Ever since our parents Adam and Eve took off for the woods to elude God, mankind has been playing a game of hide and seek. We hide, God seeks. But for those who have been found by God, our role has changed as we become the seekers on His behalf. “Go therefore and make disciples…” (Matthew 28:18-20)
Peter says, “Be ready.” How do we get ready? How do we start sharing Christ with others? In his book, “Called to Greatness: Becoming a Lifeline for Those Who Need Hope”, Ron Hutchcraft suggests beginning with the Three-Open Prayer. The Apostle Paul made this request of the believers at Colosse: “Pray for us too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.” (Colossians 4:3-4 NIV) Even the great apostle understood the gospel only flows through us as open vessels by the will and ways of the Lord. Therefore:
1) Open the Door, Lord.
2) Open His/Her Heart, Lord.
3) Open My Mouth, Lord.
Each day we need to pray: “Lord, give me Your wisdom and a witness. Give me an opportunity to witness to someone.” We need an open door. The news headlines give occasion to talk about man’s fallen nature and about faith in the face of disaster and despair. Family or health issues and times of hurting can provide a chance to share God’s directions and His Answer to all things – Christ Jesus.
Pray for a prepared someone. We need an open heart drawn to Christ by the Father. (John 6:44) We cannot force another’s heart to open. Believe me I have tried that and what a debacle! I then had to pray that God would send other much wiser Christians to those individuals with the right approach to undo my wrong.
And certainly in my case, I pray that my little chicken mouth will open and speak the words of God. We need to open our mouth. Paul himself admitted, “I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling…” (I Corinthians 2:3) And again, “Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel…Pray that I may declare it fearlessly as I should.” (Ephesians 6:19-20 NIV)
God will answer such prayers. He will open doors of opportunity, the hearts of people, and our mouths for the presentation of the Gospel. Our challenge then becomes discernment.
More on this next time.