BY PASTOR T.O. BANSO
“Now they came to Jericho. As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Then many warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’ So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called. Then they called the blind man, saying to him, ‘Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you.’ And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus. So Jesus answered and said to him, ‘What do you want Me to do for you?’ The blind man said to Him, ‘Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Go your way; your faith has made you well.’ And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road” (Mark 10:46-52, NKJV).
In verse 47 of the scripture you’ve just read, the Bible says that blind Bartimaeus began shouting that Jesus, the son of David, should have mercy on him. Probably, he was fed up with his miserable life of begging. However, many people tried to silence him but he only shouted louder. I like him because he didn’t allow those who had their two eyes intact and hadn’t experienced blindness to discourage him from securing help from the person he believed could deliver him from this malady.
They were not in his shoes so he simply ignored them just like David ignored Eliab, his brother, who was making an uncomplimentary statement about his enquiry as regards Goliath on that battle field (1 Sam 17:28-30).
Blind Bartimaeus knew he would be the greatest enemy of himself if he allowed Jesus, whom he must have heard a lot about, to pass without calling his attention to his malady. After all, he was only blind, he wasn’t deaf or dumb! He used what he had – his voice – to his advantage and got what he wanted – his sight. He shouted louder to the extent that Jesus heard him, and sent for him. (Matthew 20:29-34 and Luke 18:35-43 have similar stories with little differences in details.)
Let nothing hinder you
The irony is that the people who tried to hinder Bartimaeus from getting his miracle were the same people who told him to cheer up because Jesus was calling him! That’s why you must not listen to mockers, discouragers, envious people, and negative people. If you listen to them, you’ll remain in your disappointing condition. But if you cry to God and your heaven opens and your level changes, they’ll be saying a different thing.
That was what happened to Elisha. The same prophets-in-training who were mocking him about the imminent departure of his master, came back to bow before him. They began announcing what Elisha had not told anyone but they already saw: “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha” (2 Kings 2:15, NKJV).
When Bartimeaus was told that Jesus was calling him, he removed his garment, went to Jesus and got his sight restored. If he had listened to those asking him to keep quiet, Jesus would have passed that road and probably do nothing about his case. The Bible says, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matt 7:7 NKJV). That word “ask” means “keep asking.” “Knock” means “keep knocking.” “Seek” means “keep seeking.” The New Living Translation says, “Keep on asking, and you will be given what you ask for. Keep on looking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened” (Matt 7:7).
What was the problem of those trying to silence the man? After all, Jesus, whose name the man was shouting, was not complaining. His shouting didn’t cost them anything.
That was the same way Jesus’ disciples tried to prevent some children from coming to Jesus but Jesus overruled them saying, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these” (Matt 19:14, NLT). Jesus then put his hands on the children’s heads and blessed them. The Lord shall overrule whatever and whoever will not allow you to receive your miracle this season in Jesus’ name.
You must be determined to receive your miracle. No matter what, you must not stop crying to God until He answers you, until you receive your miracle, until your story changes. Don’t let anyone or any situation silence you. You must scale every hurdle and let Heaven hear your voice.
Again, that’s why I like the determination or faith of the four men that brought the paralytic man to Jesus for healing in a house where he was holding a meeting. They were positively desperate! When they couldn’t get the man into the house because of the crowd, they removed some of the tiles of the roof and lowered him down. They knew after the man had gotten his healing, they could address the issue of fixing back the roofing! There was no way Jesus could have overlooked the faith demonstrated by these men. He saw their faith, forgave the man’s sins and healed him (Luke 5:17-26, Mark 2:1-12).
You may have been praying over a matter for some years, never give up; don’t give God rest. Keep asking except God has specifically told you like he said to Paul in 2 Cor 12:7-9 that He would not remove the thorn in the flesh given to him but His grace would be sufficient for him! But by and large, God doesn’t complain; keep crying to Heaven. Your answer may be nearer than you think. Don’t get tired praying.
Gal. 6:9 says, “So don’t get tired of doing what is good. Don’t get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time” (NLT). 1Thes 3:13 says a similar thing. “And I say to the rest of you, dear brothers and sisters, never get tired of doing good.” (2 Thess. 3:13, NLT). We can apply this scripture to prayer.
Don’t be weary in prayer
David says, “I am weary with my groaning; all night I make my bed swim; I drench my couch with my tears” (Psalm 6:6, NKJV). He says in Psalm 69:3: “I am weary with my crying; my throat is dry; my eyes fail while I wait for my God” (NKJV). There’re many in this type of situation. The devil is happy as long as they continue crying but fail to cry to God. Crying over your negative condition doesn’t change anything. STOP CRYING OVER YOUR CONDITION; START CRYING TO GOD. Keep crying to Him. Agur son of Jakeh said, “I am weary, O God; I am weary and worn out, O God” (Prov 30:1, NLT). Friend, don’t be weary crying to God in prayer; don’t be worn out praying.
Even if you’re already weary, there’s help for you. Receive God’s help now in Jesus’ name. Wait upon the Lord; He shall renew your strength (Isa. 40:31). Keep shouting reverently to God. Let no one or circumstance silence you.
In Luke 18:1-8, Jesus told a parable of the persistent widow who continually bothered the king for justice against her adversary. However, because of the widow’s persistence, the king had to accede to her request. God will surely give justice to His chosen people who plead with Him day and night (Verse 7).
