So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” (John 11:41-44).
You can discern much from the content of people’s prayers. You can discern much from the content of your own prayers. The questions is what is the basic content of our prayers? Do they contain praise and thanksgiving to God for who He is and what He has done? Or do our prayers contain primarily, or exclusively, requests about what we want to have or want God to do?
Observe Jesus’ prayer immediately prior to raising Lazarus from the dead. Notice that Jesus does not ask God the Father to raise Lazarus. Rather, Jesus thanks God the Father for having already heard Him. Also, Jesus thanks God the Father that the people may believe that He sent Jesus to earth for such a moment as this. It is at this point that Jesus cried out with a loud voice ““Lazarus, come out.”
Dr. R. C. Sproul explains that, “His prayer indicates that He is not raising Lazarus merely to comfort the man’s family, but that He will call Lazarus forth from the grave in order to prove that He has been sent by God and invested with the authority even over death itself (vv. 41–42). And so, Jesus commands Lazarus to come out of the grave, and Lazarus, though he is dead, cannot help but obey. Just as the Creator spoke life into existence at creation, so does He, in the person of Jesus Christ, speak and restore Lazarus to life (vv. 43–44; see Gen. 1:1–2:3).”
Lazarus is a type or illustration of every sinner who God has called unto Himself. Prior to salvation the Bible says we were dead in our trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1-3). However, through the preaching of the gospel God makes us alive by God given faith Christ (Ephesians 2:4-9).
Do you have such a relationship with God? Are you alive in Christ? If not, repent of your sins and place your faith, trust, commitment, dependence and worship in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Discover what it means to have new life in Christ.
Soli deo Gloria!