We read in Luke 18:35-43 of the blind man who called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” It’s the cry of desperate need all of us feel in our hearts when we are hurting, afraid or lost. Jesus asked the man, “What do you want me to do for you?”
Our world needs God’s mercy, and the church is often the only voice calling out to Him for help. As we struggle with the effects of the pandemic, political and social divisions, financial instability and the moral decay of our society, Jesus is asking us, “What do you want me to do for you?”
The blind man said, “Lord, I want to see.” What should we ask Jesus for? What is our prayer for this hurting world? Let me share a few suggestions.
First, we should continue to pray for healing. The virus that has plagued humanity these past two years has proven bigger and stronger than even the wonders of modern medicine, but it’s not too big for God. He is able to bring healing, and in faith, we believe He will restore His world according to His great mercy and in His perfect timing. Our role is to pray for healing and to offer compassion to those who suffer.
Second, we should pray for the elected leaders of our community and nation. We are blessed to live in a free, democratic society where we have a voice in representative government, but we also have an obligation as followers of Jesus to lift up “petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving… for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives” (1 Timothy 2:1-2).
Even if we don’t agree with the political agendas of those in office, we can still pray that God will pro-tect them and give them wisdom. We can pray for unity, peace and stability in our nation. We can pray that leaders will speak the truth and stand up for justice for all people. As God answers these prayers, our society will prosper, and that will bring blessing to us and everyone else.
Third, we should pray that the church will stay focused on the mission Jesus gave us. The American church has been in steady decline for two generations, and the pandemic has only added fuel to that fire. But God is not done with His church, and Jesus has not changed the mission He gave us. The church still exists to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19) by sharing the love and message of Jesus with those in need.
Paul asked the church to pray for him, “[so] that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel” (Ephesians 6:19). That’s how we should pray for pas-tors, missionaries and the whole church. The world is starving for good news, and we have the best news the world could ever hear, that God loves us and sent Jesus to be our Savior. Pray that the church will remain faithful and focused on our mission.
Finally, we should pray for revival. Throughout history, the Holy Spirit has moved in powerful waves, calling people to repentance and faithful surrender to Jesus Christ. As much as our nation needs physical heal-ing and political peace, what we need most of all is spiritual renewal.
John the Baptist led a revival in the wilderness. Acts records several waves of revival in the early years of the church. Down through the generations, the Spirit has done mighty things among God’s people, including multiple great awakenings in our nation.
Revivals often begin with a spirit of humble repentance, as people confess their sins and cry out for God’s mercy. Perhaps that’s where we should start today. Let’s confess our sins and the sins of our land, ask-ing God to show us mercy in the name of Jesus and to send revival in the power of the Spirit.