Earlier in Luke 11:5-8, Jesus had told the parable of a friend’s persistence for his friend’s sake. He had to be knocking in the night at another friend’s house to ask for bread for a friend who had come to his house in the night. The friend, who was inconvenienced by the persistent knocking, granted the request though he didn’t know the friend on whose behalf his own friend was asking for the bread. And just as we read in Matt 7:7-8, Jesus said in Luke 11:9-10, “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will be given what you ask for. Keep on looking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And the door is opened to everyone who knocks” (NLT). If you’ll keep on asking, God will answer you.
The Bible tells us how Jacob wrestled with God until God blessed him and changed his name (Gen 32:22-32). Jacob said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me!” (Verse 26, NKJV). That is the spirit! And verse 28 says God gave him a new name and blessed him. God will give you a new name and bless you too.
Isa 62:2 says, “And the LORD will give you a new name.” (NLT) But how will the new name come? See verse 1 of Isa 62: “Because I love Zion, because my heart yearns for Jerusalem, I cannot remain silent. I will not stop praying for her until her righteousness shines like the dawn, and her salvation blazes like a burning torch” (NLT). It is believed that it was Prophet Isaiah speaking here. He was committing himself to not resting, not keeping quiet, until Jerusalem experienced a turnaround. If he would not rest, God would not rest! God would answer him. Don’t rest; God will answer you as well.
Give the Lord no rest
Isaiah goes ahead to declare in verse 7 of Isa 62: “Give the Lord no rest until he completes his work, until he makes Jerusalem the pride of the earth” (NLT). Did you see that? The New Century Version says, “You should not stop praying to him until he builds up Jerusalem and makes it a city all people will praise.”
Don’t give God rest over that wayward child, that stormy marriage, that protracted sickness, that failing business, that hostile boss, that frustrating situation, etc. until God establishes His will and He receives praise over the situation. So shall it be in Jesus’ name.
Who and what is that thing discouraging you from crying to the Lord? Don’t allow that. Keep crying to the Lord. The Bible says whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Rom. 10:13).
God told Moses He had seen the oppression of His people in Egypt, and had heard their cry because of their taskmasters, and had come down to deliver them. (Exo. 3:7-8) Keep crying to the Lord about your condition until it agrees with His promise. God will answer you, and deliver you.
Trust the Lord
Jesus was on his way to the house of the Jairus whose daughter had died but was interrupted by the woman with hemorrhage for twelve years. Unfortunately, while the woman must have been rejoicing over her healing at last, he received a bad news that the daughter was dead. “Your little girl is dead. There’s no use troubling the Teacher now,” he was told (Luke 8:49, NLT).
They’re in essence saying there was no need for him to cry to the master again; he should accept the condition as his fate. He should give Jesus rest. But Jesus heard them and told Jairus, “Don’t be afraid. Just trust me, and she will be all right” (Luke 8:50, NLT). Jesus’ entourage eventually got to this man’s house and the daughter who was dead was restored to life. Everything was alright as Jesus had said. Just trust him; everything shall be alright for you and with you in Jesus’ name.
What to do
1. Study the Bible and obey God’s commands there. These include forgiving those who offend you (Matt. 6:12-15, 18:21-35, Mark 11:25-26, Luke 11:4, 17:3-4) and walking in love (Eph. 5:2, Rom. 13:9-10)
2. Pray according to the Word of God. The Word of God is the will of God (1 John 5:14-15).
3, Be specific in your requests (Matt. 20:32, Mark 10:36, 51, Luke 18:41).
4. Keep asking in faith and thanking God (James 1:6, Phil. 4:6, Col. 4:2). Paul says, “for this cause we thank God without ceasing” (1 Thess. 2:13).
5. Don’t neglect assembling together with fellow believers submitting to the authority of your shepherd (Heb. 10:25, 13:17).
6. Be patient (Rom. 12:12, Heb. 6:12).
7. Listen to and obey the Spirit of God. Be led by the Spirit of God (Rom. 8:14).
Conclusion: Nothing is final until God has spoken! Your doctor, your lawyer, your enemies, etc. may have spoken but God can overrule them – their word is not final unless God approves of it. Who is he who speaks and it comes to pass, when the Lord has not commanded it? (Lam. 3:37). If there’s a situation in your life, your family, your career, your business that doesn’t agree with the Word of God, that’s contrary to the promises of God, it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been praying or how many people have prayed for you or with you, don’t give God rest.
“Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you,” Samuel said to the Israelites (1 Sam. 12:23, NKJV). Earlier in 1 Sam. 7:8, they had told Samuel, “Do not cease to cry out to the LORD our God for us, that He may save us from the hand of the Philistines” (NKJV).
Paul, writing to the Romans, states, “God knows how often I pray for you. Day and night I bring you and your needs in prayer to God…” (Rom. 1:9). The KJV says, “without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers.” Don’t cease praying. That’s what God expects you to do.
Don’t give up on God; never stop praying. “Pray continually” (1Thes 5:17, NCV). For your destiny, your marriage, your children, your family, your ministry, etc. “pray without ceasing” (1Thess. 5:17, KJV). Don’t keep silent; don’t give God rest!
If you’re not born again, I invite you to take the following steps:*Admit you’re a sinner and you can’t save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start to attend a Bible-believing, Bible -teaching church. There you will be taught how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: “0 Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent and confess my sins. I confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour and surrender my life to him today. I invite Jesus into my heart today. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you Jesus for saving me and making me a child of God”
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible believing, Bible teaching church in your area where you will be taught how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I’ll be glad to hear from you. May the Lord be with you.
T.O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523