Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.
Many people pray for a multitude of things. They pray for themselves, their family, and their friends. They pray for what is going on in their personal lives, such as careers, marriages, finances, and health. They pray for things they desire to make their life easier and to make them happy. However, not many people pray for the harvest mainly because they do not know what that means.
A Harvest: Physical or Spiritual
Praying for a harvest in the natural is much different from praying for a spiritual harvest. When you pray for a harvest according to the world, you are praying for the corn, beans, peas, and other foods that you get from fields and gardens. That is a physical harvest at the end of a farmer's season when he collects fruits and vegetables produced from his labor. It is symbolic of bounty, health, and abundance. (2 Corinthians 9:10)
Crops deserve prayers for a bountiful harvest. However, praying for a spiritual harvest in the Kingdom of God is the type of harvest that brings lost souls to Jesus Christ.
A spiritual harvest is a metaphor for spiritual growth. Jesus used that expression in parables and on other occasions. 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). Here, Jesus referred to the many lost souls who need to be brought to repentance and become part of a spiritual harvest. Besides lost souls, Jesus also included laborers in that scripture.
Jesus used the same metaphor of a spiritual harvest in Samaria when He talked one on one with the woman at the well. Jesus told 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). Jesus was referring to the Samaritans the woman had told about Him. In not many days afterward, many of the Samaritans in the village became believers in Christ. That was indeed evidence of the spiritual harvest of souls.
God wants us to pray for a spiritual harvest. Those who do so are promised a great reward for their faith and diligence for working in the fields for a harvest.
Other than praying, the Bible gives other means of bringing lost souls to Christ.
- Witnessing to the Lord in words and examples
- Giving personal testimonies about the goodness of God
- Praying for laborers of the harvest like Jesus did (Matthew 9:38)
- Using the special gifts God has given you
God: Lord of the Harvest
All harvests belong to God. In fact, God is the Lord of the harvest. Jesus said in Matthew 9:38, "Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest."
Saying God is Lord of the harvest means everything we have belongs to God. When we get a paycheck from our job, it belongs to God. Even intangible things we experience belong to God. The love we receive from family and friends is a harvest that belongs to God. We experience a spiritual harvest every time we feel God's presence. When we wake up in the morning, it's a harvest in the making by what we will do that day. Unlike farmers, we do not have to wait an entire year to reap a harvest. We experience a spiritual harvest day by day and often times moment by moment.
When we allow God to have first place in our lives, we recognize Him as the Lord of our harvest. After all, He is the one who enables us to do what we do in order to reap a harvest.
Additionally, when we embrace God as Lord of our harvest, He continues to bless us in ways we never expected. When we seek God (Matthew 6:33) with our whole heart, we will always experience God as the Lord of our harvest.
We have read about praying for the spiritual harvest for the loss. We have also read about praying for the laborers who are working in the vineyards. When we do both, God is pleased because more people will be part of the harvest.
Believers can celebrate a spiritual harvest every single day when the loss accepts the saving power of Jesus Christ.