About Jesus Steve Sweetman
"One of those listening was a woman named Lydia...who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul's message." -Acts 16:14
Paul and his friends went to find a place to pray just outside the city gates of Philippi. There they met some ladies of whom Lydia was one. Paul then took the opportunity to share the gospel with these ladies.
Have you ever wondered just how to pray for an unsaved person? God won't save someone who doesn't want to be saved will He? And what about free will; we do have a choice in the matter, right? Does a person have to open their heart to the Lord, or can the Lord do the door opening on His own?
I think we have a clue that can be found in this scripture that can shed some light on these questions.
First of all, Lydia was a worshipper of God. We are not quite sure from the context Just what that means, but somehow she had an interest in God (not necessarily in Jesus).
Look at what the verse says. When Paul preached to these ladies, God sovereignly opened Lydia's heart. It doesn't say that the Lord was knocking at her heart's door and she opened the door. It simply says that God Himself opened her heart to Paul's message. As a result she became a Christian.
It is then clear that God can open peoples heart's to His Word. I therefore conclude that we can pray that He does such a thing for those whom we are praying for.
Lydia was a worshiper of God. This may mean something. It may mean that He opened her heart because her heart was ready to be opened. I think you can safely say then that He would at least open the heart of those who were looking for Him, even if they didn't exactly know what they were looking for.
Does this shed any light on how we can pray for a friend, or a loved one who may be seeking? Can we pray that the Lord will open the heart of a son, a daughter, or a friend? Will He answer such a prayer that is prayed earnestly and consistently?