In August/September 2014 we were studying Daniel in Sunday School at FBC. Daniels prayer life was a great challenge to me. His prayer in chapter 9 was a special blessing and resulted in my post “Do we need to pray like this for the United States # 61”. I have been keeping a prayer journal since 1980 that has been a tremendous blessing for me. However, I must admit that prayer requires more discipline for me than Bible study. I suspect that lack of prayer is a major reason for my spiritual weakness and the “Great evangelical recession (see Post #6)” in the United States over the last 50 years. My ten “Helps for Effective Prayers # 62” include #1 Intimate relationship with Jesus that enables praying in His name and in His will & #8 Powerful petition. These fit in with the devotional below.
The Key to the Master’s Orders by Oswald Chambers 10/16/2014
Pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest —Matthew 9:38
The key to the disciple’s difficult task is in the hand of God, and that key is prayer, not work— that is, not work as the word is commonly used today, which often results in the shifting of our focus away from God. The key to the disciple’s difficult task is also not the key of common sense, nor is it the key of medicine, civilization, education, or even evangelization. The key is in following the Master’s orders— the key is prayer. “Pray the Lord of the harvest . . . .” In the natural realm, prayer is not practical but absurd. We have to realize that prayer is foolish from the commonsense point of view.
From Jesus Christ’s perspective, there are no nations, but only the world. How many of us pray without regard to the persons, but with regard to only one Person— Jesus Christ? He owns the harvest that is produced through distress and through conviction of sin. This is the harvest for which we have to pray that laborers be sent out to reap. We stay busy at work, while people all around us are ripe and ready to be harvested; we do not reap even one of them, but simply waste our Lord’s time in over-energized activities and programs. Suppose a crisis were to come into your father’s or your brother’s life— are you there as a laborer to reap the harvest for Jesus Christ? Is your response, “Oh, but I have a special work to do!” No Christian has a special work to do. A Christian is called to be Jesus Christ’s own, “a servant [who] is not greater than his master” (John 13:16), and someone who does not dictate to Jesus Christ what he intends to do. Our Lord calls us to no special work— He calls us to Himself. “Pray the Lord of the harvest,” and He will engineer your circumstances to send you out as His laborer.