As believers in Jesus I would venture a guess we have all prayed the Lord’s Prayer on occasion, some of us on many an occasion. Yet I wonder if you realize there is another prayer Jesus commended His followers to pray – one that has had great impact upon your life and continues to impact the life of the Church to this very day.
In fact, this prayer intersects with the Great Commission and is relevant to our witness as God’s people.
Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, 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 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.” Matthew 9:35-38
I think it fascinating that you and I are actually an answer to this prayer – for we are part of the harvest – a reference to the great spiritual harvest of souls for salvation. As those first disciples of Jesus walked by faith, how could they know the ultimate impact of this prayer. Yet, 2000 years later, saints throughout the history of the church have prayed this prayer…and God is faithful!
Interestingly, we are not only part of the harvest, we are also the laborers. For those who become part of the harvest become laborers in the God’s field!
As we think about this prayer in light of our own lives, know your own evangelistic efforts are an answer to this prayer. As we pray for those to whom we’re witnessing, as we demonstrate God’s love in tangible ways, and as we proclaim the gospel message to them, we’re fulfilling our role as laborers. And as we pray for the witness of others, we are participating in the harvest! Yes, we are the subjects of and the participants in a 2000 year-old prayer – to God be the Glory!