The Prayer Principle of Illumination

"He took the bread and blessed it...their eyes were opened." Luke 24:29

Principle: Prayer illuminates the darkest hour with the Presence of Jesus.

Two disciples had been walking and talking with one another about the death and burial of Jesus, when He approached them and began walking with them. For seven miles on the Road to Emmaus they had His Presence, but they did not recognize Him. The Bible says, "their eyes were being prevented from recognizing Him." (Luke 24:16). This may have been the result of the darkness of despair that surrounded them. It could have been the fog that comes from the intimidation of immediate circumstances. It may have been God's timing was not right for them. Whatever the reason may have been, they did not recognize Jesus until He prayed with them.

As the disciples reached the village of Emmaus, Jesus acted as if He would go farther down the road. The disciples urged Jesus to join them for the evening meal (Luke 24:29) This may be one of the most profound pictures of the character and conduct of the Risen Christ. Jesus

responded to their request to stay with them. The disciples sought more intimate fellowship with Jesus, and His insight into the Word of God. Jesus did not force His way into their lives. He would have been willing to move on if these two people had been disinterested, but He stayed. He always does when He asked to come in and spend time with anyone who cannot get enough of Him.

"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice, and opens the door, I will come in and sup with him and he with Me." Revelation 3:20

The Bible does not record the prayer Jesus said as a blessing over the food He passed to the disciples. It does say that after Jesus prayed, He began breaking the bread, providing it to them, "And their eyes were opened and they recognized Him." (Luke 24:31) There may have been something unique about the way He prayed. Somehow they were touched by what He said. After Jesus prayed they had fresh insight and complete awareness about who He really was.

The two disciples couldn't wait to get back on the road, and walk seven miles, uphill, to find their friends who were in need of the light. Before the Presence of Jesus was illuminated, they did not have enough light for themselves. After Jesus vanished from their sight, He left enough light for them to pass on to others. When they found the disciples hiding in the dark, they let their light shine. "And they began to relate their experiences on the road and how He was recognized by them in the breaking of the bread." (Luke 24:35)

Jesus is the Light of the World. Prayer remains the window that lets the light of Jesus shine on and shine through His disciples. The previous darkness was illuminated by the Presence of Jesus. After Jesus prayed they could see Him in the midst of their circumstances. They admitted to one another what they had both felt when Jesus was sharing the Word of God with them. They were brought closer to God, and to one another through the power of prayer.

The smallest light can illuminate and penetrate the greatest darkness. The disciples had just finished a seven mile journey hearing Jesus teach the word of God. They had heard the truth taught by Jesus, and a fire had been set in their heart. However, it took a simple prayer of blessing to illuminate their lives with the Presence of Jesus. When they saw Jesus as the Risen Christ, they were filled with the power of the resurrection. They returned to a city that had been a source of intimidation, and sought out people in need of illumination. They told them about the Risen Christ, and how they recognized Him when He prayed.

The Practice of Prayer: Pray before you take a bite of food. This may seem like a small thing, but this simple practice will let the light of Jesus shine out of you. Take the time to say grace over the food you eat at home, church, or in a public restaurant. You will become an instrument of light in a dark world. You never know who may need a light.

Thought for the Day: Saying a blessing before you eat a bite of food will insure that you never have another prayerless day.

"The first purpose of prayer is not to give a life of ease, but to glorify God." Donald Demaray