Don't forget to pray for us, that God will open doors for telling the mystery of Christ ... (Colossians 4:3 NLT).
There is a wide-open door for a great work here ... (1 Corinthians 16:8 NLT).
As she listened to us, the Lord opened her heart, and she accepted what Paul was saying (Acts 16:14 NLT).
Thirteen time zones from home and suffering a bit of jet lag, I awakened early this morning at 4:00. For the next hour, I tossed and turned in prayer with these three Scriptures pounding in my brain and tugging at my heart. I spent an hour in fitful sleep while praying for open doors to hearts that are precious to me.
I am not sure how to open those doors. These people are precious to me and I want them in my forever family — to become true followers of Jesus. I have parted with some of them before, and as anyone who has a loved one away from the Lord knows, partings are much different when the eternal outcome of those you love is in doubt. Some of your heart hangs in the balance with each parting. You are left with an ache in your soul for these precious ones to know Jesus.
The difficult problem about all of this is that I cannot force their hearts open! I'm not that smart or powerful or influential. And really, they have to open their own hearts to the Lord. I can't force it open. All I can do is love, share, wait, hope, and pray.
They love and respect me. They know what I believe. Yet they cannot, or will not, allow a way for faith to come into their own hearts. Sometimes, it feels as if there is some wall that they have erected so they won't believe. So while I know God doesn't flip a magic little switch in a human heart and make anyone believe, the verses posted above seem to indicate that the Father does help open hearts to faith. So for the next few days, my life's purpose is clear and for this I need your help!
Please pray for me. Pray that God will open the hearts of those so precious to me. Pray for them to accept Jesus! Pray that my eyes will be open and my heart tuned to God's timing and work in their hearts. Pray that the Holy Spirit helps me win their hearts to Jesus and not win arguments for myself. And please pray that nothing I do or say drives them farther away, but instead demonstrates the love and grace of our Savior.
And while you are at it, please pray for your church, your ministers, your ministries, your missionaries, and yourself. And don't just pray for safety; but also pray for effectiveness and boldness, infused with the grace of gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15).
Oh Father, God of every person in every time, please open doors for us to tell the mystery of Christ. May we find a wide-open door for a great work to reach precious people with the message of Jesus. As they listen to our words, O Lord please open their hearts so that they will accept Christ and the gifts that his sacrifice and resurrection bring. In Jesus' name and for Jesus' glory we pray, Amen.