“Let there be light” is a scriptural phrase that can help us form prayers for many different life and world situations.  Here are some ideas.

How to do this prayer practice

St. Philips 0131.  Begin with Genesis.

The Bible begins with the command of God, “Let there be light!”  (Genesis 1:1-4)  Genesis 1: 3 says, “And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.  God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.”

Meditate on the life giving power of light and our dependence on it and what our world would be like without it.

2.  Continue with Jesus, the Light of the World.

Meditate on John 1:4,5 where it says of Jesus, “In him was life, and that life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.”  (Some versions express the last phrase as “the darkness has never put it out.”)

Think about the way that spiritual light and physical light are alike.  Meditate on what things are associated with light and also darkness.  Picture in your mind Jesus as the light of the world.

3.  Explore ways to use light and darkness to express yourself to God in prayer.

I have heard people who are depressed describe the world around them as dark, gloomy or like a cloud is hanging over them.  Darkness cannot only be seen, it can be felt.  Light is the same way.

4.  Borrow phrases from hymns and make them your own prayers.

Here’s an example of a hymn that poetically expresses the issues of light and darkness.  Use it to help you express your prayers.

“Thou Whose Almighty Word”  By John Marriott, (1790-1825)

Thou, whose almighty Word

Chaos and darkness heard,

And took their flight;

Hear us, we humbly pray,

And where the Gospels day

Sheds not its glorious ray,

Let there be light!

Thou who didst come to bring,

On thy redeeming wing,

Healing and sight,

Health to the sick in mind,

Sight to the inly blind;

O now, to all mankind,

Let there be light!

Spirit of truth and love,

Life-giving, holy Dove,

Speed forth thy flight;

Move o’er the water’s face,

Bearing the lamp of grace;

And in earth’s darkest place,

Let there be light!

Holy and blessed Three,

Glorious Trinity,

Grace, Love and Might!

Boundless as ocean’s tide

Rolling in fullest pride,

Through the world far and wide,

Let there be light!

5.  Create your own word images and symbols for your “Let there be light” prayers.

“Let there be light” is a beautiful biblical prayer that can serve so many purposes.  Here are some applications: Let there be light in my heart.  Let me understand.  Let your presence glow within.  Let the gospel spread.  Drive out evil.  Counteract ignorance.  Bring life giving sunshine and nourishment.  Bring heaven on earth.

My personal tips and experiences:

The Bible is full of references to light.  By using a Concordance you can find numerous scriptures to meditate upon.  I like the idea of praying for light because it gives our prayers a positive focus on God instead of the darkness in our world and in our lives.

The Biblical origins and tradtional roots of this method of prayer

John 8:12 “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'”

Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world.  A city on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.  Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

Copyright Karen Barber 2011