Praying Through the Bible #132
TEXT: Matthew 9:35-38
35 And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
36 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.
37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;
38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 131 messages in this series.
This is message #132 titled, Praying for Lost Souls Like Jesus Did (Part 3)
So far, we have seen in this passage two things about how Jesus prayed for lost souls: (1) He did not just pray, but He was engaged in sharing the gospel and meeting their needs, and (2) He had genuine compassion for the lost. Today, in our last message on this passage, we see that Jesus Christ commands us to pray for laborers to enter the harvest of lost souls. He said, “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.”
There are over seven billion people in the world today, and only a third claim to be Christians. That means there are at least 4.7 billion people who are heading to an eternity without God.
A few weeks ago, a friend of our family invited my children to come to their property to pick pecans. They have several pecan trees growing on their property, and when we got there, she said that she had already picked 200 pounds worth of pecans. And, yet, there were still hundreds of pecans lying on the ground ready to be picked. That is a picture of the harvest of lost souls — a world overflowing with sinners ready to receive the message of the gospel. The only problem is there are not enough laborers willing to go into the harvest fields. What can we do to change that?
First of all, we must look at sinners as Jesus looks at them. Jesus does not look at them as a lost cause, as hopeless and incapable of seeing the light. No, Jesus sees them as a harvest. He sees sinners as potential saints. How often do we look at someone and write them off thinking to ourselves that they will never get saved or that they are too far gone to listen to the gospel? Consider your own life and think about what would have happened if the person who led you to the Lord had looked at you and said, ‘That person will never accept Christ. I won’t even bother.’
What is your perspective on lost souls? Do you truly see them as a harvest? If you do, then you ought to be working to bring in the harvest. And since the harvest is plentiful and the workers are few, you should pray to the Lord of the harvest that He will send more laborers into His harvest.
Now, we may consider the question: Why should we pray for more workers to be sent into the harvest? Doesn’t God know workers need to be sent? Why doesn’t He just send them? Listen to what John Piper said on this matter: “Surely Jesus doesn’t mean to imply that God doesn’t know there is a shortage of reapers! And surely he doesn’t mean that God doesn’t care whether the harvest comes in! Why, then, are the farm hands told to beg the farmer to get more help? There is only one possible answer. God has willed that his miraculous work of harvesting be preceded by prayer. He loves to bless the world. But even more, he loves to bless the world in answer to prayer. It is God’s way before he does a great work to pour a Spirit of supplication upon his people so that they plead for the work.”
Jesus Christ gave us a command to pray for more laborers to be sent into the harvest field of the world. It is a command; not a suggestion, not a recommendation. It is similar to how God commands that we ask Him for our daily needs. He knows what we need, yet He still tells us to ask. We glorify Him and show our dependence on Him by asking. When we pray for more laborers to be sent into the harvest, we glorify Him and we acknowledge that He is the one who does the saving work — not our methods, our techniques, or our specially designed presentation of the Gospel. God is in control. He is the “Lord of the Harvest.”
Now, the word used to describe the action of sending laborers into the harvest is a very strong word. In Greek, it literally means that the laborers are to be pushed forward or thrust out into the harvest fields. It is the same word used to describe the casting out of a demon from a person. As Spurgeon said, “It takes great power to drive a devil out, it will need equal power from God to drive a minister out to his work.” No matter how many classes on evangelism are taught in the church, nothing will make a faithful soul-winner like a God-given passion for the lost. God must put that desire in the hearts of His people, and we ought to make that a consistent matter of prayer. We ought to pray not only for lost souls to be saved, but that the Lord would send the means by which they can be saved. And those means are simply more laborers being sent into the harvest field of the world.
In the harvest field now ripened
There’s a work for all to do;
Hark! the voice of God is calling,
To the harvest calling you.
In the mad rush of the broad way,
In the hurry and the strife,
Tell of Jesus’ love and mercy,
Give to them the Word of Life.
Does the place you’re called to labor
Seem so small and little known?
It is great if God is in it,
And He’ll not forget His own.
Are you laid aside from service,
Body worn from toil and care?
You can still be in the battle,
In the sacred place of prayer.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second , accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! I want to congratulate you on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.