How to Discern Your Soul’s Deep Need: Developing Your Breath Prayer
|Pastor Wes Johnson||June 18, 2006 (Father’s Day)||Mark 10:46-52|
Last week we began to discover a way to pray the scriptures. Today we will focus on discovering our soul’s deep need.
46Then they came to Jericho . As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (that is, the Son of Timaeus), was sitting by the roadside begging.47When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!“
It’s very apparent what Bartimaeus needed: “Have mercy on me!” He is blind. No one else can help him with his core need. He keeps looking for someone, anyone, to help him.
Some can help him with daily food. We give what we can. Some can help him with a few copper coins. We give what we are able. But he knew that there was only One Person who could solve his root problem.
You and I have a core problem. And only God can fix it. The Bible says that all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glorious ideal. We have all done wrong things, and we are exactly the kind of people who are prone to do wrong things. There is something profoundly wrong with the way we are in the world. Bartimaeus did many wrong things. He would walk into walls. He would step in front of an oncoming chariot. Why did he do these wrong things? Because of his core problem—he was sightless. He simply could not see to do right.
You and I do wrong things because we are spiritually blind. We cannot see what is right for us to do. Our perception is clouded. We need Someone who can turn on the light in our soul. We need someone to chase away the darkness caused by our human condition. We need a Savior. We make a prayer, we cry out to the Lord:
Jesus, Light of the World, open the eyes of my heart! Chase away my darkness. Help me see! Let me see! I want to see
For many of us, this moment of salvation comes when we confess our sin, and invite Jesus, the Light of the World, to come into our lives and be the light in our soul. Have you appealed to him? Have you cried out to him? Did you mean it?
Notice that Bartimaeus persistently shouts out his plea to the passing Savior. It is the cry of his heart. It comes from the roots of his soul. It is a prayer that has taken root in his very soul.
Notice that even when others tell him to be quiet, he keeps crying out to the Lord! This is a persistent prayer. He knows what he needs, and he believes that Jesus, the Messiah, the Son of David, is the only person who can help him.
This is the prayer of the heart. This prayer expresses our compelling need. And as we have prayed this prayer, earnestly, from the heart, we discover that Jesus has restored our sight. He has given us new life. And like Bartimaeus, we gather up our things, and follow Jesus up the road.
What is the compelling prayer of your heart today?
The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector
9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
The Pharisee, it is clear, is a spiritual show-off. He is making a prayer for the audience. He isn’t praying to God. He was giving himself a big testimonial before God and the other worshippers in the temple. And if you asked him, he would say, “I don’t have any needs with God! I’ve got it all sewn up!”
This tax collector, however, knew he needed help from God. Tax collectors were both dishonest and betrayers of their own countrymen. He had sold out to the occupying government, and now he was coming to God needing mercy. He stood afar off—he did not venture close to the holier parts of the temple; he did not make himself the center of attention. He would not even lift his eyes to God—he felt so ashamed he could not look in the direction of the throne of heaven. And he kept beating his breast—a great sign of anguish and regret.
It was an earnest, humble, persistent prayer. He knew that he was a sinner. He knew he had done wrong. And he knew that the only person who could help him was God alone.
Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.
What does your soul need from God today? In a moment we are going to provide a time of silence for you to write down your soul’s deep need. Here are three steps toward discovering your soul’s deep need.
I. Discovering Your Soul’s Deep Need
Sit comfortably and be still and calm. Simply “Be still, and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10)
With eyes closed, imagine that God is calling you by name. Hear God asking you: “What do you need most in your life right now?”
Answer God directly with whatever comes honestly from your heart. Your answer may be no more than a single word such as comfort or love or forgiveness. Your answer might instead be a phrase or brief sentence, such as “I need to feel your forgiveness” or “I need to experience your love.” Whatever your response, it will be at the heart of your prayer.
Take two minutes of silence and write down your soul’s deep need.
II. The Breath Prayer Has Four Elements:
|1. The Name of the Lord|
The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.
|Bartimaeus and the tax collector both addressed the Lord by Name, thus showing their faith.|
|2. The Soul’s Deep Need – “Son of David, have mercy on me!”|
|3. Compliance to the Mission of God|
“My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
|Bartimaeus knew Jesus was the Light of the World. He believed in the Lord’s mission as the Son of David.
