Serious about obeying Jesus’ commands?
How about this one?
Only one command of Jesus is recorded with identical Greek wording in two different gospels. The strong language in Jesus’ original command may have proven particularly memorable:
The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore beg (deomai) the Lord of the harvest to thrust forth (ekballo) laborers into His harvest. —Matthew 9:38 and Luke 10:2
When Jesus taught us to pray to our Father in heaven, for our enemies, etc., He used proseuchomai—the common word for prayer.
But in Mt 9:38 and Lk 10:2, Jesus used deomai, a much stronger word meaning to plead desperately. (In Lk 5:12 the leper deomais Jesus—begging Jesus desperately—for healing.)
And Jesus didn’t simply tell His disciples to pray for laborers to be urged to go.
Again Jesus used a much stronger word—ekballo, meaning to drive out!
(Thus same Greek word is used in Mt 9:34, 10:1 and 10:8 for casting out demons!)
So in both Mt 9:38 and Lk 10:2, Jesus commands us to deomai (plead desperately) the Lord of the Harvest to ekballo laborers (thrust them forcefully) into His harvest!
And this desperate pleading wasn’t simply for believers to be sent from the Church (which wasn’t yet birthed). No, the model of ministry Jesus instituted with this prayer cooperates with the Holy Spirit to forcibly rip families out of satan’s kingdom and bless them to multiply God’s Kingdom blessing within their relational contexts (Mt 10 & Lk 10).
Already in recent decades the 10:2b “virus” has enlisted many to set an alarm for 10:02 as a reminder to pray Luke 10:2.
That’s a great start, but why not take it further?
- Don’t simply “proseuchomai” God to send others from the Church.
Beg God earnestly to lead you in following in the disciple’s steps: “Thrust workers into YOUR harvest, starting with me as you did with your first disciples. And raise up believing families through my obedience as you did through the disciples.”
- Don’t just aim for private prayer.
When your alarm goes off invite believers with you to join in prayer. If there aren’t any, search out others to pray with (Malachi 3:16; Matthew 18:20).
- Don’t keep the virus to yourself.
Invite others to join you in a) adopting this practice and b) inviting others (Matthew 28:20).
- Don’t settle for a “moment of prayer.”
“Tarry” in seeking Holy Spirit power for the harvest!
Set your alarm for 9:38 and 10:02. Then, as often as you can, take this full 24 minutes to deomai the Lord to ekballo you and others into His Harvest.
- Don’t just sit there.
Jesus took the disciples into the harvest. Walk as you pray, asking the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to the harvest and give you His compassion for the harassed and helpless—those like sheep without a shepherd (Matthew 9:36).
- Don’t let your fire die out.
A lone ember grows cold. Covenant with friends to pray together at 9:38 or 10:02 as often as you can—by hangout, Skype, Facetime or phone (Ecclesiastes 4:12).
- Don’t pray uninformed.
Sign up for a daily prayer prompt from:
When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?