“The prayer was no sooner prayed than it was answered. Jesus called 12 of his followers and sent them into the ripe fields.” Matthew 10:1 (The Message)
I wish that this were my normal prayer experience – say a prayer and it is answered!
Here is the context. At the end of Matthew 9, Jesus and His disciples had just completed a mission project. They went to the “local level” and experienced people in towns and villages with diseased, hurt and bruised lives.
Jesus’ heart was broken, and He was moved with deep feeling because of the experience.
Then, Jesus made the Great Observation to His followers: The harvest is plentiful, and the workers are few.
His solution: Ask His followers to hit their knees and pray that God would send others out.
As His followers prayed, their hearts were molded after Jesus’ heart, and they were raised up and sent out to give their lives away for the gospel.
This particular example of prayer in the Bible challenges me. The immediacy of answered prayer demonstrated here is certainly not always my experience.
A sovereign God will answer prayers according to His divine will. He can answer prayer before we even pray. He can answer prayer after a long delay. He can choose not to answer our prayers.
What I cannot miss in the passage are two things:
1. This is the command to pray. Actually, Jesus intended us to pray this prayer continually, repeatedly and in a way that reflects a long-term commitment.
2. There is hope. In this instance, 12 answered the call. Actually, 12 were an answer to their own prayer!
Thanks for praying for the 2020 goals. You have been obedient to a command, and I hope you are feeling hope.
Asking God for really big things, like 10 million multiplying disciples and 5 million new churches seems so far out there. It is way out there.
But take courage from this passage and others.
God is on the move, and He wants to mold your heart, multiply your life and use it to mobilize others for action!
How do you think you have been an answer to your own prayers recently?
Athletes in Action
Reflect on your walk with God lately. Have you met with God in new ways? Have you heard His voice speak to you? Celebrate His work of grace in your life by thanking Him and sharing that work with others today.