Praying What God Wants to Answer

Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
(Matthew 9:35-38)

Whether it is overseas missionsor ministry in the local church, there is always a great need for those who will serve. Churches and ministry organizations have tried so many ways to recruit and enlist new workers. So often we find ourselves using horizontal methods without tapping into the vertical power of God. Perhaps we should try the method Jesus commanded us to use! As He looked about Him at the great needs, He told His disciples that they needed to pray. Specifically, they needed to ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest fields.
This isn’t a prayer request from Jesus. It’s a prayer command. When the Lord tells us to pray for something, it isn’t an option for the super spiritual. It needs to become a way of life for all of His disciples. It probably should be one of the most often repeated prayers for any believer, and for whenever the church gathers together corporately to pray.
One point that ought to encourage us: when Jesus tells us to pray something, we know we will be praying that which God wants to answer. As we pray for workers for the harvest fields, we have the assurance that we are praying in the very center of the Lord’s will. The promise of Scripture is that whatever we ask, according to His will, we will receive (1 John 5:14). There is great hope for an abundance of laborers in the Lord’s harvest fields when we begin to agree with Him in prayer. And, we should never overlook the great possibility that God could ask us to become the very answer to the prayers we pray. May we always be prepared to say, “Here I am, Lord . . . send me” (Isaiah 6:8).

Listen: Spend a few quiet moments seeking God. Be attentive to whatever He may speak to your heart.

Reflect: How is the Spirit leading you to respond to what you have heard from God?

Confess and Repent: If there is something the Spirit convicts you of, take time to prayerfully confess it. Resolve to turn from it if it is sin, or step toward whatever He is leading you into that you have either neglected or not seen before.

Ask: Lord of the Harvest, I come to You today in obedience and ask You to send workers into the harvest fields. Lord, You looked on the crowds with compassion. Would You give me that same kind of compassion? Help me to pray for and serve others with the kind of love and care that You demonstrated! Stir the hearts of Your followers, including myself, to move in obedience without hesitation. Raise up an army of compassionate laborers to bring in the great harvest before Your return.


  • Commit to asking the Lord of the Harvest to send workers into His harvest field daily. Ask Him to call the young people of your church to be laborers for His kingdom.
  • Make it a practice to pray for missions organizations that are recruiting workers for such things as church planting, Bible translation, literacy, administrative positions, teachers, etc. Many of them will give you specific prayer points if you ask. Choose one or more organizations to intercede for regularly.
  • Ask God to show you how He wants you to serve in His harvest. Perhaps He will increase your giving, or call you to a deeper level of intercession. Or it could be that He will give you a longing to serve with a missions organization in some capacity. Prepare to be willing to do whatever He calls you to step into for His kingdom’s sake.

Taken from Vertical with Jesus by David and Kim Butts. © 2022 PrayerShop Publishing.