By Kie Bowman
Every follower of Christ who seeks God with fasting and prayer can experience sudden and surprising open doors of spiritual opportunity, even if those open doors were never apparent before. It has happened in Scripture and it has happened to me. I am certain it will happen for many others as well.
A BIBLICAL PATTERN FOR FASTING AND PRAYER
A prayer summit, involving a handful of key leaders, opened unexpected doors as the leaders were worshipping, fasting and praying. Paul and Barnabas, and three other gifted and significant leaders, had been in the midst of a genuine city-wide spiritual awakening in Antioch for well over a year. Hungry to know the steps they were to take next, they pulled away from the day to day ministry to hear from God.
The Holy Spirit spoke to them clearly and gave them a vision and a direction they had apparently never considered before. At least 10-15 years had passed since the Resurrection had occurred, and since the Great Commission had been issued, but no one had made any substantial efforts to reach the Gentile world yet. While the devoted team fasted and prayed, however, a new door suddenly opened. The Spirit clearly directed them to spread the gospel to Gentiles
That unexpected open door led to what we commonly call Paul’s first missionary journey (Acts 13:1-4). The world was permanently changed out of that prayer meeting when a new door opened as God’s people fasted.
MY OWN OPEN DOORS FROM FASTING AND PRAYER
Open doors always swing wide to reveal God’s continuing plan to save more people. It happens when we fast and pray. Recently it happened to me as I was participating in a city-wide call to 40 Days of fasting and prayer. While the open door I experienced obviously cannot compare to Paul’s call to world evangelism and missions, it was, nevertheless, an exhilarating and eye opening opportunity for ministry I never saw coming. The more I considered what God was doing in my life, the more my mind raced with faith, fresh ideas, and vision for our church and our city. There is no doubt in my mind this door burst open because several of us were fasting and praying. As this new door of ministry was unexpectedly opening before me I felt, and described it to others, as if I had stepped through a previously unnoticed door, into the blessing of God.
That’s the way God works. We fast and pray, committing our time and disciplining our bodies, and God blesses us with amazing opportunities for His work which we find to be richly and unpredictably satisfying. When you are in the center of His activity, it seems to be the nearest thing to heaven you ever find on earth.
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Source: Church Leaders