When blind Bartimaeous heard that Jesus was nearby he began to shout, “Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me.” (Mark 10:46-52)
One of the most common and most practiced ancient prayers in the Eastern Orthodox Church is “Lord Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.”
Last week at the jail service I asked the men how many know with utter certainty that God has spared their life. “How many can point to the very moment when you know without question that God spared your life?”
Every man in the room raised his hand. No exceptions. Several said God spared their lives many times. Many said, “I should be dead.”
“And why did you come to service today?” I asked one man who said God has repeatedly spared his life.
“I’m not proud of what I’ve done,” he said. “I came here today to hear the Word of God spoken and to ask for mercy one more time.”
With all the pain and devastation in the world (with Haiti taking center stage) you might think people would be done with God, even curse him.
But no, they cry out for His mercy repeatedly. “Have mercy on me, God. Spare my life. Give me another chance to serve you. Lead me not into temptation, God. Spare me from a time of trial. Deliver me from the evil one.”
Why do you think that is?