Paul told the Colossians, "Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ..." (Colossians 4:2,3). Paul was instructing the Colossians to pray and to pray that they might have opportunities to preach and to teach the gospel. We today should utter similar prayers and be ready when the door opens.
Sincere prayers for an open door to preach and to teach the gospel reveal several things about the ones praying. Fervent prayers for opportunities to teach show a desire to see the gospel spread. This is a good aspiration. People cannot be saved unless they hear the gospel, God's power unto salvation (Romans 1:16). Also, entreaties to God to open a door for us to teach His word exhibit trust in God's providence. Those who pray for an open door believe that God works in the affairs of men and that He can arrange opportunities for people to teach the gospel to others. Furthermore, ardent prayers for occasions to teach the truth suggest zeal. There is no reason to pray for opportunities to teach if we are unwilling to work at the task. Christians who earnestly pray for an open door love the cause of Christ and men's souls.
When a "door" opens, we must "walk in wisdom" and "redeem the time" (Colossians 4:5). It is wise to offer thanks to God for the answered prayers and to ask for His continued help. Without God we can do nothing (John 15:5). To walk in wisdom and redeem the time we must also appropriately instruct people. Paul said, "Let your speech (be) always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man" (Colossians 1:6). We act prudently and enhance our chances of winning souls to Christ when we exemplify conduct that is becoming of Christians and show our love for the people we seek to teach. Godliness and love are powerful weapons for Christ. It is not wise to procrastinate. Remember the adage, "opportunity knocks but once." The open door may quickly close if we are unwise or slow to respond.
If we pray for an open door, seize the opportunity, and bring forth fruit, God will reward us with more opportunities. If we are slothful in service to God and do not bring forth fruit, we are unacceptable to God (John 15:2).