Then he said to his disciples,
“The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
Matthew 9:37-38, (context, vv. 35-38)
The issue here is laborers–this is our work, plain and simple. The fact is that there isn’t enough workers. It’s funny, it seems God is constrained by our prayers–earnest prayers for a harvest to be brought into the barns. But there aren’t enough hands. The harvest will be ruined if help doesn’t come soon.
God must have our help if it’s going to get done.
The harvest seems contingent on our prayer life. We decide what is going to happen. Prayer is the work of the authentic believer and our hearts must be for the fields. We are the people who work, who sweat, and get tired. That is our call. That is the true work of discipleship.
Mother Teresa once commented that what we see in front of us is our “Calcutta.” We have got to open our eyes and look, we must see the incredible needs of desperate people that surround us. We must have eternal eyes–God’s eyes. We do our work on behalf of others. I really do believe that it will be ‘sweaty’ prayers that will move the hand of God.
I think ‘prayer’ is the real work in evangelism.
Prayer is our effort that gets combined with the Holy Spirit’s great passion of lost souls. Our “earnest” prayer for the harvest will call workers to the fields. Every generation is responsible for their own part of the field.
For some reason God has chosen to limit Himself by our decision to pray. He patiently waits for us to intercede. Everything seems contingent on us, we can point no finger at God, or accuse Him of ignoring the work that must be done. We must make the decision. Evangelism, and missions, is God’s intense passion. He now shares with us this responsibility.
All of Heaven is standing on its tiptoes, waiting to hear our pleas for the lost.
“Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.”