PRAYING THE HEART OF JESUS
“When He saw the crowds, He had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 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 9:36-38 (ESV)
Thorough in teaching about prayer, Jesus taught us who to pray to and for, as well as when, where, and how to pray. But exactly what should we pray for? This He leaves to us. Pretty much.
Jesus saw the multitudes and was moved with compassion. Harassed, helpless, they were sheep without a Shepherd. On another occasion Jesus literally wept over the lost. He saw the harvest was plentiful, but limited by a human body and His lessening time on earth, He couldn’t physically reach everyone Himself. He gives His followers a specific command: pray to the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers.
Prayer is powerful. Through Jesus, we have the authority to call the powers of heaven to our aid. We are in partnership with God. He wants us to be involved in His work. If Jesus Himself commanded we pray for laborers, is there any doubt the Lord will provide? But why don’t we think to pray for laborers? Do we not mourn and feel the need? Perhaps we don’t have the compassion of Jesus … Maybe we believe too little in the power of prayer.
God is molding us into the image of His Son. He knows our hearts soften and are held captive by the things we diligently pray for. Prayer not only changes circumstances, it changes us. In praying for laborers, we will gain a heart like His for the lost.
“O let us pray for a life so one with Christ that His compassion may stream into us, and His Spirit be able to assure us that our prayer avails.” (Andrew Murray)
Practical Application: When you pray today, remember our Lord’s command, and pray for all missionaries and for laborers for the harvest. Reflect on the reality that every believer is a laborer. No one is exempt to the Lord’s command to go out and preach the gospel, making disciples ….