This week as we pray together, let’s continue to look at a parallel passage of Luke 10:2. Read through Matthew 9:35-38 again.
35 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.” – Matthew 9:35-38
As we discovered last week, we should consider and respond to this call to prayer obediently, compassionately, earnestly, and urgently! This week we’ll focus on the second two responses.
Let us respond earnestly: “therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Jesus wasn’t asking us to throw out an occasional, fleeting “bless all the missionaries” prayer. The word he used to convey how we should pray for laborers to be sent literally means to desire, to long for, to ask, to beg. Jesus was sent to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10). As His followers, we need to take a spiritual inventory – do we find our hearts being moved towards earnest prayer for the very ones that He came to seek and to save? Warren Wiersbe once said, “When we pray as He commanded, we will see what He saw, feel what He felt, and do what He did.” This type of earnest prayer only comes from a heart united with and transformed by the very heart and compassion of Jesus.
PRAYER FOCUS #1
- Ask the Lord to break your heart for the things that break His. Think about where you work, where you go to school, where you work out, where you eat. Think about what you see on the news. Now ask yourself whom do you see around you? How do you see them? Does your heart judge them, or does your heart break for them? Ask the Lord to break any judgment and to help you see them through HIS eyes. Pray that the Lord would stir in you an earnest desire to see people know and follow Jesus.
- Pray that God would remove the blinders from the minds of those who don’t yet know Him (2 Corinthians 4:4). Recognize and praise Him that only He has the authority and power to do so (Matthew 28:28) and acknowledge that we are completely dependent on Him to make His gospel known (John 15:5).
- John 10:10 says that “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy: I came that they may life and have it abundantly.” Ask the Lord to reveal this truth to you in a new way. Ask Him to help any unbelief lingering in your heart (Mark 9:23-24). Ask Him to deepen your understanding and conviction of this truth in your own life to the point that you cannot keep it to yourself, but rather are overcome with a desire for others to know it too.
Let us respond urgently: The harvest is PLENTIFUL, but the laborers are FEW. As Jesus commands us to pray that laborers are sent, He speaks with an urgency that we cannot ignore. The word He uses in regards to sending laborers means to command or cause one to depart in haste, to compel one to depart, to lead one forth or away somewhere with a non-violent force which he cannot resist. Are you praying with urgency that God would send laborers? Are you praying with urgency that God would send you? We can listen to the many voices that say, “be careful what you pray for!” or we can listen to the ONE voice that matters that says, “be careful to pray!”
PRAYER FOCUS #2
- Pray that God would send from our church body!
- To help launch new campuses
- Into hard places through our city & nation
- To the nations
- Pray that God would stir up urgency in us all – as individuals, as LifePoint Church and as His global church to reach those who have yet to hear the good news of Jesus Christ.
- Pray that God would bring worldwide awakening and revival and ask how He wants to use you in the midst of it. Pray that the Lord would awaken us to the truth in 1 Corinthians 5:17-21. Pray that the Lord sends us as His ambassadors.