John 12:40 – He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.
Let me preface my remarks here by saying that I am in NO WAY saying there are only two prayers to pray. What I AM SAYING is that with all the various kinds of prayer we can and should be offering to the Lord, there are two distinct prayers we must pray if we will recognize to the fullest possible extent the power of God manifest in the saving and healing of those who are lost.
In our Text for Today we see that the eyes of men have been blinded and their hearts hardened to prevent them from seeing and understanding the will of God to save and heal them. In this verse, one of the most critical elements leading to salvation is clearly revealed. First, allow me to remind you of Jesus’ command to pray for the lost in a particular manner. He did NOT say to pray for the lost to be saved. What He DID say was that we should pray that the Lord of the harvest send forth laborers into the harvest. You see, we are all called to be witnesses, and we have all been given the assignment to equip ourselves as able ministers of the New Covenant.
But you can be as able as you like, and you can be obedient to the Lord to “go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.” But still one thing is lacking, and we find that clearly revealed in Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 1. This is not a prayer prayed for the lost to be saved, but for the church to have its eyes opened to see and clearly understand what the hope of our calling is. For until that happens, our witness to the world will always be insufficient. A truly sufficient witness can only come forth through us when the eyes of our understanding are enlightened to see what is the hope of our calling, and to recognize our full authority in Christ for the work to which we have been called. When they Church comes to that place, we will see the most effective witness for Christ the world today has ever seen.
Let us strive to reach that place, and to reach it, we must pray the two prayers we examine today. Pray for the eyes of the church to be opened as Ephesians describes, and pray for the Lord of the harvest to send forth those laborers who have been so enlightened into the harvest. I pray for you to have joyful and fruitful praying, and that your eyes be so enlightened that the Lord of the harvest set you forth as a great leader in His work.
Manna for Today – John 12:36-43; Matthew 9:37-38; Luke 10:2; Ephesians 1:15-23