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"The harvest truly is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field." Luke 10:2 NIV (and Matt 9:37/38)
The key to successful missionary recruitment is prayer. Our Lord's command to pray for workers (Luke 10:2) is the only instruction in Scripture on how to secure more workers for the great commission. Simple obedience to pray this prayer from our pulpits and in our prayer times will surely speed up world evangelization.
Can a shortage of workers in many fields be traced perhaps to a lack of prayer for them?
What will move us to pray? It was our Lord's compassion for the multitudes that were harassed and helpless like sheep without a shepherd that prompted Him to issue the call to pray. Today there are still weary multitudes that are like sheep without a shepherd and sinners without a Savior. Only as we share our Lord's compassion and grief over the lost will our hearts be moved to pray fervently for workers to flood the harvest fields of the world.
As we pray God will call. People do not choose to be missionaries. They are divinely called in answer to prayer. "You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit - fruit that will last." John 15:16. NIV.
While God calls some to go, He calls others to stay home. They are to be witnesses where they are and proactive in supporting those who go with their prayers and resources. As noted Bible teacher John Piper writes, "We either need to be radical goers or radical senders!" The great commission is every believer's responsibility.
This article is simply a plea that Luke 10:2 would be a priority prayer for the church. In many parts of the world our Lord is calling workers into the harvest in great waves. This is especially so from nations not long ago considered mission fields. But the harvest is still huge and in too many places the workers are too few. This includes our inner cities as well as the uttermost parts of the earth.
May we be willing to send or be sent. At stake are the souls of men and God's glory among the nations.
Global Prayer Coordinator