Sunday, April 14, 2013

So you want to be a laborer?

“The LORD has sent this message to every land: “Tell the people of Israel, ‘Look, your Savior is coming. See, he brings his reward with him as he comes.’””(Isaiah 62:11 NLT)

“He said, “They are my very own people. Surely they will not be false again.” And he became their Savior. In all their suffering he also suffered, and he personally rescued them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them. He lifted them up and carried them through all the years.” (Isaiah 63:8–9 NLT)

“Surely you are still our Father! Even if Abraham and Jacob would disown us, LORD, you would still be our Father. You are our Redeemer from ages past.” (Isaiah 63:16 NLT)

Isaiah knew that His people were in great trouble; as he reflected on the state of the children of Israel, he understood two things. First, that he needed to pray - to lift the needs of the people to the Lord. Secondly, he knew that they could not get out of this mess on their own. They needed outside intervention. They needed a savior and they needed a king, and they needed God to be their Father. Jesus brought about all of that. He came as the savior of all mankind, the King of the Jews and the perfect son of the Father. He's the Savior who rescues us us, He is the King who leads us, and He is the Son who teaches us to call God, "our Father in Heaven".

When I look around at the people in my world, do I see them as Isaiah did - as people in trouble and in need of a savior? As confused and lost people in need of a King? As orphans in need of a God who would be their Father? Do I see the people in my world as Jesus saw them? Like sheep without a shepherd? When Isaiah finally saw people the way God sees them, he immediately prayed and called others to pray: “O Jerusalem, I have posted watchmen on your walls; they will pray to the LORD day and night for the fulfillment of his promises. Take no rest, all you who pray. Give the LORD no rest until he makes Jerusalem the object of praise throughout the earth.” (Isaiah 62:6–7 NLT)

When Jesus felt this deep compassion for the multitudes, he also prayed and invited His disciples to pray with Him that the Lord of the harvest would send forth laborers into the harvest. The need is for laborers, but the first thing potential laborers do is to become watchmen who have a heart for the people around them and pray day and night for the fulfillment of His promises. The first duty of a laborer is prayer. If you want to be a laborer in the Kingdom, you must first learn to be a watchman. If you want to begin to function as a watchman, here are three suggestions to get you started:
  • Make a map of a one-block area of your neighborhood, as you meet neighbors, write their names down on the map and begin to pray for them.
  • Make a list of the people you work with on a 3X5 Card, tape it to a mirror or the dashboard of your car and begin to pray for them
  • Ask God to give you a list of people who you want to see experience Christ and create a tool to help you pray for them consistently. 

1 comment:

  1. Awesome Al! We have not because we ask not and we ask not because we don't care. Isaiah cared. Jesus cared. If we are going to be anything like Jesus, we need to start caring about the people around us (Mat 14.14). And, like you said, that begins with prayer. Prayer is not the last resort. It is the first resort. Thanks for spurring us on!