I had gathered together with my Senegalese sisters-in-Christ to explore Jesus’ teaching, particularly God’s call to reach the lost. The women knew that there was a great need for sharing the Gospel with those who did not yet know Him, but for a number of reasons they believed they were not able to share their faith. In fact, they felt it was the responsibility of someone else — namely a pastor or missionary.
The first story we studied was Matthew 9:35-38. In that passage Jesus looks out over the fields and says “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
I had never fully understood this personally prior to going to Senegal. It always seemed as if workers were plentiful but the harvest was few. But I began praying for God to show me those places and people where the harvest was plentiful and He answered. Suddenly as I listened to people I saw clues that God was already at work in their lives preparing them to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ. One time as I was speaking with an artist he practically quoted Matthew 6:26-27 to me without knowing it was Scripture! But that’s a story for another time.
Back to my study group… I asked the women what our response as followers in Christ is to Jesus’ challenge in Matthew 9. To a one, they responded that we needed to pray for more pastors and missionaries to come and minister among the lost.
Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”Matthew 9:37-38
We then moved to prayer, but instead of praying for what they mentioned, I asked them to remember the person that led them to Christ. I asked, “Was that person a pastor or missionary?” Almost all said, “No.” They were women just like them.
So we spent time praying for those women giving thanks to God for their obedience in sharing His Word. I then asked the women to think of two to three women in their lives — individuals they knew needed to hear the Gospel just as they did years ago. And in small groups they prayed for these women.
Over and over throughout the weekend training, we stopped and read Matthew 9:35-38 and then prayed for those who led them to Christ and for the women that they wanted to know Jesus. On the final day as the women were reflecting on what they had learned and how they would apply it, one commented that God had really been speaking to her during these times of prayer.
While she wanted her friends and family to know Jesus, she said, “I don’t know why, but it never occurred to me to pray for them.” God had now impressed it upon her heart that perhaps she and the other women were the answer to the prayer to send forth workers into the fields.
There are those in our lives who are just waiting to hear and respond to the Good News of Jesus Christ. God has prepared the fields and He is sending each one of us into places and to people He has prepared in advance for us to partner with Him.
Let us get on our knees and faithfully pray for them. Then let us ask God to fill our mouths with His Word as we go out to accomplish the specific mission He has given each one of us.