The Purpose of This Blog

In response to the challenge by the Southern Baptist Convention that churches take on the task to share the gospel with unengaged unreached people groups, the missions team of Harmony Pittsburg Baptist Association felt the need for a way to focus prayer on the task. This blog is intended to facilitate prayer for those contemplating their role in fulfilling the Great Commission. This on-line prayer guide may prove useful to those exploring a call to missions involvement as well as to those who have sensed a call to pray for those who will go to the front lines.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

What to Pray For

Some prayers are more important than others.  No prayer that comes from a heart truly lifted up to the Lord is unimportant, but some are more strategic for the advance of His Kingdom.  There is one petition that is so important that the devil will do his best to get us to forget it or neglect it.  It is so important that the Lord commanded us to offer it.  It is not optional but imperative.

Jesus gave the command when He saw the "crowds" "harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd" and "had compassion on them."  His words to the disciples, including us, are probably familiar to us:  "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.  Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field" (Matthew 9:36-38).  If we see what Jesus saw and feel what Jesus felt, we must do what Jesus asked.  But how many of us are praying for a harvest when Jesus says to pray for harvesters?  God already has the harvest ready: "Do you not say, 'Four months more and then the harvest'?  I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields!  They are ripe for harvest" (John 4:35 NIV).  Human eyes see the field as difficult, unready.  Spiritual eyes see that the Holy Spirit has gone before us and has already prepared the hearts of those He is drawing to Christ.

I find it interesting that Jesus focused the disciples' attention on the size of the harvest.  His compassion was not just for the degree of suffering people experience, but for the fact that some might not be reached unless a worker gets to them.  How much more concerned must Jesus be today?  Can we see 5.5 billion people without Christ?  A recent video talks about how long it would take just to say the name "Jesus" to that many individuals--over 174 years, not counting those who would be born in the interval.  But the question is not how many will be born while we are getting the gospel to the nations; the question is how many will die before we get to them?

Somewhere between 30 to 32 percent of the world claims to be Christian.  By that measure, all it would take to reach the nations is for each of us to tell three or four others.  We all know that it is not that easy.  Followers must become workers, and workers must get into the harvest fields.  A gospel song of a few years back captures what might be on God's mind as He looks at the American megachurch phenomenon:  "My house is full but my fields are empty.  Who will go and work for Me today?"

Would you join me in praying today that the Lord of the harvest will send out workers into the harvest fields?  Would you be ready to become one of those workers?

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