The tax collector appealed to the mercy of God—and this is at the core of the heart of God. He knew he was asking according to God’s will.
42He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”
43When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.
|Bartimaeus kept crying out when others tried to quiet him down. The tax collector beat his chest repeatedly – and prayed, “Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner!”|
III. Completing Your Breath Prayer
Select the name for God that matches your soul’s deep need. (Endnote)
Combine your name for God with your answer to God’s question of “What do you need?”
Write down your breath prayer.
My Breath Prayer:___ ___________________________________
Pray your breath prayer through the active moments of your day.
Materials modified from “Discovering Your Breath Prayer”
Names of Jesus in the Bible
|The name Jesus comes from Greek for ‘Joshua’ or ‘Yeshua’, which means ‘Jehovah Saves,’ or ‘God is salvation’. The name ‘Jesus’ was well explained in Matthew’s Gospel: “And she (Mary) will bear a son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21
There are many other titles for Jesus Christ in the New as well as in the Old Testament.
|Title||Meaning/Significance of names||Bible references|
|Son of God||Jesus is God in the flesh, revealing the exact nature of God the Father.||Mark 1:1-3; Hebrews 1:1-4; John 14:8-14|
|Son of Man||Jesus Saves as Man to man. He understands and identifies with human need.||Luke 19:1-10|
|Son of David||Jesus is Messiah King, descendant of King David, full of wisdom to rule on earth and in the heavens.||Matthew 15:22-28|
|Word||Jesus is the full expression of the Invisible God; he completely explains the mystery of God.||John 1:1-18|
|Lamb of God||Jesus is God’s Holy Sacrifice for the World’s Sin||John 1:29-37|
|Bread of Life
|Jesus satisfies the longings of our souls with everlasting life and everlasting strength||John 6:35; 48-51|
|Light of the World
|Jesus is the light that dispels the darkness in our souls; he is the light by which we see our way in life.||John 8:12|
|Gate for the Sheep||He himself is the way into safety and the way out to sustenance.||John 10:7-10|
|Good Shepherd||He lays down his life to save and protect his own.||John 10:11|
|The Resurrection and the Life||Jesus is the source of everlasting life||John 11:25-26|
|The Way the Truth and the Life||Jesus is the one reliable path back home to the Father; he is the one way we can live forever with God.||John 14:1-6|
|The True Vine||Jesus is the ever-flowing source of divine life, health and strength.||John 15:5|
|Savior||The One who Satisfies our Deepest Thirst||John 4:1-14|
|Author and Perfecter of Faith||The Pioneer Who Leads us to full Salvation||Hebrews 12:1-3|
|Head of the Church||The Source of Life and Leadership for all believers everywhere||Colossians 1:15-20|
|The Teacher||The Holy One who alone has the words of Everlasting Life||John 1:38, John 6:60-69|
|Author of Life||The Creator of All life||Acts 3:15|
|Alpha and Omega
|Jesus is the Beginning and the End of everything||Revelation 1:8|
|Lion of Judah||He is the triumphant leader of our salvation||Revelation 5:1-5|
|Lamb Who Was Slain||The Worthy Judge of All the World||Revelation 5:6-14|
|Faithful and True||The Returning Savior King||Revelation 19:11-13|
|Word of God||The Authoritative Voice of God||Revelation 19:13|
|King of Kings/Lord of Lords||The Conquering King of all Creation||Revelation 19:11-21|
|Bright Morning Star||The Promise of Full Light to Come||Revelation 22:16|
|Names found in the Old Testament|
|Title||Meaning/Significance of names||Bible reference|
|Immanuel||Jesus is God with us||Isaiah 7:14|
|Prince of Peace||Jesus is the Ruler who brings peace||Isaiah 9:6|
|Wonderful Counselor||Jesus Guides with Amazing Wisdom||Isaiah 9:6|
|Mighty God||Jesus is Almighty God||Isaiah 9:6|
|Eternal Father||Jesus is the Everlasting Source of Eternity.||Isaiah 9:6|
Edited and Expanded from (http://www.jesusanswers.com/bible/names.htm)
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