Prayer Opens Doors
by Rev. Dr. James Garrett
When we are in the midst of a raging crisis, it is always important to look to the One Who not only can give hope, joy, and peace -– but One, in fact, Who IS hope, joy, and peace. And we get to Him through prayer. And Jesus Himself gave us His prescription for connecting with Him through prayer.
In Matthew 7:7-8 (NLT), Jesus tells us, "Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened."
As we ponder this truth, let us observe three different doors the Lord will open through prayer:
1. He opens doors of opportunity. In 2 Corinthians 2:12 (NLT), Paul tells us, “When I came to the city of Troas to preach the Good News of Christ, the Lord opened a door of opportunity for me.” God definitively opens doors of opportunities which show up in resources/ supplies/ and provisions. Additionally, other opportunities further show up in relationships.
2. God opens doors that have held us captive. The Psalmist recorded in Psalm 105:20 (NLT), (concerning Joseph in the book of Genesis), “Then Pharaoh sent for him and set him free; the ruler of the nation opened his prison door.” God completely opened the door that no man could open or shut and changed Joseph’s apparent direction. Similarly, there are some doors that have held us captive such as habits/ thought patterns/ and sin cycles.
Friends, see this very clearly: there is freedom on the other side of that door! Paul iterated in Romans 4:18-21 (NLT), "Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, ‘That’s how many descendants you will have!’ And Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead—and so was Sarah’s womb." Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises.
We see the promises of God as if they have already been done. Abraham had received a promise from God regarding having a son -- and eventually, that he would be the father of many nations. Abraham’s faith and hope did not waiver, even though he was 100 years old. Yet, He was fully convinced that God was able to do what He had promised. He stood on the promise of God and in his spirit, Abraham SAW those promised events come to pass -- even before they happened. We, too, should begin to see doors opening, even if they appear shut -- according to the promise of God Himself. And, we keep on asking, keep on seeking, and keep on knocking – all the while trusting the Lord.
3. And finally, God opens the door of Heaven. Matthew 23:13 (NLT) records the words of Jesus, “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you shut the door of the Kingdom of Heaven in people's faces. You won't go in yourselves, and you don't let others enter either.”
Let it not be said of any of us -- that we made it difficult for others to get to Heaven. Instead, let’s make it easy for people to go to heaven from wherever our station in life is.
Luke recorded in Acts 14:27 (NLT), “Upon arriving in Antioch, they called the church together and reported everything God had done through them and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles, too.”
It’s true that God opens various doors, but notice that He has often done it through His people! One way that can happen is through what is often called an “open heaven”:
Revelation 4:1a (NLT) reveals the words of St. John, “Then as I looked, I saw a door standing open in heaven, …” and then again in Revelation 3:8 (NLT), “I know all the things you do, and I have opened a door for you that no one can close.”
Let us continue to unashamedly seek His face and ponder its promises, and as we do so, let us walk through those doors which He opens.