A couple of weeks ago my Bible study – Disciple’s Prayer Life – made a comment that I took to heart. The author commented that many years ago, he began praying every day that God would “open his eyes to spiritual reality.” I didn’t necessarily comprehend the full meaning of that statement at the time, but I wrote it down in my prayer journal as something to remember to pray for every day. Today, as I prayed, and as I got to this line in my prayer journal, I had a memory of a story I had read in the Bible. I couldn’t remember exactly where it was – I searched all in Judges and Joshua, but couldn’t find it. Then I remembered that in that story, the word’s “open” and “eyes” were used, so I did a keyword search, and found the story in 2 Kings 6:8-17:
Now the king of Aram was at war with Israel. After conferring with his officers, he said, “I will set up my camp in such and such a place.” The man of God sent word to the king of Israel: “Beware of passing that place, because the Arameans are going down there.” So the king of Israel checked on the place indicated by the man of God. Time and again Elisha warned the king, so that he was on his guard in such places. This enraged the king of Aram. He summoned his officers and demanded of them, “Tell me! Which of us is on the side of the king of Israel?” “None of us, my lord the king,” said one of his officers, “but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom.” “Go, find out where he is,” the king ordered, “so I can send men and capture him.” The report came back: “He is in Dothan.” Then he sent horses and chariots and a strong force there. They went by night and surrounded the city. When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked. “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, LORD, so that he may see.” Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.(emphasis added)
I’m not sure if this was what the author of my Bible study meant when he wrote this, but it spoke to me all the same. The truth is that there is much going on around us, spiritually speaking, that we don’t see with our physical eyes. In this case, Elisha’s servant couldn’t see the horses and chariots of fire that surrounded them. I’m not sure Elisha actually saw them either – for Elisha, it may have been more a matter of faith. He knew that the Lord was with them, and he proved it to his servant by asking God to open his servant’s eyes to the spiritual reality that surrounded them.
It’s easier for me to believe in a God that exists in Heaven than it is for me to believe that He is working all around me, and I just can’t see it. I can separate earth and Heaven, and my mind is cool with that. But when I try to incorporate a spiritual realm here on earth, and I try to envision the kinds of things that are happening in that realm all around me, it just isn’t easy. I’m too much of a realist, I guess. So this prayer is especially helpful for me – Lord, open my eyes to spiritual reality. I want to see what’s going on, and take joy in the fact that you are working in ways I never imagined.