“This People’s Heart Has Grown Dull”
Help us, O God, to see and to admit the factors in our lives that can turn us into people who see but do not perceive, who hear but do not listen, and who have hearts that have grown dull: laziness, disappointment, grief, disillusionment, thoughtlessness, coldness, sorrow, failure, success, and selfishness, just to name a few—any or all of which can lead to a spiritual lifelessness that deprives us of the fullness of life in you that leads to meaning and joy.
If we are people whose dullness and lifelessness cause us to hear your good news in ways that cause us to become even duller and more lifeless, please intervene by your grace and open our lives up to you.
If we are people whose dullness and lifelessness cause us to hear your good news in ways that cause us to be aware of our dullness and lifelessness, please intervene by your grace and move us more toward you.
If we are people whose dullness and lifelessness were long ago left behind or never in our memory experienced so that we hear your good news in ways that have come to seem to us routine or ordinary, please intervene by your grace and keep our lives open to and amazed by the wonder of it all.
If we are people, O God—and we are—please intervene in our lives by your grace.
“The reason I speak to them in parables is that ‘seeing they do not perceive, and hearing they do not listen, nor do they understand.’ With them indeed is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah that says: ‘You will indeed listen, but never understand, and you will indeed look, but never perceive. For this people’s heart has grown dull, and their ears hard of hearing, and they have shut their eyes; so that they might not look with their eyes, and listen with their ears, and understand with their heart and turn—and I would heal them.’” (Matthew 13:13-15)