On Wednesday morning I spoke to my mother for the first time in almost a week. She lives on the Central Coast and was suffering life without electricity and the telephone following the bad storms of last week. She shared with me how difficult it was living day after day without power. Once it became dark they could not see anything so they went to bed after dinner at 6.30pm! What joy it was for them when the light finally came on sometime on Tuesday! They could finally see and enjoy all their home has to offer. It was like this for me when after a two year journey the light finally came on for me in the deep recesses of my brain as I understood a great Christian teaching for the first time. The light really needed to be switched on for me to grasp the doctrine of God’s Sovereignty.
I am firmly of the belief that this light, this spiritual light that brightened up my darkened brain, was in answer to prayer – prayer from other people who cared for me as a young, immature Christian. You know I could not understand the teaching on the Christian doctrines of election, predestination and God’s choosing. I simply could not process them with my limited knowledge. It all seemed too unfair. Then, with the encouragement of my old and wise beach mission leader, I began reading … in actual fact, he forced me to read! But I know that he prayed for me too!
I remember the night well when I concluded reading Iain Murray’s fabulous book, ‘The Forgotten Spurgeon’. All of a sudden everything came together. I could see ever so clearly a great and most wonderful teaching. It was God’s Sovereignty in all its glory opening before my very eyes. I found Iain Murray’s telephone number and called him. I had never rang an author before but such was my excitement. He simply thanked the Lord and said, “Steve, God has done a good thing for you tonight. He, through the power of the Holy Spirit, opened your eyes to this incredible truth. He is the one who turned the light on for you. Now be very careful in the days, weeks and months ahead that you do not expect everyone to have this knowledge because only God can reveal the depths of such truth. So pray for others to be enlightened too!” I wished I had remembered this advice in the years ahead!
This is the essence of the prayers Paul prays for those he loves. He is praying that their minds may be opened to some of the great mysteries of God. Today, in our text from the first chapter of Ephesians, Paul prays that we will truly know what it really means for us to be in Christ. He prays for us to be enlightened to the great doctrine of God’s sovereignty! Everything flows from this doctrine. Let us learn to pray like Paul. Such is his heart and love for Christian brothers and sisters. These are the important and great prayers! What a privilege to pray for others like this!