Praying First Praying Often Part I Mid-Week Bible Study by Crossing Barriers Ministry

We are continuing our series “Unscripted”. This week we are in week 5 “Praying First, Praying Often”. We are learning about sharing the gospel with others.You must pray much and often for God’s Guidance and power for witnessing. The Bible has clear instructions and timeless examples to help us in this important area.  The key to powerful prayer is praying according to God’s will.  The simplest and surest way to pray according to God’s will is to pray biblical prayers.  If instructions to pray, requests for prayer, or actual prayers are found in the bible, you can be sure they pass the “God’s will” test. When you base your praying on the following models, you can be confident God hears and answers.  There’s no subject more important to God than reaching the lost. He wants unbelievers to become believers, so much He sent Jesus to redeem them and left us here to tell them about Jesus.  People being converted are God’s will.  The New Testament has five specific prayers requests, instructions about prayer, and transcribed prayers modeling how to pray related to evangelism.  Let’s look at these examples as we develop greater capacity to pray according to God’s will on the crucial issue of leading the lost to Jesus.

Pray for More People to Join the Harvest

Jesus told us to pray for more people to join His harvest. The Bible says:

Then Jesus went to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the Kingdom, and healing every disease and every sickness. When He saw the crowds, He felt compassion for them, because they were weary and worn out, like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said ti His disciples, “The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few.  Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest (Matthew 9:35-38)

Today, pray these words from the Bible: “Lord of the harvest” I feel compassion for the crowds. Please “send out workers into [your] harvest” (Matthew 9:38).  Then listen for His answer to how He wants you to participate as a worker in His harvest.  Record what you hear from God.

The context of Jesus’ instruction is important. Note the description of Jesus’ work just prior to issuing this prayer challenge. Jesus was vigorously engaged in ministry. He was travelling through “all the towns and villages” while “teaching … preaching … and healing.”  The huge crowds with overwhelming needs moved Jesus with compassion – literally. “heart-rumbling”.

Considering how hard He was working; it seems Jesus would have issued a different directive than “pray.” He might have said to His disciples, “You guys get busy.  You got to work harder. Let’s get moving.”  But working harder, or even smarter, wasn’t Jesus’ agenda for the original disciples-or for you.  Jesus knew the solution was getting more people-even more than the Twelve-to join Him in His work.  Jesus knew His Kingdom plan couldn’t be accomplished by a few overworked disciples, but by many followers sharing the load.  Jesus says to pray for more workers in the harvest.

Start by praying you will join the harvest in a fresh way. Pray you will be thoroughly devoted to God’s mission and willing to make the lifestyle adjustments necessary to share your faith more intentionally. Pray that you will join the harvest, not sit idly by, hoping others will do it for you.

Part two will be next week.

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