Pray to Seize Opportunities
Nehemiah 2:4 (NKJV) Then the king said to me, “What do you request?” So I prayed to the God of heaven.
What sustains your spirits through these uncertain days? Through different phases of this COVID-19 crisis, we have seen our world turn upside down by invisible forces. Nothing seems to be the same anymore and even simple activities are fraught with questions about safety. Yet, even now silver linings more than abound. I for one am excited about what happens when people aren’t running all the time. When we slow down to rest, we get the time to reflect and weight what is of ultimate importance, what is truly essential in our lives. I mean, do we ever truly reform if we never have the time for prayer, study, meditation, and reflection?
From the bitter herbs of our global slowdown comes the sweet fragrance of new opportunities for spreading the Gospel to all the World in this generation. Just this week, I got a call from some young people who had started their spiritual journey towards faith, interrupted briefly by the crisis, but now deepened as ultimate questions linger during lengthened downtime. And so, while we have the whole world as one captive audience, how are we taking advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity?
Think about it for a second: how long have we been praying for the Gospel message to occupy central stage with all earth’s distracting programming? I remember so many conversations over the years on the ineffectiveness of public evangelism given that this form originated during an era when the public evangelistic service might have been the only exciting thing happening in town. Now it feels like our society has been stripped of all its trinkets. Now, so many people have so much time on their hands. Their energies are flowing into political revolutions. Where are our energies flowing?
What do you do when what you were praying for presents itself right before your eyes? I know what Nehemiah did. When his prayer to get the king’s attention was finally answered, Nehemiah breathed a short prayer and walked right through the doors that God had opened. I believe, in this season, God is opening doors that no man can close and shutting doors that no man can open. Opportunities, evangelistic opportunities are multiplying and I can’t help but feel a sense of excitement that the miracles God is doing in this season.
Pray church that our calendar might have been wiped clean of our agenda but that God’s agenda can be accomplished through these opportunities.
Pastor Sheldon R. Bryan