Workers Raised Up through Prayer

Jesus said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask Him to send more workers into His fields” (Matthew 9:37). Roger Osbaldiston, a New Zealander who leads a global student ministry, tells how prayer led to new volunteers. Praying that God would use us to mobilize others to join in the harvest is one of the suggested prayer points of Pray2020.


As I have traveled in these past six months, one thing has impressed me about the places where we are seeing new fruit: a prayerful belief of those involved that God is at work. Success is not simply about using creative approaches or trying harder. It is about walking in dependence on the Lord, believing He has already prepared students’ hearts to either come to faith or labor with us to begin multiplying movements.

An example comes from a recent Expedition Team member, who tells this story about the team’s experience in Ukraine:

“On this day, we went to campus and talked to as many students as possible. God led us to Ilya. He didn’t speak English, but he could understand it. Unfortunately, our Russian-speaking teammates weren’t nearby, but we did get his phone number to contact him later. On we went, looking for more potential key volunteers at a different part of campus.

After we joined one of our Russian-speaking teammates, Oksanna, God led us to Julia. Oksanna asked Julia for directions to the part of campus where we were going. Since Julia had class there soon, she offered to take us to the building we were looking for. As we walked, she shared that her dad was a local pastor and that she wanted to be a missionary someday! Oksanna and Julia exchanged phone numbers before Julia left for class. Julia is now a key volunteer.

After Julia left, Ilya appeared! Since Oksanna could speak Russian, we sat down to talk. Ilya told us that as he was walking to campus that very morning, he had asked God to show him how to multiply his ministry on campus. We shared with him that, as we were walking to campus that morning, we had asked God to show us students who have a passion to make Jesus known on campus. We answered his prayer, and he answered ours. Ilya is now a key volunteer, helping to lead the movement in Kherson, Ukraine.

God had prepared Julia and Ilya. We did not prepare them. God was working in their lives long before we arrived. All we did was go to campus, and in faith look for key volunteers. It was amazing to see God lead us to these students.“

The team could not have found key volunteers without the Lord already being at work. And they would not have found them if they had not prayed and acted in dependence.