Prayer Turned a Roof into a Door
You can improve your Bible study skills by looking for patterns. For example, Luke writes habitually in patterns throughout Luke-Acts. You can spot them, but you need to be on the lookout for such patterns. So, slow down and read the text closely. Observe what you see. Most folk read but fail to observe what they see.
Try this simple exercise: when you read Luke or Acts, whenever you observe the concept of prayer mentioned (ask, requests, prayers, seek, search, pray, bless, place of prayer, etc.), you’ll also find a “door” that opens up nearby, a door that normally stays shut. So, prayer is likened to knocking on a door (cf. Luke 11:5-12). While Jesus was being baptized, he prayed (προσευχομένου), and the skies—normally closed--opened up (Luke 3:21-22). See the pattern? Jesus knocked on the door of heaven (He prayed) and it opened up. Heaven normally stays closed. But Jesus knocked and it opened up. It’s a pattern.
Here’s another example. Jesus’ busy, public ministry was characterized by intentional interruptions for seasons of prayer: “But Jesus frequently withdrew to wilderness areas and prayed.” (προσευχόμενος; Luke 5:16)
Now, can you observe in the ensuing accounts a “door”—that normally stays shut--but surprisingly “opens up” because Jesus prayed? Try to observe what you see as you read. Slow down and read observationally.
The very next story (Luke 5:17-26) focuses on four men carrying a paralyzed man. They couldn’t get to the door of the house and get to Jesus because of the crowd—the door was barred by people. So, not to be outdone by a closed door, the four men went up to the flat roof, made a hole in the tiles of the roof, and then lowered the man right in front of Jesus. They created their own door. See the pattern? Jesus prayed (Luke 5:16). Four men exercised great faith in Jesus (Luke 5:20) and made a door where there was only a roof.
Prayer turned a solid roof into an open door. Prayer changes roofs into doors. Prayer breaks through barriers. So, learn to pray and look for open doors. Learn to observe the Scripture text and you’ll find patterns everywhere—for your encouragement and for your faith in Jesus. Trust Him. Pray to Him and expect doors to open. Keep reading Luke and see what you can observe.