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Summary: One of the most important things that Jesus wants us to pray for is the harvest of lost, hurting and broken souls. Let’s pray… and then go… into those harvest fields!

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THE SCHOOL OF PRAYER #4: PASSION FOR THE HARVEST

OPENING TEXT: This summer, we are going to Jesus and saying, “Lord, teach us to pray!”

“Now it came to pass, as Jesus was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, "Lord, teach us to pray.” (Luke 11:1).

KEY TEXT:

“Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” (Matthew 9:35-38).

• Jesus was moved with compassion for the crowds of people that were lost and hurting.

• The harvest Jesus is talking about is not a harvest of wheat, but of lost souls.

• What happens when there is more work to be done than workers? The harvest goes bad.

• God wants us to be those workers who will go and reach out to the lost with His love!

THE BIG IDEA: One of the most important things that Jesus wants us to pray for is the harvest of lost, hurting and broken souls. Let’s pray… and then go… into those harvest fields!

1. WE NEED FRESH OIL FOR EMPTY VESSELS:

• Who was Elisha? He was a mighty prophet of the Lord, successor to Elijah.

“1 A certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha, saying, "Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the Lord. And the creditor is coming to take my two sons to be his slaves."

2 So Elisha said to her, "What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?" And she said, "Your maidservant has nothing in the house but a jar of oil."

3 Then he said, "Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbors--empty vessels; do not gather just a few.

4 And when you have come in, you shall shut the door behind you and your sons; then pour it into all those vessels, and set aside the full ones."

5 So she went from him and shut the door behind her and her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured it out.

6 Now it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said to her son, "Bring me another vessel." And he said to her, "There is not another vessel." So the oil ceased.” (2 Kings 4:1-6).

SYMBOLS:

Vessels = people (See Acts 9:15 – “he is a chosen vessel for me.”)

Oil = the Holy Spirit (See 1 Sam. 16:23 – “anointed David with oil, Holy Spirit came on him”)

• People in the world are empty, lost, hurting and broken without Jesus

• God wants to anoint us with the Holy Spirit so that we can reach out to them.

• The oil of the Holy Spirit isn’t just so we’re blessed, blessed, blessed!

• If we stop reaching out to the lost (empty vessels), the oil will stop flowing!

2. WE NEED TO STAND BETWEEN THE LIVING AND THE DEAD:

“44 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 45 "Get away from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment." And they fell on their faces. 46 So Moses said to Aaron, "Take a censer and put fire in it from the altar, put incense on it, and take it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them; for wrath has gone out from the Lord. The plague has begun." 47 Then Aaron took it as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the assembly; and already the plague had begun among the people. So he put in the incense and made atonement for the people. 48 And he stood between the dead and the living; so the plague was stopped.” (Numbers 16:44-48).

• The people opposing Moses were opposing God and His law = people in the world today.

• Because of people’s rebellion against God, they are dying from the plague of sin.

• Moses and Aaron as the people of God had to choose: let the people die in their sins, or step in and do something. Because of their compassion, they did something.

• Aaron represents an intercessor – he stood in the gap between the dead and the living.

• Jesus wants us to pray for the harvest – pray for their salvation, then tell them the Gospel!

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