What Do You Want?

When two blind men sitting along the road heard that Jesus was passing by, they shouted, “Show us mercy, Lord, Son of David!”…Jesus stopped in his tracks and called to them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked. “Lord, we want to see,” they replied. – Matthew 20

I’ve never believed that God is a fairly godmother, granting us exactly what we want when we want it. Our relationship with God should never be one where we ask and just expect to receive, nor should our prayer lives be centered on our own needs or desires. But that’s not to say that asking God for help and healing is improper. Even the Bible shows us that.

Two blind men knew Jesus was walking past, and they called out to him to help them. Jesus asks them a question that may seem oddly obvious: “What do you want me to do for you?”

“We want to see,” they tell him. And, hearing that, Jesus gives them the healing they desire.

Sometimes, I need God’s healing and love, but I don’t know exactly how to ask. “God, help,” is a good enough prayer. But it’s not necessarily the prayer of someone who is ready to work with God for their own healing.

When things in our lives are hardest, sometimes that’s a sign that we need to take a first step towards healing. In those moments our prayers should be less “God, fix it now” and more “God, help me to understand what you want for me.”

The good news is that when we get clear about that answer, we might just find that God has been standing by, ready to give us just what we need.


God, help me to figure out what I need, and hear my prayer when I am bold enough to ask for it. Amen.

dd-emilyheath.jpgAbout the Author
Emily C. Heath is the Senior Pastor of the Congregational Church in Exeter, New Hampshire, and the author of Glorify: Reclaiming the Heart of Progressive Christianity.