“Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore, pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.'”
– Matthew 9:37–38
This picture that Jesus gives us of a plentiful harvest, he’s talking about people who are apart from God in their sin. The verses right before this, talk about the compassion he has for them. And the longing he has for them to be loved and shepherded. To turn to himself. He says it’s plentiful. The harvest of people is plentiful. The problem is not that the harvest is not ready to hear. But the problem is the laborers are few.
The problem is not that the harvest isn’t ready to hear, it’s that the laborers are few. So we pray to the Lord of the harvest.
Matthew 9:37–38 Reminds Us to Pray for the Laborers
There are few people who are going into the harvest field to proclaim the good news of the king and his kingdom. So Jesus says, “Pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
These Verses Remind Us of the Amount of People Who Don’t Know Christ
I think about the world right now. I think about the reality that there are about 2.8 billion people in the world right now. 2.8 billion. I don’t even know how to imagine that number. But 2.8 billion people in the world who have little to no knowledge of the gospel. They have, most of them, never even heard of the good news of God’s love in Christ.
Many of them don’t have access to that. They don’t have a Christian who knows the gospel. They don’t have a church near them that preaches the gospel. And they don’t have access to the good news of God’s love in Christ. That is a plentiful harvest, but the laborers are few. You see so few people going from churches to those places for the spread of the gospel to them.
How to Respond to the Realities of Matthew 9:37–38
So what do we do? How do we respond to that? Jesus says we pray. We pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest. Pray earnestly, passionately, zealously, and wholeheartedly, to the Lord of the harvest to send out more laborers into his harvest.
So let’s do that now. Oh God, we believe that there’s a plentiful harvest out there, that there are many people right now who’ve never heard the good news of your love in Christ, who are ready to hear it, who need to hear it. Their lives for eternity are contingent upon hearing this good news, so God, we pray that you would send out more people to make it known to them.
Prayer for God to Send More Laborers
God, send out more laborers, we pray. Send out more laborers to the harvest field. Send out more laborers to work for the spread of the gospel among those who’ve never heard it. Even as I’m praying this in my own life, as I’m praying this alongside others who are listening to this, we pray, Lord, make it clear if you’re sending us out.
Lord, I pray that you would send out more laborers, even from among those who are listening to this prayer right now, that even as we’re praying right now, your spirit would prompt their hearts to say, “Maybe I need to be one of these laborers. Maybe the Lord is sending me out to labor among people who’ve never heard the gospel.” Please, oh God, may it be so. Please send out more laborers into the harvest field for the spread of your glory, and bring in the harvest. Bring people.
We pray, from every nation, tribe, and tongue, from all these people, and from among the 2.8 billion who’ve little to no knowledge of the gospel, please, oh God, bring in the harvest through multitudes of more laborers. We pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.