TEXT: Matthew 9:35-38
35 And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and 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.
Matthew Poole said, “The fields were white to the harvest, as our Saviour expresses it. But there were few who would faithfully deliver the mind of God; there was an abundance of idle Pharisees, and scribes, and priests that spent their time in teaching people their rites, and ceremonies, and traditions, but the labourers were few. [Laborers] must be God’s gift to the people, and they must be thrust out. No arguments will be sufficient to persuade men to the weighty work of the ministry, with an intention to fulfil it, but the power of God inclining their hearts to it. You have need therefore to pray unto God that he would send, nay, that he would thrust out, labourers into his harvest.
“1. The inclination and desire of multitudes to hear Divine truth is God’s harvest.
“2. Ministers’ work is a labour; if rightly discharged, it must be with labour.
“3. God is the Lord of the harvest; ministers ought to look upon him as so.
“4. None ought to thrust themselves into the work of the ministry, till God thrust them out.
“5. There always were but a few labourers in God’s harvest. Hence Chrysostom thought that but a few ministers would be saved.”
At the end of chapter 9, Jesus laments the fact that the “labourers are few” despite the harvest being plentiful. Then, He gives a command to His disciples and those gathered to hear Him preach (and to us): “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.” It is a tragedy that many people in the church will not go witnessing for Christ in the harvest fields of the world themselves, but an even greater tragedy is when we won’t even pray to the Lord of the harvest for others to be sent into the harvest fields of the world to witness for Christ. Praying for harvesters is the least we can do. Whatever your reasons for not working in the harvest yourself, as the hymn says, “You can still be in the battle, in the sacred place of prayer.”
There is a blessing even in praying for the work of harvesting souls to be fulfilled. And through our prayers, God may very well guide us into a place in harvest ministry that he has set aside for us. Regarding this passage, Dr. Warren Wiersbe said: “[Jesus] requested that His disciples pray that God would provide the needed workers, and it was not long before the disciples themselves were involved in the ministry of preaching, teaching, and healing. In the same way, when we pray as [Jesus] commanded, we will see what He saw, feel what He felt, and do what He did. God will multiply our lives as we share in the great harvest that is already ripe.”
While we pray for workers to enter the harvest, we must be open to two things: (1) First, we must be open to being sent ourselves. Whether we want to accept it or not, all believers are called to the work of harvest ministry. There is a harvest where you are right now. If you can honestly say that everyone within your sphere of influence is saved and on their way to Heaven, then you might be in the wrong place. It might be time for you to reach out to a new field of ministry. Jesus did not qualify His command for us to “go into all the world and preach the Gospel.”
While praying for laborers to be sent into the harvest, we must be open to the Lord giving us a heart for the harvest. Many of us do not reach out to others with the Gospel because we do not have a heart that is concerned for the lost. And to be effective laborers, we must have a heart that is genuinely concerned that others come to know Christ as Savior. If your heart is cold and closed to sinners, prayer to the Lord of the harvest will help you get on fire for seeing souls saved, lives changed, and people brought into the fold.
William H. Houghton wrote:
Lead me to some soul today,
O teach me, Lord, just what to say;
Friends of mine are lost in sin,
And cannot find their way.
Few there are who seem to care,
And few there are who pray;
Melt my heart, and fill my life,
Give me one soul today.
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. 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 that 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 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. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting 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.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.