The fact is, the things I really want (for Christmas or sooner!) aren't things at all.
I was reminded recently of a question Jesus asked in Mark 10. When Bartimaeus cried out for the Son of David to have mercy on him, Jesus said, "What do you want me to do for you?" (v 51). The blind man replied, "Rabbi, I want to see."
I think God asks us the same question when He tells us to "present [our] requests to [Him] (Philippians 4:6b), so lately I've been phrasing my prayers a little differently, albeit with thanksgiving as Philippians 4:6 also instructs.
This is what I want:
I want God to turn the hearts of unsaved family members and friends toward Himself. I want Him to keep pursuing them like the good shepherd He is, rescuing every lost sheep.
I want the Holy Spirit to open eyes, ears, hearts and minds, that unbelievers (especially "mine") might know and receive the Truth about who God is and what God has done for them. I want the Holy Spirit to convict and bring people to repentance that they might experience the fullness of His love, grace, mercy and peace.
I want God to heal people of their hurts, to redeem and restore them, to redeem lost years, to do something new in them. I want Him to protect them from the schemes and plans of the evil one and help them to put on the full armour of God that they might be able to stand against the devil and his darts.
I want Him to heal people physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually so they are free to trust Him completely and live abundant lives, free from fear, anxiety, depression and discouragement. I want Him to give them a hunger and thirst for His Word so they might be nourished, remain in the vine and bear the best, sweetest, juiciest fruit.
I want God's will to be done, in my life and in the lives of those I love, that He might be glorified in us and through us, and that His kingdom might be built on earth as it is in heaven.1 John 5:14 says, " This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us." I believe that my "wants" are within the scope of God's will and so I know He hears me and the answer is already on the way (v. 15). Praise God!
Jesus healed the blind Bartimaeus and gave him the gift of sight. God has read my Christmas list. It lifts from my heart to His like balloons in the sky. All I want for Christmas may be a lot, but nothing is impossible for Him!
Susan Barclay maintains a website at www.susan-barclay.blogspot.com. She is also the new writing groups coordinator for Inscribe.