Lessons on How to Pray to God from Matthew 20

Prayer is a great matter in the Bible, and praying to God is one of the most precious privileges we have as believers. Many, unsure of how to pray to God, have questions like: How do I pray to God correctly? What should I say when I pray? Or, How can I pray to God effectively?

It’s very understandable to have these kinds of questions, especially when we’re first saved and are just beginning to know the Lord.

So how should we pray to God? And what types of things can we pray about? The matter of prayer encompasses many things, but today we’ll touch on just a few points about how to pray using an example in the Bible.

The story of two blind men in Matthew 20

Matthew 20:29-34 gives an account of Jesus and two blind men. Just in case you don’t remember the story, we’ll briefly relate it here.

As Jesus was going out from Jericho, a crowd of people was following Him. When two blind men who were sitting by the road heard that Jesus was passing by, they cried out, “Have mercy on us Lord, Son of David!” The crowd rebuked them, telling them to be silent. But instead of being silent and heeding the rebuke, they cried out even more, “Have mercy on us, Lord, Son of David!”

At this, Jesus stopped, called them, and asked, “What do you want me to do for you?” They replied, “Lord, that our eyes may be opened.” Jesus was moved with compassion for them and touched their eyes. They immediately received their sight and followed Him.

Five things we can learn from the blind men about how to pray to God

This story in Matthew 20 may seem like a simple account, but we can learn at least five things from the two blind men about how to pray.

1. They were desperate to get through to Jesus

The first thing we can see is that the blind men were desperate to get through to Jesus. They weren’t ceremonial or formal in their approach to the Lord. And they didn’t care what the crowd thought about their crying out. The just cried out persistently. They refused to be silent because all they cared about was getting through to Jesus.

From the story, we can see that the Lord appreciated their desperateness and stopped to call them to Himself. We don’t need to be formal with the Lord, thinking we have to say the right thing. We can just open up our mouth and exercise our spirit to pray and be desperate to contact Him.

2. They contacted the Lord directly

The blind men were not only desperate, but they were insistent on contacting the Lord directly. They didn’t cry out to an intermediary, such as a disciple. They didn’t ask someone following Jesus to get Him to come to them. They didn’t take the crowd’s rebuke as an answer. No, they cried out to Jesus directly, the One who had the power to heal them.

We don’t need an intermediary to pray to the Lord for us. We redeemed ones have the marvelous right to pray to Him directly. In fact, just by calling on His name, “Lord Jesus,” we can personally contact the Lord who now lives in our spirit at any time.

3. They spoke in a simple, straightforward way

We can also learn from the blind men how to pray by seeing the simple and straightforward way they spoke with Jesus. Their interaction was a conversation with the Lord. After the Lord called them to Him, He simply asked them, “What do you want me to do for you?” They replied in the same simple way, “Lord, that our eyes may be opened.”

We may think that in order to pray, we have to to use fancy words or the right combination of words. But actually, we see from this story that the Lord just wants us to talk to Him in a simple, straightforward, and conversational way.

4. They told the Lord exactly what they wanted

Not only did the blind men speak simply to the Lord, but they also told Him plainly what they wanted. They didn’t pray, “Lord, we heard You’ve healed a lot of people. We know You’re special. You’re the Son of David, who was our king a long time ago. We’re aware You can do something for us. But if it’s too much trouble, don’t worry about it because at this point we’re used to being blind. However, if You don’t mind, we’d like to receive our sight.”

The blind men didn’t beat around the bush or talk in circles. Instead, they straightaway told Jesus what they wanted. Their first cries to Him were, “Have mercy on us, Lord, Son of David.” Then when Jesus asked them what they wanted Him to do for them, they said, “Lord, that our eyes may be opened.” They told the Lord explicitly what they wanted: mercy and sight.

We can tell the Lord directly what we want without thinking we need to say so much in a complicated way. We can tell Him exactly what we need.

5. They cried out loud

We can also learn from the blind men something about how they contacted Jesus. The Bible says that the blind men cried out. They lifted up their voices to the Lord. In fact, they were so loud that they were heard above the sounds of the crowd.

Certainly, God isn’t deaf and knows what’s on our hearts. But praying aloud with our voice helps us to exercise to focus on the Lord in our spirit. Many of us have experienced attempting to pray silently only to find ourselves lost in our thoughts, anxieties, or feelings. Sometimes due to the environment, we have to exercise to pray inwardly. But most of the time, we have ample opportunity to pray out loud. Exercising our spirit by praying aloud can strengthen our prayer life.

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We can pray to God about all the matters of our life

This story of Jesus and the two blind men can remind us that prayer is simply a personal, direct conversation between the Lord and us. We can tell Him plainly and precisely what’s on our heart and ask Him for the things we need help with.

It’s good to keep in mind that the Lord doesn’t always answer our prayers the way we expect Him to, or even when we expect Him to. But from God’s Word, we can be assured that what matters to us matters to Him and that He cares about what bothers us or weighs us down:

1 Peter 5:7—“Casting all your anxiety on Him because it matters to Him concerning you.”

Philippians 4:6–“In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”

For more about prayer, take a look at these additional posts: “How Is Prayer Our Spiritual Breathing?”; “5 Spiritual Exercises You Can Practice through Prayer”; and “Private Prayer in an Age of Distraction.”

All verses are quoted from the Holy Bible Recovery Version. You can order a free copy of the New Testament Recovery Version here.