I was reminded recently that Teresa of Avila was considered a “master of prayer” and was convicted that I am not. I suspect most of us pray and value prayer but could grow in our prayer lives. Thankfully, Scripture provides a great deal of guidance on how to pray and what we should pray for, so I want to use this column over the next few months to dig into that.
First, we should realize that prayer is urgent. We tend to call the season we are in right now fall or autumn, but farmers think of it as harvest season. For farmers there is a lot of hard and urgent work during harvest season because if you don’t get the crop harvested in a relatively short window, you lose the crop. The same is true for the spiritual harvest.
When Jesus looked at the world and saw the people and their condition, he was filled with compassion, and declared “the harvest is rich but the workers are few” (Matthew 9:35-38). Jesus doesn’t want to lose this harvest to eternal life but in the midst of huge needs and the short window of human life, his call is not to work harder. It is to pray. “Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore,” he says, “to send out workers into his harvest field.” This is sometimes called “the second Lord’s prayer” and it is vital that we pray it.
We need to urgently pray for God to strengthen existing workers, raise up more workers and even send each of us into the harvest field. We don’t want to lose this harvest, so would you join me in praying?