In Colossians 4:2-4, Paul writes, “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison—that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.”
This letter was written by Paul to encourage the Church at Colossae so they would be assured of the supremacy of Christ in their lives. In his letter to the Colossians, Paul asks the church to pray for him, not that he would be released from his jail cell, but that God would open more opportunities for him to proclaim the mystery of Christ. Prayer is essential to the task of evangelizing to the nations. This is why this blog and website exists. Our aim is to encourage the church to pray for the Hui, the Muslims of East Asia, so that God may be glorified and that He will open up doors for the word to be declared among the Muslims of East Asia.
John Dickson, in his book The Best Kept Secret of Christian Mission: Promoting the Gospel with More Than Our Lips, writes about this passage:
Why is prayer so critical for mission? The Colossians’ passage just quoted provides the answer. In prayer we lift the work of the gospel above mere circumstances and into the hands of the One who governs everything. Paul strikes this theme in a wonderful piece of irony in verse 3: “And 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” (Colossians 4:3). An “open door” for the message, even though the chief messenger is locked up “in chains:” only prayer could ensure such a beautifully illogical reality! Paul was confident that, through the intercessions of other believers, God’s Word would never be constrained by mere circumstances.
When my family and I moved to East Asia, one of the biggest prayers that we prayed was to ask God to give us a family that we could share life with and that we would be able to share the gospel deeply in this relationship. In the past six months we have seen God open this door and we have been able to declare Jesus to this family. I first met this family while they were eating at a local restaurant. I was just there to order takeout for my family, but they greeted me with a smile and were very open to talk. Since then we have met multiple times, usually over a meal, and our relationship continues to grow. He enjoys playing with and holding our youngest. She loves talking about cooking with my wife. And their daughter borrows a different game from us every time she comes over. Our friendship is a give and take, but the most important thing we can give them is the gospel. From the first time we met, we were certain that the Lord presented this friendship to us not to help us with culture shock or have new experiences, but so that their ears could hear the most important truth there is to know. We’re praying that this family will seek this truth in the weeks, months, and years to come.
Please pray that more doors will open for us to declare the mystery of Christ. Your prayers are critical for the mission. Chinese Muslims have been held in bondage for far too long.
What does God require of his people? Simple Faithfulness. Faithfulness to pray for those who are held in bondage. Faithfulness to pray for those who are daily spending their lives to share the gospel with them and make disciples. The faithfulness of Christians to open their mouths and proclaim the mystery of Christ.
Please take time right now to pray that many Chinese Muslims will hear of the mystery of Christ and that God will open the door for Christians to share the Gospel and make disciples of Chinese Muslims all throughout East Asia.