Then Jesus answered him, “What do you want Me to do for you?”—Mark 10:51
It is hard to believe that the Lord would ask us what He could do for us. However, sometimes that is the question we must answer. Bartimaeus was blind, and he knew exactly what he wanted Jesus to do for him: restore his sight. Yet he received heart was faithful. Bartimaeus immediately used his gift to become a follower of the Savior.
Jesus also asked James and John what they wanted Him to do for them. They requested the most prominent places in His kingdom. This time, Jesus answered that He could not give them what they asked. Their request was selfish, and it brought dissension among their fellow disciples (Mark 10:41).
God, however do things in our life to exalts Himself (Ezek. 36:21-24) v.21 And when they entered unto the heathen—So bad were they, and so deeply fallen, that they profaned the Lord’s name among the heathen; and, on their account, the true God was blasphemed. These, say they, are the people of Jehovah! O what an abominable people are these! And what a being must that God be who can have and own such for his people! v.23I will sanctify my great name—By changing your hearts and your conduct, I shall show my hatred to vice, and my love to holiness: but it is not for your sake, but for my holy name’s sake, that I shall do you good in your latter days.
In some cases motive may be misunderstood (2kings 5 5-7) The king of Syria sends Naaman, with a letter and rich presents, to the king of Israel, that he should recover him of his leprosy,vv. 5, 6, On receiving the letter, the king of Israel is greatly distressed, supposing that the Syrian king designed to seek a quarrel with him; in desiring him to cleanse a leper, when it was well known that none could cure that disorder but God, v.7
Only, when we pray according to God’s will is He pleased to grant our requests (John 15:16). We will not see our prayers answered if we ask selfishly (James 4:3). If God refrains from giving us what we are asking, we should evaluate our prayers. Are our motives selfish? Are we asking for far less than God wants to give? Sinful desires and affections stop prayer, and the working of our desires toward God. And let us beware that we do not abuse or misuse the mercies received, by the disposition of the heart when prayers are granted. Unbelieving and cold desires beg denials; and we may be sure that when prayers are rather the language of lusts than of graces, they will return empty.
Are our requests worthy of the God we approach (2 Kings 13:19; Eph 3:20).? Do we lack the faith God requires to give us our desires? (Matt. 17:20). Is there unconfessed sin? (Isa. 1:15).
God delights in responding to our requests (Matt. 7:7). If we will ask according to His will, we, like Bartimaeus, will receive far more than we anticipated! (Jer. 33;3).
Remain blessed in the Lord.