Let Jesus Guide Your Prayer
By Wesley L. Duewel
If Jesus has one concern for our world today, it is the same concern He had when He was on earth – that the harvest be reaped. Jesus realized that His disciples had not yet caught the harvest vision; they were often more concerned about themselves than about reaching the unreached. Therefore, they failed to see from Christ’s perspective the people they met.
Jesus saw people as they were, and loved them. His love was a reaching love that demonstrated His whole redemptive mission to earth. Moved by the needs of hurting people, Jesus reached out to them. Look at Jesus and learn how He desires for your love to reach out to others.
When Jesus saw Peter’s mother-in-law in bed, He went to her, touched her hand, and healed her. When the leper fell at Jesus’ feet, He reached out His hand and touched him. When two blind men came asking for mercy, Jesus touched their eyes, and they could see. He touched the ears and tongue of the deaf and dumb man, and he began to hear and to speak. “He went up and touched the coffin” of the widow’s dead son and restored the boy to life (Luke 7:14-15)....
From other instances we know that all Jesus needed to do was to speak, and healing and life would have been granted. But He demonstrated His love by reaching out and touching. When He took the little children in His arms, He was demonstrating the love of God, the love which the Holy Spirit wants to channel through our lives to others (John 7:38).
Jesus did not use His God-given powers for personal gain. When the Samaritans refused Jesus the hospitality of their village, James and John were insulted and wanted to call down fire from heaven in retaliation (Luke 9:54). Jesus viewed the Samaritans as beloved of His Father, some of the sinful ones for whom He was going to die. He saw them as the harvest He had come to reap.
Jesus Wants You to Have Harvest Vision
Christians should be people-conscious, need-conscious, harvest-conscious. Jesus was. When a young man approached Him, He loved him and considered the vast potential of his life if he would only follow Jesus. Observing a fisherman, He recognized that he could become a fisher of souls. A sinful woman was viewed through His eyes as the pure child of God she could become when her sins were forgiven.
Jesus’ disciples saw harvest in the future, but they did not see people as harvest. Jesus disagreed; He said harvest is now. Harvest is always here with us if we have eyes to see. Jesus pointed to the Samaritan people walking toward them and said, “I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest” (John 4:35). The Samaritans were just one of earth’s harvest fields. Jesus was pleading, “See people as harvest! Become harvest-conscious. Focus your interest on the spiritual harvest potential of all earth’s peoples.”
Jesus said three things to us about harvest:
Catch the vision of people as harvest. As you go through life each day, go with your eyes open. See people; see their needs. See them as harvest.
The Samaritan people whom Jesus pointed out to the disciples were unknown to them. The disciples did not know their names or anything much about them. But Jesus said, “Look! Those people are part of the harvest.”
As you see people who need Jesus, see them as they can be in Christ; see what they could mean to the cause of Christ. See them as people Christ loved so much He was willing to die for them. Then love them and pray for them (John 4:35).
Pray for the harvest. Pray for everyone you see, meet, or have any contact with. Pray for those who serve you in business, everyday living, or travel. Pray for children at play, for the drivers of cars that pause beside you at traffic lights, for those waiting with you in checkout lines.
The harvest immediately before you should always remind you of the harvest beyond your sight. A foreign-made object you purchase or use calls you to pray for the people of that land. A telecast reporting strife in a foreign nation, a picture of a starving child, a news item from any place in the world is a call to prayer for those people and their needs.
Be a world Christian. Have a world vision. Be a world intercessor. Let your love be as extensive as God’s. He loves the world; will you love that world for God today? Let the Holy Spirit pour God’s love through you as you pray for all people. Don’t just love the world theoretically; love the people actually. Don’t just repeat, “Bless the whole world,” and think your prayer responsibility for the world is fulfilled for the day. Love the persons, the peoples, the nations.
Pray that others will catch the harvest vision. “Jesus went through all the towns and villages...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’” (Matt. 9:35-38).
Though you might expect that He would have done so, Jesus did not tell His disciples to look at the harvest and then get busy. He told them to pray. In a few short months after Pentecost, reaping the harvest would be the full-time assignment of the apostles. But before the reaping would come the preparation of prayer.
Jesus knew that as His disciples prayed, their harvest vision would ignite their souls and they would be moved with compassion to do something. It is a rare person who has a real harvest vision and prayer burden who does not become involved in additional ways as God opens doors. Real vision, which leads to real intercession, deepens the love and concern for a person or place and causes us to desire to help in any way possible – giving, going, serving. The danger is that we are so busy working we do not pray enough.
The only prayer request Jesus gave His church was to pray for harvest. Praise God when ninety-nine sheep are in the fold, but as long as one remains outside, do not rest until that one is found and gathered safely inside. Minister where you are, but never forget those who are yet unreached.
“Let us go somewhere else – to the nearby villages – so I can preach there also. That is why I have come” (Mark 1:38). So Jesus went throughout Galilee and the surrounding areas, from village to village, always reaching out. “I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to My voice” (John 10:16).
Once you see the world through Jesus’ eyes, prayer for world harvest will be one of the main priorities of your intercession. Pray for harvest. Pray for the harvest workers. Pray for the new believers. By your prayer, you can become involved in world harvest.
– Quoted from Touch the World through Prayer by Wesley L. Duewel. Copyright 1986. Used by permission of the Duewel Literature Trust, Inc., Greenwood, Indiana. Dr. Duewel’s books may be purchased by calling (317) 881-6751, Ext. 361.