One of the most important prayers we can ever pray for lost souls is that the Lord of the harvest will dispatch some laborer to gather them into His eternal garner. Granted, this laborer may be us; therefore, we need to be very sensitive to any leading and opportunity the Spirit affords us to share our faith with others. This sensitivity to the Spirit should not be confined, however, to those specific lost souls for whom we are burdened. For all we know, the Lord of the harvest may dispatch us at any time in any place to gather some fruit unto eternal life as a consequence of the prayers of other’s prayed on behalf of the lost souls for whom they are burdened.
Whether it is us or one of our fellow-laborers who is sent, we need to pray that the Lord of the harvest will dispatch laborers to witness to those lost souls for whom we are burdened. The Bible promises us that the lost souls for whom we are burdened to pray “shall be saved” if they “call upon the name of the Lord” (Romans 10:13). However, the Apostle Paul asked, “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent?” (Romans 10:14-15).
Contrary to popular opinion, I don’t believe the Apostle Paul is insinuating in this passage that the salvation of lost souls is contingent upon the church sending out missionaries through our giving. Instead, I believe the Apostle Paul is teaching that the salvation of lost souls is contingent upon the Lord of the harvest sending out laborers into His harvest through our prayers. Now, this should not be miscued in any way to undermine the importance of missions. Just as God sends us into His fields with the gospel, He also uses us to send missionaries into the far distant fields of our world. Still, in the end, it is God who does the sending.
Only the Lord of the harvest can send the right laborer into the right field at the right time to gather fruit into His eternal garner. Only the Lord of the harvest knows when the heart of a sinner is ripe and ready to be picked for the kingdom of God. And only the Lord of the harvest can break up the fallow ground of a sinful heart preparing it for the planting and watering of the seed of the gospel. Thus, if we hope to see our lost friends and loved ones gathered by God’s grace into His eternal garner, we must pray to the Lord of the harvest on their behalf.
I praise you O God, for apart from you there is no Savior. I pray to you Lord of the harvest that you will send forth laborers into your harvest, for the harvest is great, but the laborers are few. Please dispatch me or a fellow-laborer to the lost souls for whom I am burdened so that they may be gathered into your eternal garner. And daily lift up my eyes on the fields that are white unto harvest so that I may be used by you to gather fruit unto eternal life. Amen.