"When the man saw Jesus, he bowed his face to the ground, begging to be healed. 'Lord,' he said, 'if you are willing, you can heal me, and make me clean.' Jesus reached out and touched him. 'I am willing,' he said. 'Be healed!' And instantly the leprosy disappeared. Then Jesus instructed him..." Luke 5:12-14
"When the man saw Jesus, he bowed his face to the ground..."
Prayer is the collision of two opposing forces, "My Will" and "Thy Will."
"...begging to be healed...
Prayer first conforms a person to God's will and then transforms them by His will.
"Lord...if you are willing..."
Prayer provides the line of communication between the Heavenly Father and His children. Jesus is Lord. Prayer doesn't make Him Lord. It recognizes Him as Lord. Prayer turns rebellion into a relationship. Prayer honors the Lordship of Jesus, and turns ownership into stewardship. Prayer yields our rights to Jesus and prepares us to do His will.
"...if you are willing, you can heal me, and make me clean..."
Prayer places the crises of God's children, into His hands. The more His children talk about them, the less they pray to Him. The more they delay, the larger the larger their crises get. Prayer releases what God can do for us. Talk is obsessed with what a crisis is doing to us.
"Jesus reached out and touched him..."
Prayer is a high touch enterprise. When God's children pray, they get in touch with Jesus, and then they receive a touch from Him.
"I am willing."
Prayer turns "My Will" into "Thy Will." People, willing to pray, get over themselves, and get in touch with God. They are more obsessed with "Thy" than "My." Childish people are more concerned about "S'mine!" than "Thine."
My first experience in working with children, up close and personal, came when my wife, Dana, asked me to help her with her two year old Vacation Bible School class. Every day I became more and more convinced of original sin. Fights broke out over the slightest offense. Whenever two kids wanted the same toy, it was a throwdown showdown, toddler-style. I learned a new word that week. SMINE!
SMINE: definition - that is mine. To be spoken with a hissing sound, followed by a yanking action, while seizing control of another child's toy, producing a scream from the injured party. This word is often expressed when two children encounter each other in the presence of one toy.
NOTE TO ADULTS: Prayer turns SMINE! into THINE! Childish praying demands God conforms to "My Will." Answered prayer is rooted in "Thy Will." Jesus prayed, "Not My will, but Thy will be done." Follow His lead.
"And instantly the leprosy disappeared."
Delaying in praying only prolongs the agony of the crisis. The earlier a crisis is brought to God, the sooner God's children will see what He will do with it.
"Then Jesus instructed him..."
Answered prayer is not the end of praying. It is the beginning. "When" is followed by "Then." Too often praying people get in touch with Jesus when they need an answer, then lose touch with Him, after they receive it. They are more concerned about "When" than "Then."
People focused on nothing but their own health and wealth may get both and still be spiritually dead and bankrupt. The landscape between "When" and "Then" is roller-coaster ride of emotions and intimidating encounters with the enemy. Prayer turns panic into peace. Enjoy the ride.
Note to self: Prayer is not about getting what you want, as much as it is conforming you into the image of The Father. This was the passion of Jesus, and His Spirit will fan the flames of this fire in your heart. When your heart grows cold, then warm it up through prayer and the reading of God's Word. When in doubt, read the instructions and do what Jesus did.
TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!