The other day we discussed Oswald Chambers quote, “The key to the missionary’s difficult task is in the hand of God, and that key is prayer, not work—that is, not work as the word is commonly used today, which often results in the shifting of our focus away from God”.
We specifically discussed prayer in relationship to the harvest, and to be able to see the true needs of others and to be moved with compassion for them. “But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.’” (Matt 9:36-38)
Jesus was moved to compassion for the multitudes because they had no shepherd, and due to their lack of a leader, they were weary from wandering which I’m certain delighted the enemy, Satan the thief. “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)
As opposed to the enemy who seeks to destroy us, Jesus calls us to Himself (Rev 3:20). “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matt 11:28-30)
The work we are commanded to do is to pray. “With every prayer and request, pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be alert with all perseverance and every request for all the saints” (Eph 6:18) Praying in the Spirit keeps our hearts and minds tuned into God’s desires, so that we ask for His will to be done, not our own.
The Lord is “not willing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9) through faith in Jesus Christ. So when we “pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest”, we are asking the Lord for His will to be done, and aligning our requests to His will.
Prayer is key because it keeps our minds on the Lord, who is our strength, and doesn’t leave us defenseless against the devil’s schemes. “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Eph 6:10-12)
We are invited to boldly go before God’s throne in prayer to obtain grace and mercy (Heb 4:16). “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” (1 Jn 5:14-15)
Strengthen my faith, Lord, and grieve my heart for my sins against You. Create in me a clean heart. Thank You for covering me with Jesus’s righteousness because there’s nothing I can do that will ever deserve the mercy and grace You’ve given me. May I depend upon Your Might instead of my own so that I’m able to stand firm against the devil’s schemes. Give me your wisdom and discernment so I won’t be caught off guard.
The power of Your name and Your blood rises up to defeat and bring victory against every evil planned against us. You will bring justice in due time for all the harm and needless violence aimed at Your children. Until then, we remain in Your presence, aligned with Your purposes, and we look to You as our Supreme Commander and Protector. Help us to avoid temptation, and deliver us from evil, Lord. You are the Mighty One, the One Who will ultimately bring all evil to light. Thank You, Lord, for Your faithfulness. In the precious name of Jesus, amen.