“He looked around to see who had done it.” (Mark 5:32)

Sometimes our prayer life can feel a little like a gumball dispenser. We put a quarter in the slot, turn the handle, and expect a gumball to drop out. If we say our prayers, attend church, or do good works, we may think we automatically receive God’s grace. We put in the time, and God dispenses his grace.

But God wants so much more for us! He wants prayer to be a time when we have a personal encounter with him. Look at today’s story of the hemorrhaging woman. It wasn’t enough that she pushed through the crowds and touched Jesus. He want­ed to touch her! He wanted to look into her eyes, listen to her story, and assure her personally that it really was her faith and trust in him that saved her.

In a sense, Jesus was just as per­sistent as this woman was. It didn’t matter that he was on his way to heal someone’s daughter. He still took the time to reach out to this lonely, des­perate woman because she mattered to him just as much as the impor­tant, influential Jairus did.

God wants personal contact with us. It’s not enough for him to dis­pense healing and grace mechani­cally, as if from afar. He wants to see us, to touch us, and to assure us of his love. We don’t have to lower our expectations or reduce the Christian life to a matter of formulas and con­tracts. We were made for commu­nion with God—and Jesus longs for communion with us!

So when you pray today, put aside your to-do list and reach out for Jesus. Push through whatever objec­tions may rise up, and grab hold of his robe. Then don’t be surprised to find Jesus turning and looking at you with love. Don’t be surprised when he speaks words of healing, encour­agement, and direction. He loves spending time with you!

“Jesus, I believe that even now, you are looking for me, waiting for the opportunity to speak to me and touch my heart. Here I am, Lord!”