayer for who you might invite and bring. Remember by planting one Christian in a family you could change generations!
After our hearts were prepared we prayed for this rally. So we did meet and pray and that is why it is called a prayer meeting. But the important lesson I took away was getting my heart prepared. Jesus knows what we need better than we know. He is waiting for us to raise our voice above our circumstance, pain, burdens, etc. Cry out to Him. “Jesus, have mercy on me.” Jesus loves you and cares for you. Jesus is asking, “What do you want me to do for you?”