Luke 10:2 is a reminder that the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. We are to beseech the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into His harvest.
What does beseech mean? It means to ask urgently and fervently.
Today in our series inspired by the book The Battle Plan for Prayer, by Stephen and Alex Kendrick, we are being asked to urgently and fervently pray for people to serve in some form of ministry.
Jesus was moved by a deep compassion for people, because all of us experience times where we are hurting, empty, wandering and searching for purpose and meaning. Matthew 9:36-38 says Jesus had compassion for the crowds, because they were like “sheep without a shepherd.” That’s us, sometimes, and maybe more than we want to admit. We’re wandering. And so many people we come into contact with are also wandering. So we need ministers of the gospel committed to shepherding the sheep.
Jesus’ solution to overwhelming needs was always prayer. If we are praying for God’s kingdom to come, then we must also pray for more people to seek that kingdom FIRST and serve that kingdom.
Remember that just one person committed to serving the kingdom and bringing the gospel and God’s Word to people in need can impact marriages, families, businesses, churches and a culture. The books of Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther are examples of this from the bible.
Too many times we are too caught up in our own personal needs and entertainment and we forget about the spiritually lost. Millions still need to hear the gospel. Yes, the task seems enormous, but nothing is impossible with God. His kingdom calling should be a high priority for our prayer life.
Any follower of Jesus is called to be a laborer in God’s harvest field. That labor can take the form of praying, serving, giving and going. When we obey this global mandate, we become part of an army of others who are doing the same.
So, how does this work practically? Locally, we need to be praying for our pastors. The work they do is eternal and vital, but also draining and demanding. The expectations we sometimes place on them are endless.
But we also know the enemy is constantly on the attack against them. He tries to wear them down. Wear their families down. Tempt them. Many of their responsibilities are private – like study and preparation, spiritual counsel and dealing with conflict. We can pray that the Holy Spirit is their partner in these times that are quiet or confidential.
Ephesians 6:19-20 says:
“19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”
So we can pray for protection around our pastor’s heart, marriage and home. That he or she can confidently, freely and unapologetically fulfill his or her ministry. That the Holy Spirit will help them draw many to the Gospel.
You can also pray for pastors from other churches locally, regionally or globally.
Locally and globally, we can also pray for other types of ministries like family counseling ministries, Christian schools and colleges, humanitarian aid ministries and YES, Christian media! Pray I Corinthians 15:58 over them:
“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
Pray for present and future missionaries – both domestic and foreign. Pray that His word and salvation will be known and embraced. You can ‘pray the word’ again over them – Colossians 4:2-6:
“2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 4 Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. 5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
Pray for the lost in the nations around the world – God has a heart for ALL the nations! America and its 320 million people only represent 5% of the global population of 7 billion!
This week’s prayer:
Lord, give me your heart for the nations. A heart of love and compassion for the lost. A renewed love of the gospel and a deep admiration and concern for those who are already giving their lives in service to you. Provide for them, encourage them, prosper their work and embolden their hearts. Raise up and equip more workers for Your harvest fields. Fill them with your spirit, deliver them from the evil one and empower them to boldly proclaim and represent You and Your Word to the world, until you return. Help me to be obedient to your voice and do my part in advancing your kingdom on earth. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
Thanks for listening!