“The official said to him, ‘Sir, come down before my child dies.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go; your son will live.’ The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way. As he was going down, his servants met him and told him that his son was recovering. So he asked them the hour when he began to get better, and they said to him, ‘Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.’ The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, ‘Your son will live.’ And he himself believed, and all his household.” John 4:49-53
I’ve been focusing a lot on prayer the past few days. Reading through this passage, I began to see a connection here. This official’s son was healed when Jesus spoke healing into that situation. Jesus’s words were in response to the plea of the official. The Son of God could have healed the boy regardless of whether or not the man asked Him to. But He purposed it to be a response. So that the glory of the Lord, the power of God, would be seen and associated here. This man had to come to Jesus. He had to communicate his fears, his hopeless situation, and present the request.
God’s purposes will be accomplished. He does all that He pleases. But He wants us to come to Him, to express our concerns and fears, to share our situation with Him. His healing, His salvation, His provision, His opening of blind eyes and softening of hardened hearts come as a result of our prayers so that we know He hears us and He is involved. So we know it’s Him. So we connect this with our relationship with the God of Heaven. If we cast aside prayer, saying that He’ll do what He’s going to do regardless of our involvement, we won’t see the power of God revealed in our lives. We won’t see His glory. Prayer is set up as the catalyst. Not just the catalyst in whatever God’s answer is, however He starts to work within the request, but the catalyst for what He wants to do in our lives through that prayer. The official and his household all believed in Christ. That isn’t what the man was aiming for when he sought Jesus out. But that was the end result. He presented the need and Jesus responded, but that wasn’t the end of the story. There was more that God wanted to do. More that He purposed to do. If healing had come to the boy through another means, this household would have continued on unchanged. But God worked in their lives in greater ways than anyone expected.
Our Lord wants us to invite Him into our circumstances. He wants us to seek His face. To talk with Him and listen to Him as He responds to our heart. To draw close to Him so we can see His glory and be changed. Our prayers aren’t a guarantee of how He will respond. But they let Him into our life. They open the door for God to work in us, in our situation, in those around us. They make us aware that He is working. We are vigilant to what is going on around us, so we can attribute results to the One who forms light and creates darkness, the One who is reigning over all.