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Daily Devotional

Third Sunday in Lent

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Jesus stood still and called them, saying, “What do you want me to do for you?”

- Matthew 20:32 (NRSV)

When I’m at a social gathering and someone discovers I’m a pastor, the person often responds with nervous laughter and says something like, “I’d better watch my language!” Then sometimes people ask, “What do I call you? Pastor? Reverend?” They need to know if there’s a pattern or some sort of etiquette they need to follow.

At our church, we meet a lot of people who are new to faith, and they often have similar questions about prayer. Is there a pattern to use? A system? Will God be mad if I don’t say it correctly? That’s one reason I find today’s reading so helpful. Jesus asks the two men, “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus wants to know their needs and desires. After calling out for mercy, the men say, “Let our eyes be opened.”

This is a good model for our own prayers. Imagine Jesus asking you, “What do you want me to do for you?” Christ wants to know our deep desires and then to open our eyes to see where he is present in our lives. When we are not overly concerned with how we pray, we can speak from our hearts and receive Christ’s abundant mercy.

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