Thursday, March 31, 2011

Prayer, Part Two: Light

I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father,
would give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened
so that you may know what is the hope of His calling,
what are the glorious riches of His inheritance among the saints,
and what is the immeasurable greatness of
His power. (Ephesians 1:17-18)

You could probably meditate on these verses for a week—one phrase at a time--but I chose the word “light” to summarize what Paul is praying for his friends here.

When we pray for light, who are we addressing? Who is the light of the world?
In John 8:12, Jesus said, “I am the light of the world."

The Light of the World brings light to our hearts. This enlightenment begins when we believe in Jesus Christ as Savior. For the rest of our lives, He illuminates us with “the knowledge of His will.”

What does it mean to pray for light? Look back at the verse. Notice the words wisdom, revelation, and knowledge. We all need wisdom every single day. The Greek word Paul used for revelation means “uncovering” or “revealing God”; knowledge is “discernment” or “recognition.”

Think for a moment about carrying a flashlight on a dark night: it allows you to see or discern your path. It helps you recognize the faces of your friends. It uncovers truth and increases your knowledge about your surroundings. Praying for light is praying for discernment, truth, and knowledge—knowledge about your situation and a more intimate knowledge of the Lord.

Light also changes things. Sunlight nourishes plant life and literally brightens our life. Inside our homes, lamps cheer up dim corners, and candles add a romantic glow to dinner tables. In the same way, when the Light of the world cheers us up and changes us.

My bedroom window looks out toward the rugged mountains that surround Las Vegas. The red and orange layers in the mountains seem to shift as the sun moves across the sky. Between me and the mountains stands Red Rock casino, a sleek copper building that reflects the mountains and the clouds and, best of all, the sunrise. If I wake early enough in the morning, I watch the sunrise change the skyline. The mountains, the neighborhoods, the casino, the palm trees...all are touched by the light. I love to think of my Savior as the sunrise, His rays of love bringing hope and change to our world.

Here are some of David's prayers for Light:

Lord, You light my lamp;
My God illuminates my darkness. (Psalm 18:28)
Make Your ways known to me, Lord; teach me Your paths.
Guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation;
I wait for You all day long. (Psalm 25:4-5)
Happy are the people who know the joyful shout; Lord, they walk in the light of Your presence. (Psalm 89:15)

If you've trusted the Light of the World, He is shining in your heart today. If you need discernment, joy or change, ask Him.

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