Believers often hear there is plenty for them to do. They hear preachers and pastors say they have a responsibility toward the gospel as much as them. They are not only encouraged to give to the Lord, but also to participate in church activities and to bring in people to the church. We see various churches engaging their people in different roles often created in necessity. Some tasks are physical in nature too. Naturally, many are active in the church. It causes for a good atmosphere, a sense of oneness in the Lord. All this is good while there is yet one thing that both believers and preachers alike must focus on. This bears the right fruit. It is the perfect basis for all the things the church wants to accomplish in and for the Lord. It keeps them together and away from the world. Many have done it and still do, but many more do not think of it. Its absence is the reason for the advent and the continuation of inept faith in the churches. Mark the words of Jesus. “And He was saying to them, the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest” (Luke 10:2).
Jesus’ words are still true today. The harvest is plentiful, but true laborers are few. Even in His days many followed Him at first with intent to becoming His disciples, but quickly turned away. Now, faith and trust in Him are diminishing with every passing day and reliance on self, people, works and material things has taken prominence. Consequently, it is hurting God’s kingdom and obstructing the faith that saves. Many seem to be involved in various works for the Lord, but they signify the want of a true laborer. The world and the churches need laborers that can defeat sin, take up the battle shield against Satan, sacrifice themselves on a regular basis and stand in between the believers and the devil by earnestly seeking God day in and day out. If this is to be, every believer has the most important role. It is beseeching the Father to send out laborers. For every role a church creates there should be a laborer, besides those needed elsewhere in the world, with the above strengths. And it is not possible with money and intellect or even the knowledge of the Word. Hence, Jesus urges to pray for laborers. His notion is that only God can call, train and send men to work for His kingdom; for He alone knows who fits where, when and how. As we pray, we must depend on Him leaving everything into His hands accepting that the kingdom is His and that He alone makes plans and execute them. The more and often we pray the more the profit.
Now, the discussion is how we should pray and for what kind of laborers. For in Jesus’ wisdom the trait of a laborer is only spiritual. He wants us to ask for spiritual laborers or men filled with the Spirit who bear His fruit. The simple line of reasoning to this is that when we pray, we wittingly do not ask for laborers of the flesh. “But Peter said, ‘Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land?” (Acts 5:3). God’s kingdom does not need people that have no qualms to deceive the Spirit. If they are ready to deceive Him, they are already deceptive toward believers and the believers to be; they regard them as foolish and dim-witted. Here is an important point to notice which is often ignored. Peter by himself did not know the personality of Ananias, but the Spirit who knew revealed it to him. The world and churches need Peters. Satan will always have a hand in our choice of laborers, but if we beseech the Lord for them, He is defeated. No worker we choose admits he is fleshly minded, but the one whom God sends is with His interests. A person willing to lie to the Spirit can alter the truth convincingly and can mask it from all who hear him. So, when you pray, make sure you are honest with the Spirit first so that you earnestly pray for a laborer who is always for the truth of the gospel.
When you do pray for a man with the truth of the gospel, what kind of a person can you expect? One who fills up where Christ is needed. Paul said, “For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh” (Rom. 9:3). You see how Paul was transformed from being Saul. He was even willing to be accursed, if possible, though he knew it couldn’t be the case. It explains his profound zeal for Israel to be saved. When he was ravaging the church, the prayers offered did not prove waste. They were saved from persecution by grace, which turned Saul into Paul. Now Paul became an encouragement to the same who faced his wrath. People did not send Paul, Christ did. From then on we see how God used him for His kingdom. He was nothing but encouragement, peace and joy to all. So, pray for someone who disowns self-centeredness and goes beyond it, i.e. sacrifice.
The kingdom of God needs someone who makes believers his accomplishments. In other words, his joy is the people whom he gained for the Lord and for whom he is constantly grateful. Now, you can never find someone with this quality even if you conduct a thorough interview; for you can never delve into a heart. It is one quality attained by suffering loss for the Lord. And Paul delightfully said, “always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all” (Phil. 1:4). A God-sent person prepares every one God gives him for Christ. He does not intend to rob them or exercise greed. So, when you pray, ask that God sends forth workers that rejoice at believers and that joyfully thank Him for their well-being.
Then, you should pray for someone with this attitude: “Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed” (Tit. 3:1) so that the name of God is not maligned among the gentiles. If the laborer cannot practice these, he cannot fulfill God’s purpose and so, neither do those who are led by him. At every instance except when Christ is asked to be renounced the church should be subject to rulers. The church must be obedient in every aspect of God’s will and be eager for good deeds. This flows from the laborer of God’s kingdom.
Earnestly pray that he does not possess a corrupt heart. For see the word from Jude: “Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah” (1:11). In the present days there is plenty of harvest in the churches itself. They are in need to return to the basics of faith, repentance, trust in God and obeying Christ in every matter. Too many outsiders are in the churches, i.e. those who have little to no knowledge of God and Christ and the things that interests them. Subsequently, there is more intent on materialistic and unprofitable things than Christ the insurmountable blessing. When this is the case, we don’t need the Cains, the Balaams and the Korahs. With them the end is written – Woe!
Do you wish to be a receiver of many blessings and the giver of the same? Pray that you are under a laborer of God and not of men; pray the others also find one. For then you will come to live the greatest joy of life. You will not lack anything of the Kingdom. “that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself” (Col. 2:2).