Praying For The Harvest
Ephesians 5:18 Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people).
Romans 8:26 So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance.
Isaiah 43:26 tells us to put God in remembrance of His Word.
The scriptures above reveal to us that there are many different ways that we can pray, but that they are all to be in the Spirit. Many people think that praying in the Spirit means praying in tongues. However praying in the Spirit is not limited to praying in tongues.
James 5:16 says “…the earnest heartfelt prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available, dynamic in its working.” The prayer that brings power is the prayer that comes from your heart, which is your spirit. The Bible does not say that the headfelt prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available.
The instruction given to us in Proverbs 3:5-6 is important to remember and heed when praying. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.”
Let the Holy Spirit lead you on what to focus on. Pray the Word and pray in tongues, following the unction of God. I John 2:20 and 27 says that you have been given an unction of the Holy One that will live in you forever. That unction will lead you and teach you.
How do you follow the unction? Follow the presence and anointing of God. Do you sense His presence more on praying in tongues, or praying the Word or praying over one area versus another? Depend on the Holy Spirit Who is your Helper and your Guide. He is the great Intercessor.
Your primary goal in prayer is to become aware of God’s presence. In prayer, always consciously be aware that you are talking to your Father God. Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”
Please use the following outline as a tool to assist you in praying for The Harvest, but please do not do so without engaging your heart. I believe God will use it to spark things in your heart. You do not have to cover the entire outline in one hour or session of prayer. The outline will be especially useful in helping your group to pray in unity.
Outline for Praying for The Harvest
Genesis 1 and Hebrews 2 reveal to us that God has given mankind power and authority in the earth. He has limited Himself to our prayers. John Wesley said it best when he said, “It seems that God cannot do anything on earth unless someone asks Him.”
I. Pray for the lost.
God has great plans for each person. He longs to intervene and act on behalf of His beloved creation, mankind.
Ezekiel 22:30 says, “And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before Me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none.”
God is still seeking for men who will stand in the gap for those who are lost and without God. Their sin of resisting God is separating them from Him, calling out for judgment. God is longing to pour out His love and mercy on them and is searching for people who will intercede on their behalf and give Him a legal entrance into their lives.
2 Peter 3:9 says that God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should turn in repentance.
I John 5:14-15
And this is the confidence (the assurance, the privilege of boldness) which we have in Him: [we are sure] that if we ask anything (make any request) according to His will (in agreement with His own plan), He listens and hears us.
And if (since) we [positively] know that He listens to us in whatever we ask, we also know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that we have [granted to us as our present possessions] the requests made of Him.
And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.
For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in His heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
In Psalm 2:8 God says, “Ask of Me, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth as your possession.” If we can ask God for nations and He’ll give them to us, we can ask Him for neighborhoods and cities. Really that word translated in our Bibles as “nations” and sometimes translated as “heathen” simply means ethnic people groups.
God has a wonderful plan for each person. He longs for them to walk in that plan and experience His love and goodness. We are simply lifting His desire back up to Him, giving Him a legal right to intervene in their lives. Since it is His desire to meet each one where they are with His love, we know that when we pray we can expect God to answer and grant us our requests.
II. Pray for the laborers
Pray for the laborers be thrust into the harvest fields.
After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before His face into every city and place, whither He Himself would come.
Therefore said He unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the Harvest, that He would send forth laborers into His harvest.
When He saw the throngs, He was moved with pity and sympathy for them, because they were bewildered (harassed and distressed and dejected and helpless), like sheep without a shepherd.
Then He said to His disciples, The harvest is indeed plentiful, but the laborers are few.
So pray to the Lord of the harvest to force out and thrust laborers into His harvest.
It is one thing to go and one thing to be sent out by a person. We believe that our teams are being sent out and thrust out by God. We believe that the same love and compassion that moved Jesus is moving in the Body of Christ.
Pray for utterance for the laborers.
And [pray] also for me, that [freedom of] utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth to proclaim boldly the mystery of the goodness (the Gospel),
For which I am an ambassador…[Pray] that I may declare it boldly and courageously, as I ought.
I Corinthians 1:4-5
I thank my God at all times for you because of the grace of God which was bestowed on you in Christ Jesus,
[So] that in Him in every respect you were enriched, in full power and readiness of speech [to speak of your faith] and complete knowledge and illumination [to give full insight into its meaning].
I Peter 4:11
Whoever speaks, [let him do it as one who utters] oracles of God; whoever ministers, [let him do it] as with the strength which God furnishes abundantly, so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ….
For I am well assured and indeed know that through your prayers, and a bountiful supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my preservation (for the spiritual health and welfare of my own soul) and avail toward the saving work of the Gospel.
This is in keeping with my own eager desire and persistent expectation and hope, that I shall not disgrace myself or be put to shame in anything; but with the utmost freedom of speech and unfailing courage, now as always heretofore, Christ (the Anointed One and His anointing) will be magnified and get glory and praise in this body of mine and be boldly exalted in my person, whether through life of through death.
I Thessalonians 2:2 “…yet in [the strength of our] God we summoned courage to proclaim to you unfalteringly the good news (the Gospel)…”
Pray for the presence and power of God to accompany the words of the laborers.
And He said to them, Go into all the world and preach and publish openly the good news to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
And these attesting signs will accompany those who believe: in My name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new languages;
They will pick up serpents; and [even] if they drink anything deadly, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will get well…
And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord kept working with and confirming the Message by the attesting signs and miracles that closely accompanied.
And the presence of the Lord was with them with power, so that a great number [learned] to believe (to adhere to and trust in and rely on the Lord) and turned and surrendered themselves to Him.
2 Corinthians 4:5-7
For what we preach is not ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves [merely] as your servants for Jesus’ sake.
For God Who said, Let light shine out of darkness, has shone in our hearts so as [to beam forth] the Light for the illumination of the knowledge of the majesty and glory of God [as it is manifest in the Person and is revealed in the face of Jesus Christ (the Messiah),
However, we possess this precious treasure [the divine Light of the Gospel] in [frail, human] vessels of earth, that the grandeur and exceeding greatness of the power may be shown to be from God and not from ourselves.
III. Pray for the Word to grow and to spread.
2 Thessalonians 3:1-2
Furthermore, brethren, do pray for us, that the Word of the Lord may speed on (spread rapidly and run its course) and be glorified (extolled) and triumph, even as [it has done] with you.
And that we be delivered from perverse and wicked (actively malicious) men, for not everybody has faith and is held by it.
Acts 19:20 “Thus the Word of the Lord grew and spread and intensified, prevailing mightily.”