Exercise one- If you have a mirror handy go get it or go put yourself in front of one, and get very, very close. Get so close that you can center in on one of your pupils. Look intently until you see your tiny reflection within the blackness of your pupil. After doing so, come back and read the rest of the blog.
That first exercise of looking intently into your pupil, was a beginning part of meditating on a simple scripture prayer you can easily memorize. It’s a prayer full of deep theological meaning.
Before I tell the scripture, think about seeing your reflection in your pupil and what prayer cry represents that in the psalms? Any guesses? Hint: The prayer phrase is 8 words long and makes reference to a fruit.
Did you guess it?
The word apple in Psalm 17:8 is the Hebrew word #H380 iyshon (ee-shone); and is an offshoot of another Hebrew word (H376) meaning 1) little man of the eye 2) the pupil of the eye 3) black, obscure. Hebrew culture translates “iyshon” as “the daughter of the eye” or the little person of the eye.
We are careful to guard our eyes. God built in reflexes within the eye’s structure giving us visceral physical reactions in response to any threats coming towards our eyes. Blinking happens hundreds of times a day and we think nothing of it. Our pupils expand and contract to let in light or to shut out too bright a light. They close for extended periods sending our body into a state of concentrated thought, temporary rest or deep sleep.
“Keep me as the apple of your eye” is an ancient prayer in its truest meaning; but it's been lost in translation. In our English language it is better known as an idiom. If you asked people what it meant, most people would more than likely describe it as a term of endearment describing a type of protective human love, versus divine love. You’ve possibly heard it used to describe a parent’s love for a child. “Oh she is the apple of her father’s eye; he would do anything for her.”
True, it is a term of endearment; but originally and in truest context it is a divine expression. It is a heart crying for God’s help, and a returned response from a covenant keeping God. Moses prayed it; King David prayed it. God responded and kept his people.
Deuteronomy 32:10- In a desert land he found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye,…”
Proverbs 7:2- Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.
For Psalm 17, based upon commentaries, I guess it is difficult to say when King David penned this psalm; but it would have been some time in his adulthood. So at a minimum we can conclude we have a grown man, who has been a shepherd and warrior from youth, a man who was already or would be King of Israel, crying out to God with a vulnerable request, “Keep me as the apple of your eye…”
In the psalm, its clear David is penning it while under attack. Ways of the violent and wicked were threatening and he needed God to rescue and protect him. With that in mind, do exercise 2.
Exercise 2- Visualize seeing your own reflection in your pupil. Now answer the following questions. What needed to happen in order to see your reflection within your pupil? How close did you have to get? How still did you have to be? Did you have to adjust other lighting in the space to see yourself within your pupil? How intently did you have to focus? How long did you have to stare until you saw your reflection in your pupil? How much detail were you really able to see of yourself? How tiny was your reflection in the scope of your larger physical presence? How far away and hidden did you seem within? Did you have any emotional response or thought related to seeing yourself within the obscurity and blackness of the pupil? Was it uncomfortable?
All of these answers are meant to lead you to the safest place of intimate prayer. The stillness, the peering, the concentration, drawing your face near, all of these things are physical reflections mirroring our soul's position of entering God’s presence as He intends. Eye to eye, staring deeply into Him and letting him stare back without flinching and looking away.
Many are uncomfortable with that kind of intimacy with God. Either lies or fears or shame or anger or doubt or a combination of all lie behind a reaction that prefers distance over face-to-face encounter with God.
“Seek His face!” (Repeated truth in Psalm 27:8, 1 Chronicles 16:11, Psalm 105:4, Psalm 24:6)
It’s meant to be a heart cry that is not ignored; but welcomed and done.
We are to cry “Keep me as the apple of your eye.” There is real freedom in prayer if you live in the reality of it being true. But how is it true?
How can anyone keep you as the apple of their eye? Beyond being a sentimental offering and idea of devoted love, it has its limits. How does anyone look at you and see your reflection? It’s not possible. If you were to draw that close to someone’s face, you would not see their reflection, you would see your own. And to stay there comfortably, you would have to love and trust the person whose eyes you peered into. And vice versa, anyone peering into your eyes, would see their reflection, not yours.
Sometimes this is what we forget to conclude if we get this close to God. Instead of thinking He sees Himself in our eyes, we think He focuses in on our darkness. It's the place where real fears surface so we stay distant. “He’s looking at my failures. He’s seeing my darkness. He disapproves of my choices. I failed again. I’m a jerk. What’s my problem.” On and on we can go. But if those quotes reflect your thoughts Christian believer, you don't yet understand who He sees when He looks at you. You’ve not yet entered God’s presence if all you see is yourself.
When God the Father looks at you, He doesn’t see you. The "little man of the eye" God the Father sees is Christ in you if Christ is your Savior. He sees His glorious Son integrated into your very being by His Spirit. He sees His own reflection. He doesn’t see despair and hopelessness; He sees a redeemed life by the blood of Christ. You are kept, guarded, protected, hidden, glorified, whole, set apart, known, loved, blessed as the apple of His eye... in Christ.
Within the deepest blackness of your being, through the miraculous gift of Christ, a divine light has shown.
“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.” – Corinthians 4:6
He sees the face of Christ reflecting back to Him in the apple of your eye! Rejoice!
You ARE eternally kept! You ARE guarded! You ARE now hidden in Christ! For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God, Colossians 3:3!
There is no reason to fear His intimate stare. His Son is in you; therefore as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed your transgressions from you, Psalm 103:12. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are NEVER covered with shame- Psalm 34:5.
One of the truths I ask people to visualize in the meditations is the Holy Spirit hovering over them to create new life. So for the last exercise, I want you to picture the Holy Spirit hovering over you. You can do this if you are Christian or not. It is His nature to hover over darkness and chaos to recreate, Genesis 1:2. The Holy Spirit executes the living Word of God. All you need to do is invite Him to recreate through Christ, give Him permission, ask Him to shine light in your darkness. Genesis 1:2 calls out the Holy Spirit, as the first person of the Trinity mentioned by name. The Spirit of God still hovers over the waters of darkness, those obscure, chaotic places deep within and says, “Let there be light”.
By his grace and truth, He will show you areas that need divine illumination and where His light needs to enter for resurrection life. So with that in mind, do the final exercise...
Exercise 3: Visualize the Holy Spirit hovering over you. Close your eyes to enter a restful stance, visualize Christ drawing near, so close He will be able to see His own reflection in the darkness of your pupils. Cry out, “Keep me as the apple of your eye”. Ask the Holy Spirit to speak over you and create with divine light. Hear Him speaking over you, “Let there be light.” Say it yourself, "let Christ shine in me." Ask Him to reveal hidden places and supernaturally cleanse with the light of Christ. Pay attention to what He shows you. Admit weaknesses and be vulnerable, for His grace is sufficient for you. His power is made perfect in your weakness.
On a end note, use the mirror analogy and the “apple of his eye” idiom to tell people the phrase's real meaning. Talk to them about the divine promise it contains in Christ. Talk to someone about God’s perfect love, the only safe place of true soul protection from all enemies, especially death and eternal judgment. Those 8 little words are a simple introduction to the grace of Christ and the beauty of a Risen Savior whose Holy Spirit saves.
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Prayer is Gift!
Hi my name is Gina; and I'm the founder of the ministry. My 25 year journey with God has been centered on immersing myself in the safe relationship God offers, learning about the power of surrender, and praying for His life in greater measure!