“Jesus told them,
“The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Luke 10:2 NIV

This verse was in our prayer study of the life of Jesus in the INSTITUTE. Many times I have read this passage. I have been impacted by it personally over the last year or so. I finally took the time to look into the original language of this verse and unpacked some important things. I thought I would share them with you here:

Jesus said it twice!

This verse is parallel to the passage in Matthew 9:37-38. But even though it is parallel, Dr. Luke seems to make it clear that this is the second time Jesus said the same thing.* If Jesus thought it was important enough to say twice…we better listen!

Jesus used a strong contrast!

The contrast between the “many crops”/”much harvest” and the “few” workers is a pointed part of the statement. In fact, the word used for “few” here is the same as in Matt 7:14; “But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

Jesus used strong language!

The words in the instructions are not wimpy.

The word often translated as “pray” or “ask” is the word BEG or IMPLORE. Begging is something most of us try to stay away from doing…but that is what Jesus tells us.

We are to beg the Lord OF THE HARVEST–not anyone else. No one else has control over the harvest like the Lord of it, so we are to ask Him.

The word “send out” is the same as “CAST OUT” like what Jesus did to demons. In the context of the Matthew passage after He says “send (cast) out workers”, the text goes on and uses the same word; “Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to cast out evil spirits…” (10:1)

That’s a power packed instruction from Jesus!

About a year ago, my friend Ed Waken from Valley Life Church in Phoenix told me about Luke 10:2 and especially the “B” part of the verse… Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

He told me that he infected me with the Ten2b virus. This is a good virus…not like most. He told me about this passage and challenged me to pray. In fact, he got t-shirts done up to get people praying. The reason for dubbing it a “virus” is the hope that it will spread virally…to everyone it touches. Now you are being exposed to it!!!!

Luke 10:2B…beg the Lord of the Harvest to cast out workers…

If you’ll indulge me in a little practical application for this…

Everyday my cell phone alarm goes off at 10:02am. Most days I am cruising along and not thinking much about Jesus’ desire to see a harvest, and my alarm goes off.

Normally I stop and pray right then and there…maybe a sentence or two. Maybe just recite the verse. Sometimes I’m in the middle of something, and I stop and tell the people around me why my cell phone is going off. Today, I took time an prayed for just about every worker from thequest…and prayed for more!

Just this weekend I helped another house church planter in Eastern Pennsylvania set his alarm to 10:02am so he can start praying Luke 10:2b each day. The virus is spreading….have you caught it?

In keeping our eyes on Jesus, we are looking intently at the life of Jesus as it relates to prayer in the INSTITUTE. We had a rich and deep discussion this past Sunday as we were sharing what we had learned from Jesus.

There were many things that were intriguing…and I think we all were beginning to beg God to “teach us to pray.”

It was good for me to examine the Scriptures about Jesus and see they never pointed to His “method” of prayer. The Bible doesn’t say, “Every morning Jesus rose before the sun and prayed.”

Jesus lived out a lifestyle of prayer. He knew when he needed those special times away. He took advantage of those times, but he wasn’t piling on a legalistic rule of pray at 5:30am or you are unworthy to follow me. Jesus lived and breathed prayer. He did it at meals, on the road and in many situations that confronted him.

In the study of Christ’s prayer life, we were asked a question: why don’t you think the first 18 months of Jesus ministry had so little recorded about prayer? This question moves us into a little bit of speculation, but it would sure seem that it was just an assumed part of Jesus’ life. It was also an unassuming part of Jesus’ lifestyle. He lived, as John tells us, to please His Father, so he must have been talking and listening to him regularly.

He lived out a lifestyle of dependence upon His Father. Jesus didn’t compartmentalize prayer into a special prayer team…it seems as though he would just do it. He loved interacting with the Father. So he kept doing it.

One other thing I wanted to share: Jesus gives a corrective instruction about prayer in the Sermon on the Mount–Matt 6:5-18. He is fixing what the religious leaders and others were doing wrong in prayer. I never realized that the commonly called “Lord’s Prayer” came on the heals of the incorrect prayers of the people in Jesus time. The Good Teacher–Jesus–points out the falsehood, and then gives a corrected perspective. You should look it up (right there in the margin is a place to look it up.) I have begun to ask myself…am I praying wrong?. Maybe Jesus needs to correct my prayers today? ouch! If I’m violating something that He wants it is gonna hurt, but it is so worthwhile at the same time.

In keeping our eyes on Jesus, we are looking intently at the life of Jesus as it relates to prayer.

Prayer was central to every aspect of Christ’s life and ministry. In my study of Christ’s life, I find over 45 sections of Scripture and 30 different instances in which you see prayer taught and modeled in Christ’s forty plus months of ministry on earth.

Prayer was such a significant part of Christ’s life that the only time you see His disciples say “teach us…” was when they said, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1). Even the slow learning disciples recognized the uniqueness and strength of Christ’s life was based upon His walk with His heavenly Father in prayer. They did not say “teach us to do miracles…heal the sick…or raise the dead.” They saw the source of power in Christ’s life and said “teach us to pray.”*

That should draw you in…

* FOUNDATIONAL PRIORITIES—Excerpt: Prayerful Dependence by Dann Spader , Son Life Ministries © 1995,1996. Third Edition; page 3.

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