Last year, I had the privilege of working with the YoungLife Ministry. Before school on Wednesdays, we would meet at the local Atlanta Bread Company and discuss their lives, their spiritual walks and prayer concerns. As you can imagine, two of those topical areas were abundant in conversation, while the latter was met with silence. When it came time to voice prayer concerns and pray, those little chatterboxes sealed up like clams.
As the weeks turned into months, I couldn’t help but notice, their struggles were beginning to repeat themselves. Each girl, each week, would speak of family disturbances, peer pressure, school pressure and the like. However, at prayer request time, suddenly the struggles were not enough to voice again. Regrettably, this behavior of complain first, be silent later was something to which they all became accustomed. These young high schoolers, however immature in their spiritual journeys, were unknowingly touching on a very mature issue with Christians: Admitting needs.
“Do you want to get well” – NIV
In the book of John, Jesus and his disciples were traveling to Jerusalem. At the gate, Jesus came across a man who had been an invalid for 38 years. Can you imagine how this man must have looked, sitting at the gate day in and day out with other blind, lame and paralyzed peers? Still, Jesus says, “Do you want to get well?” I mean, isn’t it obvious!
God knows our hearts. He knows every need that we encounter and every want that we do not speak. He knows when we doubt Him and He knows when we feel Him. The message is not if God can hear us, it is about if anything is there for Him to hear at all. In His greatness, He will save us. In His mercy, He will heal us. All He asks in return is for the need to be acknowledged.
Let us voice our needs; we never know who may be listening.