Today is the last day of prayer for the week, and I want us to focus on something very specific that Jesus told his disciples to pray: ask for workers for the harvest. Here is the passage from Matthew 9:36-38 (ESV): “And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
I love how the English Standard Version translates it: “pray earnestly”. The New American Standard Bible says “plead with the Lord”. Obviously this is something important to our Lord and requires earnest heartfelt prayer. Jesus was motivated by His compassion for people who were “harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd”. They did not know the Lord, and they were oppressed by the Romans and the devil. Jesus wanted them to be harvested–redeemed and reconciled to God. This requires workers to share the good news.
Nothing has changed in 2000 years. People are still harassed by the enemy and without a shepherd–Jesus. Jesus still has compassion on them and wants them to hear the good news of His salvation and the kingdom of God. He wants people to come to know Him. And He still needs workers.
Our job is to pray earnestly for more workers. It is also our job to present ourselves as workers for the Lord. He is not just looking for full time pastors and missionaries, He wants all of us to be witnesses for Him. So we should pray for opportunities to be witnesses!
I was so pleased and grateful for how all of you enthusiastically embraced our seven week fall focus of “God can use me”. You practiced sharing your story of coming to faith, doing the bridge diagram and learning how to do discovery Bible studies with a friend. God wants us to pray that we can put our efforts into His service by sharing with people around us. He also wants us to pray for our friends overseas in Turkey, Oman and Thailand to be fruitful and to raise up more laborers to work with them. (We cannot list their names online for safety reasons.)
Do you have the compassion of Jesus your Lord? Do you care that people around you are lost and like sheep without their shepherd? Jesus does, and we must pray to have His heart.
“Father God, please raise up more workers for Your harvest in Boston. We want to see more people drawn to You. Lord Jesus, please give us your heart of compassion for others. Help us to care that people are lost without You. Make us your witnesses to those around us. Anoint us with the Holy Spirit and power as you promised in Acts 1. Let there be a great harvest in our city to Your glory! Amen.”