Praying for 5

MarkBible Reflection

4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness, made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. – 2 Corinthians 4:4-6

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This time last year, as a church, we launched a new initiative; Praying for 5. The idea behind this was to commit to praying for five family members or friends to become Christians. The reason we need to pray for non-Christians is outlined for us in our verses from 2 Corinthians. In verse 4 Paul reminds the church that we are involved in a spiritual battle. We have an enemy who has blinded the minds of unbelievers so that they cannot see who Jesus is and their need of his salvation. It takes a miracle for this to happen and one that we cannot perform ourselves; only God alone can do it! Therefore, we need to depend on God in prayer. We need to plead with him to have compassion and mercy upon those who don’t yet know him. We need to ask him to shine his light into their hearts so they would see who Jesus is and turn to him for salvation. As we pray, we need to ask God to give us the courage to speak. Paul writes in verse 5 that, in this work of opening blind eyes, he preached the gospel of Jesus. It was the means that God used to open blind eyes. This is why, as a church, we are committed to preaching God’s word. This is why we are running a course to help us better answer people’s questions and objections to the Christian faith. And here we see the partnership we have with God. His work is to open blind eyes, our work is to pray and speak about Jesus when and where we can. This partnership is God’s way of bringing people to faith and what a privileged partnership it is! If God wanted to, he could do it all himself. He doesn’t need us but, in his love, he chooses to use ordinary, weak human beings like you and me to open blind eyes.

Now, not all of us are called to be preachers, teachers and evangelists. However, all Christians should be able to give a reason for the hope they have. (1 Peter 3:15) And all of us can pray for people. So will you commit or recommit yourself to praying for 5? If we want to see the church revived and growing, we need to be people who pray regularly and persistently with great patience for God to open blind eyes. And the same God who opened our blind eyes and answered the prayers of those who were praying for us can open the blind eyes of those we are praying for. So at this season of Lent, let’s call on God to open the eyes of those who are blind.

Yours in Christ