Wanted: workers for the harvest
I once used a concordance to search in the Gospels for all the things that Jesus commanded us to pray.
(You might think that ‘commanded’ is a bit strong, Well, if your commanding officer makes a suggestion it’s a wise person who receives it as an order!)
So what did I find? three things that Jesus ‘suggested’ we pray: the Lords Prayer (Mat 6:9ff); for our enemies (Mat 5:44), and this one:
Matthew 9:37-38 “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.” (NLT)
I wonder sometimes whether this prayer might be sadly neglected, not least maybe because it should come with a health warning: this prayer can seriously challenge your life. That is, if we are in any way willing to allow ourselves to become part of the answer to the prayer. In other words, to become one of those workers out in the harvest field.
Firstly, as we pray this prayer, God might open our eyes to actually see that there really is a harvest, just waiting to be brought in. This can be counter-intuitive for us. We tend to assume that our culture has long ago rejected the gospel and people are just not interested. But in our work with NISCU, we find time and again that the very opposite is true, especially for children and young people. They have largely never been to Sunday school, don’t know the Bible stories or have any understanding of it, and do not know what the gospel is all about. Yet they are also a generation who more than ever, are reaching out for some kind of spiritual reality. Who is going to show them the way? The harvest is ready.
Secondly, once we have our eyes opened, how are we going to respond? Paul says this in Romans 10:14-15:
But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” (NLT)
There are two ways of being one of the workers bringing in the harvest. The first is to be one of those who do the sending. In our NISCU context, this might be by supporting the work through prayer or financial support. Both are vital.
The second is by becoming one of the ones who are sent. There are lots of ways you can be exactly that, no pulpit required! You could:
– Run a school club or Christian Union. We can help you with that.
– Offer to be part of a roadshow team taking assemblies or puppet presentations round schools. We can help you with that.
– Be trained in delivering sessions such as Walk through the Bible. We can help you with that.
– Become an active listener to young people in your local secondary school. We can help you with that.
You can support us in taking the gospel into schools. But its also true, that we can support you in taking the gospel into schools. Together, we can become the answer to our prayer, for the Lord to send workers into the harvest field.
Interested? Get in touch with your local area schools worker via our website area pages, and ask how you can be involved, or visit https://niscu.org.uk/just-one-thing/