I am deeply touched by an email received from my partner in this ministry. He points to the great need Jesus expressed in Matthew 9:37-38; “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.”” Just before this imperative, “When He saw the crowds, He had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (9:36).
What will deeply motivate us to “pray earnestly” with consistency and heart-felt compassion? Jesus showed us how to observe people and look deeper than what can be seen on the surface. It is true, we cannot know what is going on in their hearts, but there is a general condition caused by sin that evokes compassion. Without THE SHEPHERD, people are “harassed and helpless”. Jesus was right when He said, “the laborers are few”. But He was also correct about the solution. “Pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest”, those who have the message of grace that frees from bondage through forgiveness and empowers by His Spirit.
This is where we see a great connection between Jesus' appeal in Matthew 9 and Acts 13:2-4. In worship, there must be hearts that long for the nations to glorify God for His mercy to mankind in providing a Shepherd who will save them from this “harassed and helpless” condition. For this message to reach the “harassed and helpless”, there needs to be laborers/workers who will rise up and say, “Í WILL GO”! Will you pray with us? Will you ask God to put a spirit of earnestness in your heart to be faithful in prayer and truly compassionate for those unreached with this message of salvation, hope and eternal life in Christ?
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