“Then [Jesus] said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.’”
During my years as an undergraduate student at university, I was part of a Christian student group. One of our main aims was to proclaim Jesus to other students on campus who hadn’t yet heard about him. Although we were a relatively large student group, the university had a total of roughly 50,000 students with the majority of them not being Christian. Reaching out to such a large group of people was too overwhelming, so we prayed regularly for God’s help. We knew that only God had the power to raise up the workers for such a huge task.
As Jesus carried out his ministry, he cared for the crowds of people all around him who were “like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36). They were lost and needed to hear the hope that God’s kingdom was near and he would soon send his disciples out to preach this message. Yet Jesus also knew that his disciples could not carry out this mission by themselves. They would need God to raise up and send out workers to preach the gospel. Prayer would be a vital part of them carrying out this work. Just like the disciples, we have also been given the task by Jesus of making disciples of every nation (Matthew 28:19-20), and we must also depend on God in prayer to send more workers into today’s harvest fields.
When we apply Jesus’ words, we often tend to think of the need to pray for God to send more Christian missionaries to preach the gospel overseas, especially to people groups that haven’t yet heard about Jesus. Although this is an important part of following Jesus’ command, we should also consider the mission fields that are closer to home for us. We may be part of workplaces, universities, schools or social clubs that have few or no other Christians in them. There may be neighbourhoods and communities around us with few Christians living in them. In our increasingly secular society, perhaps many people around us will live their whole lives without really getting to know a Christian person. There is a huge harvest field right at our doorstep. How will this shape the way that we pray for God’s mission?
Consider the places in your community where there is minimal Christian influence. Pray that God would send more workers into these particular places. As we pray this prayer, lets also be prepared for God to send us out as workers too.
I thank you that through Jesus’ death and resurrection, you give all people the hope of eternal life. I thank you that you care for all people and want everyone to be saved. I pray that you would please send more gospel workers into the different communities and organisations that I am part of, and the neighbourhood that I live in. Please also use me as one of your workers to preach the good news to others around me.