Open my eyes [to spiritual truth] so that I may behold
Wonderful things from Your law. – Psalm 119:18
Those that would see the wondrous things of God’s law and gospel, must beg him to give them understanding, by the light of his Spirit. – Matthew Henry
This is a simple but powerful prayer for spiritual illumination, asking God by His Spirit to remove the scales from our natural, spiritually blind eyes, that we might see and receive supernatural truth. Spiritual truth cannot be apprehended in a natural way, but requires a supernatural means. – Precept Austin
J Vernon McGee – This is the verse I used to begin the “Thru the Bible” program years ago when I first taught it in a little weather-beaten church on the side of a red clay hill in Georgia. I used this verse as a theme for many years.
The Bible’s filled with spiritual truth that can only be seen with an eye opened by the Spirit of God.
But if so, it may still be asked what is the meaning of this prayer, and why does the Bible itself insist so often on the indispensable need of the Spirit of God to teach? Now there is a side here as true as the other, and in no way inconsistent with it. If prayer without effort would be presumptuous, effort without prayer would be vain. The great reason why men do not feel the power and beauty of the Bible is a spiritual one. They do not realize the grand evil which the Bible has come to cure, and they have not a heart to the blessings which it offers to bestow. The film of a fallen nature, self maintained, is upon their eyes while they read: “The eyes of their understanding are darkened, being alienated from the life of God” (Ephesians 4:18 ). All the natural powers will never find the true key to the Bible, till the thoughts of sin and redemption enter the heart, and are put in the centre of the Book. It is the part of the Father of lights, by the teaching of his Spirit, to give this to the soul, and he will, if it humbly approaches him with this request. Thus we shall study as one might a book with the author at hand, to set forth the height of his argument, or as one might look on a noble composition, when the artist breathes into us a portion of his soul, to let us feel the centre of its harmonies of form and colour. Those who have given to the Bible thought and prayer will own that these are not empty promises. – John Ker, in a Sermon entitled, “God’s Word Suited to Man’s Sense of Wonder,” 1877.
Maybe it’s not so much the time that you spend in the Word as it how you spend that time, and what you get out of it. But to get something out of the Word, you have to spend time in the Word. Bible reading is a primary source of power in our Christian life over sin and temptation, a source of intimacy with God and Jesus Christ, a source of fellowship with the Holy Spirit, and sensitivity to His leading.
So let us pray this prayer and cultivate the habit of doing this often, remembering that the Holy Spirit is with us and in us, waiting to answer our prayer and to give the illumination we need.