Recorded by David Bryant and published in his book, Concerts of Prayer.
“I see myself standing at the far end of a darkened hallway lined with many doors. All are shut and locked, but one. Light penetrates the hallway through a partially opened door at the far end. Curious, I want to find out more.
Gradually, I walk down the hallway toward the light. The closer I get to the door, the more brilliant and delightful the light appears to be. I even begin to feel its warmth. It almost dances.
But when I reach the threshold I find neither courage nor freedom to fling the door open and burst into the radiant room beyond. Awe and fear mingle with anticipation. I hesitate to knock, yet I know if I do, an invitation to enter eventually will come.
I knock deliberately and boldly, compelled by the conviction that until there is an answer I have little else to live for, as the hallway behind me promises little worth seeking.
My video-vision continues; I'm knocking more rapidly now Gradually I realize I am not alone. Others are quietly rising out of the shadows of the hallway to join me. We form a litany of knuckles-on-wood, as we reflect the little light that already greets us.
More come forth. We knock together now, harder and harder, almost in a frenzy! Our knocking attracts still others, until the threshold is crowded with determined people from the shadows who, having seen something of the light, desire to step inside, into the full radiance of it.
My eyes glance for a moment back down the hallway. Suddenly my heart leaps! It strikes me that when the door finally does swing open to us and we are able to move into the glorious treasures that lie beyond, the blessing will not be for us alone. The light into which we step will, at the same moment, pour beyond us to the far ends of the hallway, dispelling any dimness that remains. And how many of those locked doors will those dazzling rays pierce, penetrating the rooms like a laser, driving out of them the even greater darkness there and calling many from the icy shadows of death.
What does it all mean? From the first moment I recorded these pictures, the interpretation was obvious. The knocking on the door is prayer. The light coming through the crack in the door is the "light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ" (2 Cor. 4:6). The hallway represents the Church today, much of which survives in the twilight zone of all that God originally intended for us, in us, and through us. The sealed side-rooms symbolize enclaves and even whole nations, where Christ is not known.
The locked doors, waiting to be overcome by grace and truth, include structures and powers, injustices and crises, cultures and languages, persuasions old and new, that raise formidable barriers against the advancement of the Kingdom.
Those who gather at the threshold with me are members of the Lord's company—ordinary people who, already drawn to the light and benefiting from it, are hungry to know the fullness of Christ in their lives and to see the fulfilment of His purposes among the nations. The flinging wide of the central door is "spiritual awakening." It is not so much our taking more of Christ into the Church as it is Christ inviting us into more of Himself and His Kingdom. But once the door is fully open, it releases more of the intense light of the gospel and its power into the Church and thus among all peoples.
The chorus of knockers represents the current development of concerted prayer for spiritual awakening. It also describes the critical dimension of such a movement where those who are determined are seeking to enter wholly and obediently in His light gather others to join in the search. They're unwilling to stop knocking until God swings open the door into the brilliant immensity of Christ's global cause. In fact, the door on which we knock is Jesus Christ Himself ("whatever you ask in my name"); He is the end of our search, He is also the way in.
What a strategic place for "ordinary people" to be—standing on the threshold of a new work of God in all our lives and throughout the earth. You see, this drama goes far beyond expanding individual spiritual experiences. It's possible for a whole generation of God's praying people to be surprised by Him.
Once we gather at the threshold, however, our initial experience may feel more like being caught in the middle. There's enough darkness in the hallway that we don't want to go back, and there's such promising light before us that we only want to go forward. But we can't move beyond the door that's ajar until God takes us on together. That's where the Church seems to be right now We can neither go backward or forward, so we must go down corporately—on our knees—in prayer, at the threshold of God's new work in our midst. And there we must wait in hope for something to break loose.”
David Bryant is founder and president of Concerts of Prayer International, and Chairman of America's National Prayer Committee.