“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).
After the disciples watched Jesus as He expressed inward emotions of compassion for the plight of humanity, He had four thing to say to them that give us very important instructions regarding missions and what we should be doing to address their condition.
(1) “The harvest is plentiful” – As we look at the mission field and evaluate our experiences in seeking to evangelize the unsaved, we tend to see difficulties and obstacles, rather than a harvest that is plentiful. Recounting years of plowing, sowing, and seeing few results makes us doubtful. Why? We have not asked the “Lord of the harvest” to give us eyes to see as He sees.
(2) With an estimated 4.96 billion people unsaved in 2016 and 6,671 unreached people groups or 3.12 billion souls still unreached, the number of workers is very short. It is possible that there are over 51,000 long-term missionaries around the world. That is one missionary for every 61,000 unreached people (a). I would agree with the Lord that the laborers are few.
(3) The desperate need of the moment is prayer, asking the “Lord of the harvest” to prepare and equip those He will call and send. Often we approach this need backwards by making emotional pleas. There is a danger of manipulating hearts without asking the Lord to produce faithful, effective laborers who He will call by the Holy Spirit.
(4) Those persons the Lord has prepared will be ready for sending out by the Holy Spirit who prepared them and called them. With His sending, we can be confident of His power also being evident in their ministry so that they are effective in the harvest.
Lord of the harvest, open the eyes of our hearts to see as You see. Knowing that the harvest is not all gathered in, give us consistent prayerful hearts. First prepare my heart, and all those You will send into Your harvest fields. Call and send us with your power into Your harvest. Amen!
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