“Meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains.”
that God would open to us a door for the word
Paul’s request for prayer revolved around God opening the door of opportunity for the gospel (cf. 1 Cor. 16:9; 2 Cor. 2:12). Pray that God would afford an opportunity to present the gospel.
Paul is presently sitting in jail for preaching the gospel while writing the epistle to the Colossians. Now he is asking his friends to pray for him that he would continue doing what put him in prison! Sitting in a Roman jail has a tendency to discourage a person! Paul asks for prayer that he would not become discouraged in presenting the gospel. You would think that Paul would pray that God would spring him from prison.
God must open the opportunities to preach the gospel. We cannot force the door. God must open the door. If we force the door, that is the energy of the flesh. When God opens the door, he will give us what we need to go through the door.
God closes some doors. There is no sense knocking on that door. All doors are not open all the time. The missionary expeditions of the book of Acts clearly show how it is God that opens the doors of opportunity. Revelation 3:7,8 demonstrates how God both opens and shuts doors of opportunity.
“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”: 8 “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.”
We see both sides of the truth here. There are times when God shuts a door. If so, we need to accept the fact that God is finished with that ministry (for a time at least). God raises up men and movements for a time. He opens wide the door. He supplies money and personnel. When he finishes, he closes the door. God does not design all movements and work to perpetuate forever. When they serve their purposes then God closes the door.
The best opportunity for ministry is when we pray that God would open the door to that ministry.
God opens the door. When he does this we need to be sensitive to God’s will. This is God’s guidance. This is the category for which Paul is praying. He is asking the Colossians to pray that God will open the door of opportunity to preach the gospel.
1 Corinthians 16: 9: “For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.”
2 Corinthians 2:12: “Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened to me by the Lord.”