“Open the Eyes of My Heart” by Paul Baloche

from “Proclaiming the Gospel in Worship” by Johnold Strey

“Open the Eyes of My Heart” by Paul Baloche
Open the eyes of my heart, Lord. Open the eyes of my heart.
I want to see you. I want to see you.
To see you high and lifted up Shining in the light of your glory.
Pour out your power and love As we sing holy, holy, holy.
Holy, holy, holy.
Holy, holy, holy.
Holy, holy, holy.
I want to see you.

At first glance, someone might note the similarity between this song and the Lutheran hymn, ―Lord, Open Now My Heart to Hear‖ (CW 282). But a closer look reveals very different assumptions behind each text. In Johannes Olearius‘s hymn, we sing, ―Lord, open now my heart to hear, and through your Word to me draw near.‖ We ask God to enter our hearts through his Word, through the gospel in the means of grace. The second stanza shows us what that Word of God will do.

Your Word inspires my heart within;
Your Word grants healing from my sin.
Your Word has pow‘r to guide and bless;
Your Word brings peace and happiness.

Compare this text with the theological assumptions behind ―Open the Eyes of My Heart.‖ The song is a prayer for God to open our hearts, but nowhere is there even a suggestion about how the Lord accomplishes this. The assumption is that the Holy Spirit will enter into our hearts because we are praying to him. Prayer becomes the means of grace. This is the same theology behind the altar call and the so-called sinner‘s prayer. Evangelicals believe that God works apart from the means of grace, and Evangelical songs like this portray that theology. Lutherans should ask themselves whether or not the unspoken but real emphases in these songs belong in our services.

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