Only God Can Open Our Hearts (Acts 16:14) - Radical

Only God Can Open Our Hearts (Acts 16:14)

One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul.”
– Acts 16:14

This verse tells us what happened as a result of Paul sharing the gospel at a riverside in Philippi. 

And that is how Acts 16:14 describes Lydia’s conversion. Lydia’s coming to faith in Christ. Right after that in Acts 16:15 it says she was baptized along with her whole household. So the picture that Scripture gives us of Lydia coming to faith in Christ is the Lord opening her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul. This is a glorious picture. While the gospel is being shared by Paul, God is doing a supernatural work. 

God Works in Our Hearts

He’s opening Lydia’s heart to listen and to believe what Paul is saying as the gospel’s being shared. This is how people come to faith in Christ. This is how every single one of us has come to faith in Christ. The gospel at some point was shared with us, and as the gospel was being shared God did a supernatural work. He opened our heart to believe, to pay attention, and to believe.

While the gospel is being shared, God does a supernatural work to open our hearts to listen and believe.

Why We Should the Good News

And this is how people are going to come to Christ around us in the world. It’s going to happen when we share the gospel, when we tell the good news of God’s love in Christ, who He is, what He’s done for us to save us from our sins. And as we share that news, God does a supernatural work that only He can do to open people’s hearts to listen, and believe, and be saved. And so we pray for this. We pray for boldness and clarity in our lives when it comes to sharing the gospel. That we would be bold and clear to share. And then we know no matter how much we share, if God doesn’t do this heart opening work by the power of His Spirit then nothing’s going to happen.

We’ve all, I’m guessing, been in situations where we’re sharing the gospel and it just doesn’t seem like people are listening, or they’re going to respond, and almost just kind of hard toward it. Only God can open the heart. So we pray for this. We pray for God to do Lydia type work in our family members, and friends, and co-workers, and people that we have the opportunity to share the gospel with. So let’s pray that.

A Prayer of Boldness to Spread the Gospel Based on Acts 16:14

God, we pray that you would help us like Paul. Help us to be faithful to share the gospel. Help us to speak today, this week, give us opportunities, we pray. Give us sensitivity to the opportunities that are open before us to share the gospel. To share the good news of your love in Christ, who you are, what you have done for our salvation.

And then, God, as we share, we pray, we plead, we ask, oh God, for you to do Lydia type work in hearts. Or we think about people that we have been sharing the gospel with numerous times in our families, and our neighbors, and co-workers who we’ve had an opportunity to share with here or there, but they’ve not yet believed, God. We pray that you would do what you did in Lydia’s heart that you would please, oh God, open their hearts to believe. Help us to continue to speak the gospel.

I pray that one of these times, that one of these times you would do this heart opening work. And we would pray for people that we may have never shared the gospel with before. People we might meet today for the first time, or people we may have known for a long time but we’ve not shared the gospel with. Or people we might encounter in places where the gospel has not yet gone. God, we know that we cannot cause this heart opening work to happen. Only you can do that.

Let Our Hearts Be Open to Hearing God Based on Acts 16:14

But we know that you’ve chosen to do that through our sharing of the gospel. So help us to be faithful to share. And then, God, we pray that you would show your power as we share by opening hearts to listen, and to believe, and be saved. God we pray that for specific people in our lives right now. May the testimony of Lydia become their testimony. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

Less than 1% of all money given to missions goes to unreached people and places.*

That means that the people with the most urgent spiritual and physical needs on the planet are receiving the least amount of support. Let's change that!