Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.
People have no problem praying for other people. It is not uncommon for people to pray for themselves, their family, their friends, and other people around them. It is also not uncommon for people to pray for things they desire and especially for things that will help them become better in their personal and professional lives. Issues that might top the list include relationships, health, finances, jobs, and future events.
One thing that is missing from the top of most people's prayer list is the prayer for the harvest and laborers. That prayer is just as important as other prayers, but it is often neglected even though it is a command in the Bible.
Perhaps praying for the harvest and laborers is not on most prayer lists mainly is because people do not know what the scripture means and surely not how important it is.
The Harvest: Physical and Spiritual
Most people are familiar with a physical harvest. They have seen crops in fields and produces in gardens. In fact, they have consumed foods that were collected from a physical harvest. Farmers might have prayed for their crops and gardeners might have prayed for their produce. Then at the end of the season, there is a physical harvest. The farmer and the gardener collect a bountiful harvest of fruits and vegetables that have grown from their labor and as a result of their prayers.
A spiritual harvest is much different from a physical harvest. Prayers for a physical harvest are for crops. However, prayers are also needed for a spiritual harvest in the Kingdom of God. That is the type of harvest that brings lost souls to Jesus Christ.
A spiritual harvest in the Bible is the acceptance of Jesus Christ as one's Savior and Lord. A spiritual harvest is so important that Jesus used the words, "spiritual harvest" in many of His parables and on other occasions. For instance, He 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 9:36–38).
Two groups are included in those verses:
- plenty of lost souls
- few laborers
On another occasion, Jesus used the same metaphor of a spiritual harvest. After He talked one on one with the woman at the well in Samaria, He spoke to His disciples:
“Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest” (John 4:35).
After Jesus' private conversation with the woman at the well, she dropped her water pot, ran, and told her neighbors, "Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? Then they went out of the city, and came unto him (John 4:29).
That was a very good example of a bountiful spiritual harvest of souls coming to Christ. The Samaritan woman was the only one laborer who told the people in her village about Jesus. Then many of them became believers in Christ.
Not only does God want us to pray for a spiritual harvest of the many lost souls to be brought to Christ, but He wants us to also pray for a spiritual harvest of laborers that are few. In other words, there are many more lost souls that need to be saved than there are laborers working in the vineyard. To bridge the gap between the lost souls and the workers, many more laborers are needed.
Laborers who work in the fields are promised a great reward for their faith and diligence. There is a soul-winning crown laid up in heaven for those who do things to bring others to the saving power of Jesus Christ.
The Bible commands us to pray for a spiritual harvest so that lost souls will have the opportunity to become saved and enter into an intimate relationship with God. Then a spiritual harvest will be recognized and celebrated when the loss accepts the saving power of Jesus Christ.
As of now, there are only a few laborers. However, many more are needed for the great number of lost souls among us. If you are one of the lost souls, God wants you to receive His Son Jesus Christ into your life. If you are already saved, God wants you to be among the laborers.
As disciples of Christ, we should pray for lost souls to come to Christ (Matthew 9:38).