Pray for LaborersBro. David Chancellor
11/10/2002 11:00 AM
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. 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. Then saith he unto his disciples, 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.
This describes how Jesus went and was teaching the gospel to mankind. He was introducing them to the Father. Jesus saw the multitudes in a certain condition. The harvest is plenteous, but the laborers are few. Jesus encouraged them to pray for laborers. Why would we need to ask God to send forth laborers? He already knows about the need. It is so that we can be stirred to see the need for more to do the work. The Lords harvest isnt such where we should worry about job security. Pray that others would enter into the work. For laborers to enter into the work, they need to see what Jesus saw. They need to see the multitude as sheep that need a shepherd. Too often, though, we see people that have lots of problems. There is a feeling of they dont want God, and theyre just a nuisance. If this is your viewpoint, your prayer for laborers is probably not very enthusiastic. Jesus saw these as needing a shepherd. If we would see a plenteous harvest, we need to see people this way. Humanity provided many sources of frustration and difficulty for Christ. We experience the same thing, yet Jesus, after dealing with this, was still able to see them as sheep needing a shepherd. We need to see things as God see them how much humanity needs God. We need to have compassion on others. The bondage they are in isnt what they were looking for. Other pressures brought them there. The devil uses various emotions and feelings to trick people into traps and bind them. Christ was moved with compassion. He saw a multitude of problems. If we arent careful, we can become so insensitive to the problems of others and start to despise them. Christ was touched by the needs of the people. We need to be touched by the needs of those about us. When we are, well see that the harvest is plenteous. Some think that the harvest is sparse, but with this thinking, theyll not be praying for laborers. One man cant help all the needs alone. We need to pray for help with the labors. As men are moved with compassion, theyll pray more and differently. Pray for laborers that you might become a laborer. As you pray, youre liable to be like Isaiah and say, Lord, here am I, send me. Be stirred like Jesus was. It would be hard to pray for more laborers as we sit and do nothing. We probably wont be praying for laborers if we arent working. Praying for laborers happens when we see that there is more than we can do. Its proper that we feel our helplessness. God can help us to know how to help others. The kinds of workers that are needed are those that see what needs to be done, and then do it. Are we just praying for grace to bear? Pray for grace to help others. God would have our outlook changed. He doesnt want us to see them as a problem, but to have compassion. God can help us to be able to bear, and to help others. Christ was looking on people that had real problems. He wept over these people, although they had resisted him on every turn. He wanted to help them, but they wouldnt let him. We cant force anyone to go Gods way, but our hearts need to be stirred with compassion for them. There are souls with real needs, if only they could see it. It may be that they need their faith inspired. There are people that are beyond the help of science and all that man can do. Only God can meet the need. The only thing that can make their lives all that they can be is the gospel. It takes laborers to get the message across. It may take days and weeks and months and years for the person to grasp that the answer is in the gospel.
Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours.
Theres both sowing and reaping. Reaping is a much different labor than sowing. Theres encouragement, satisfaction, and seeing a result. Sowing doesnt have that same satisfaction. Its hard to see any results. What if Gods call for you is to be a sower? Someone has to sow if there would be work for the reapers. Can you be a faithful sower? Can you put forth the kind word? The sowing hast o be done if there would be some reaping. Can you be content to go and put out the seed and let someone else finish the job? It takes a real moving of compassion to be a sower. It takes the thoughtful touch to begin to draw. Can we sow? Have compassion and a genuine love and concern. Theres a real need for sowers. Have an interest and a concern; pray for the needs of souls.
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
Can we pray for everyone this way? Paul asked for them to pray that God would open the doors for him. We need to pray that God will help us to know what to say. Sometimes people will be bothered by it. Share the gospel. Show them Jesus in such a way that it will inspire their faith in Jesus, and that theyll see the answers for them in the gospel. When we pray for laborers, we need to see that that is us. Have compassion on the ones that you meet up with.
Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis.
Epaphras was one of those laborers. He was one that carried the burdens of others in prayer. First you hear the need, and then you begin to pray, and carry that need. This is what is needed to labor in prayer. The need is held up in prayer until the answer comes. Could someone bear record that you have a great zeal for others? Do you have a genuine care and concern? The harvest has not changed, but much of humanity has quit working in the harvest. There will be a harvest as long as you live. Being to pray for laborers. Become a laborer for him. This is a life expended that God can be glorified, lifted up, honored, and worshipped, and that the needs of others can be met. We want others to receive the benefit of the gospel.