Devotional – January 30, 2021
Carolyn Wood’s Devotional
OPEN THE EYES OF MY HEART
I pray that you may understand more clearly; Then you will know the Hope God has chosen you to receive. You will know what God will give his holy people is rich and glorious.
“Open the Eyes of My Heart” has long been a favorite worship song for me, grounded firstly by the manner in which I came to experience it, as a leader of a worship team in a previous church.
Our youth had travelled to a conference where they had encountered this song during worship with thousands of other youth from around the country and they were particularly moved by it. As a result, one of the musical groups in leadership was invited to visit our church and sing for us during worship. They introduced this song to the congregation in such a spirit-filled way that I will never forget their young faces as they sang and taught this new song to us all.
Introduced to the Beatles at an impressionable age, Paul Baloche, songwriter, became one of the most prolific writers of contemporary Christian songs during our life-time. He grew up in a French Catholic family and learned how to play guitar during his junior-high-school years.
After high school, he performed in and around the southern New Jersey club circuit, gradually graduating into Philadelphia and Atlantic City clubs. At the same time, he met his wife, Rita, a country & western singer.
During this time, both Baloche and his wife had born-again experiences and moved to California. Baloche studied music at the Grove School of Music where he met popular Christian musical artists such as Kelly Willard.
Influenced and inspired by his work, the musician moved to Garden Valley, Texas, where he began performing contemporary Christian music.
While working there he would pray with fellow musicians before singing and creating such praise through song. After four years of working and creating, Baloche and his wife relocated to California and he became the music pastor of the Community Christian Fellowship. He created a series of small, independently produced live albums there, includiing First Love.
In 1992, Baloche released his label debut, He is Faithful, on Hosanna Music.
He has performed in Europe, Singapore, New Zealand, and South Africa, among other places. He also does speaking engagements in addition to his musical endeavors. In a 1998 interview, Baloche described his music career as “journaling his process of his walk with the Lord.”
He currently resides in Lindale, Texas, and continues to lead worship at Community Christian Fellowship, where he’s been serving since the early 1990s.
The lyrics of “Open the Eyes of My Heart”, are based on Ephesians 1:18, a verse from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.
Paul Baloche wrote this song over time as he listened to sermons about prayer and during prayer time as he and his congregations prayed for others.
I had always thought of the lyrics as a prayer straight from my own heart and as I researched the origin of this song I began to understand why.
An earnest, simple prayer for openness, honesty and wisdom fits into all of our lives over and over. From the closeness that comes during these times of prayer springs the hope we need and helps us to see, acknowledge and accept the grace which comes from God freely.
“Open the Eyes of My Heart” has been sung around the world in many tempos and with varying accompaniment. I have given you two distinctly different views below. The first by
Christopher Duffley. The introduction to the video gives you the history of how Christopher came to be and adds depth and meaning to the performance which follows.
May God open the eyes of all our hearts as we share in these touching moments.
Christopher Duffley: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjYeUN2zWqI
Paul Baloche: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=if9UbuxDyEg