As we continue to consider things that should be on your prayer list, today we’re going to look at the need for laborers for the harvest.
And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest. (Mat 9:35-38)
After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come. Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.
A Moving Need
Jesus was busy in ministry. He traveled throughout the cities and villages of Israel. He taught, preached and healed. But He saw the multitudes, the great mass of needy people, and it moved Him. Unlike most of us, He wasn’t satisfied with being able to say that He did something. He didn’t want to ease His conscience, He wanted to meed the need.
The needy crowd stirred the compassion of Christ. How did He react to that emotion? He told his followers to pray. I think there are several things worthy noticing here. First, notice that Jesus didn’t just work longer hours in an attempt to meet the need. He was already doing everything He was supposed to be doing. Second, notice that He didn’t lash out at those around Him. He didn’t turn to His followers and ask, “What’s wrong with you people? Why aren’t more of you gathering the harvest?” No, He commanded prayer as the first reaction to this problem. He didn’t just pray about the need personally, either. His principle was to get others involved. I think that some those who sincerly prayed about this need might have become part of the answer. Third, I think it’s interesting that we must ask God to do what God already wants to do. Ovbious, there must be some work that He has to do in the hearts and minds of the laborers to make them willing and able to go.
Make no mistake about it, Jesus prayed and ordered action, as Luke’s account makes clear. He sent seventy out to labor in the harvest. Even as He was sending them, He told them that they were not enough. Christ knew that we can accomplish more as a team that a few Christian superstars will ever do. We need each other. As they went forth to serve, they were to pray for others to help in the task.
What About You?
- Do you look with compassion on the lost multitudes around you?
- Do you pray that God will send forth laborers into the harvest?
- Are you willing to be a laborer in the harvest?