Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hey quick update on why my updates are a bit off schedule. My youngest daughter is ill and so my time is somewhat used up there. It isn't some life threatening thing so long as we keep her hydrated. If I had to guess I'd say it was rotavirus. My oldest had this and it was pretty much the same thing. She survived with no major problems but it does take quite a bit of my time right now so I'll probably off schedule for another day or two. It would be totally cool if you prayed for her though. Back to your regularly scheduled post.

Right now I'm working to get 24/7 prayer going in my area. This, of course, means I've been spending a lot of time thinking about prayer. This week is a week of prayer and fasting for my church as well. In all of this extra time dwelling on prayer I've been wondering what Jesus had to say on prayer.

See now you are already reciting the Lord's prayer and mentally breaking it down into its base parts just like you've heard a million times, but I'm going somewhere else today. There are very few specific things that Jesus tells us to pray for. One of them is found in Matthew 9:38. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.

Other translations say "ask" or "beseech" instead of pray so some people looking in their NIV will say "that isn't about prayer." For you I suggest that you let context be your guide. Jesus wants us to ask the Lord of the Harvest for something. The Lord of the Harvest, in this context, is God. When we ask God for something that is called prayer. In other words, just because the word pray isn't used in every translation doesn't mean that this isn't a command to prayer. On a side note I typically use the NIV so I'm not knocking it.

Now that that is settled what is going on here? Jesus knows that the job is huge and that more people need to be involved so He commands us to pray on the subject, but it's more than that. In the corresponding passage in Luke he tells them to pray for workers then sends them out to do the work.

That is the key. You can't pray for patience without agreeing to trials that will stretch and test your patience. It is just the way it works. You can't pray for workers without agreeing to be a worker in the harvest. That is just how it works.

You: Hey God I think it would be super awesome if you would send Nick the Geek workers for Youth because the harvest is ripe.

God: Hey nice try praying for workers like my son commanded, and it is really cool how you tried to find a loophole by praying for some one's ministry that is way far away from you so you won't have to help out, but guess what? Yep every time you see a teen your heart will break for them until you start helping in the harvest because you have put this prayer into your heart and I am answering it in full.

That is how it works. Ok maybe not exactly like that but pretty close. Real catch 22 though because if you want to pray for good and righteous things like James tells us to do then you have to pray for this, but if you want to have some peace in not helping reach the lost then you can never pray for this. What to do, what to do?

I know this, there is nothing better than to walk in God's will. He calls us all to pray for workers because He calls us all to become workers. That is God's will. If you have ever been sitting in church wondering why God doesn't speak to you like these other people it is probably because you aren't listening to the plain and clear. This is it. God gives this command to all of us and when we are ready to move forward then we will start hearing more and more from Him. The other cool thing about praying for workers is that you should be going into it knowing you are one of the workers. You are basically calling for backup and God is so amazing that He will put the call in the hearts of others. Sure it might take a while before you get your backup. How long did it take before you started walking in God's will in this? Yeah people were praying for your help long before you finally caved so start praying now for workers because we are slow to respond, but God is perfect in everything so if you start praying now He will work the timing out and those workers will be there when you must have them.

Finally, some people might be thinking, "Hey today you are suppose to be talking about your Young Adult Class." Yeah so this was part of our discussion last night so there it is.