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Pour Out Your Hearts

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For several years now our small CAMA team has been praying for new workers to join our ministries in Gjilan, Kosovo. Our aXcess colleagues in Bosnia have also been asking us for years for a CAMA couple to join their community center group. Neither of these needs is unique. Whether it’s the Alliance Missions family, U.S. Alliance churches, or other global and local church ministries, workers are desperately needed for the harvest.

As I was thinking about best practices for recruiting new workers, I found another organization that had been struggling with the same problem. Doug Hazen, former director for prayer mobilization with WorldVenture, shared the solution they found in Matthew 9:37–38—prayer.

Implore, Beg, and Beseech

In Mathew 9:37–38 Jesus says 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.”
I was very familiar with this passage, having read it several times over the years. My colleagues and I have even prayed these verses, asking Jesus to send out workers. My problem was that I had been reading it quite passively. It wasn’t until seeing what Doug Hazen had discovered in these verses that my eyes and heart were opened to this incredible promise of our Lord Jesus.

First of all, Jesus is in no way telling His disciples to ask passively. When He said “ask,” He was using the word in the Greek deomai. Deomai, “to lack or be in need of,” literally means to implore, to beg, or to beseech. It’s the word associated with the father who begs the disciples to drive out the demon tormenting his son. So, when Jesus says, “Ask the Lord of the harvest to send workers,” we are supposed to do this passionately. We implore, we beg, we beseech!

It’s also important for us to understand the meaning of the word “send” that Jesus uses here. In this passage, ekballo is the word used for “to send.” This same Greek word is used 34 times for casting out demons! And James, the brother of Jesus, uses “ekballo” when relating Rahab’s role in helping the spies escape Jericho. He in essence is saying Rahab forcibly told the spies, “You have got to get out of here!”

With the use of this word “ekballo” in the passage from Matthew, Jesus is telling us that we can and should ask the Lord with passion, conviction, and urgency to send workers to His harvest field.

Passion and Compassion

So, what is going to motivate you and me to pray like that? Go back one verse to Matthew 9:36: “When he saw the crowds, [Jesus] had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”

Compassion. It’s the emotion that floods our hearts when we see firsthand the refugees, hungry and harassed, fleeing from war and evil. It floods our hearts again when we see children begging on the streets or as we witness the destruction that natural disasters unleash on innocent people. Are we moved in the same way when we see and experience the brokenness of sin all around us? If so, we must pray for new workers with passion and compassion!

Jesus is presenting us with the opportunity to pour our hearts out, asking Him to send workers to His harvest field. He wants us to ask! He wants to send! Will you commit to doing this daily? With your morning prayers, devotions, cups of coffee, daily walks, breakfasts, or any other activities you do on a regular basis? Picture thousands of Alliance people praying to the Lord every day to send workers to His harvest field! That is a no-lose exercise in faith!

Can we commit to this together as the Alliance family? Let us:

  • Pray with fervor for the workers needed for the harvest;
  • Ask, implore, and beg everyone we know to join us in praying, fasting, and seeking the Lord nonstop to send out workers; and
  • Encourage our churches to focus on prayer for the lost, unreached, unchurched, and unwanted, as well as asking the Lord for a Holy Spirit–energized passion in our prayers for the seeking and sending out of workers—across the street or to the other side of the world.

Compassion. It’s at the heart of what we are called to do. It’s at the heart of how Jesus wants us to pray and do ministry.

This fall, through Reach Training Institute (see page 31) and Salem Alliance Church, the Lord is sending us a great young couple for an eight-month ministry practicum. In January 2021, Columbia Crossroads Alliance Church in South Carolina is sending us two great couples for 11 months to serve with us in our community center. We are praising the Lord of the harvest for these new workers, and we continue to ask for more!

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