Missions: Pray, Send and Go
Matthew 9: 36 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”
Having been involved in missions for most of my life, I have found that praying, sending and going are the main pieces of missions.
Mark 16: 15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”
2 Timothy 2:1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men,
“For all men” means all; from your family, your community, your city and your country to the furthermost parts of the earth. God desires that all men come to trust in Jesus. Also, God desires that we partner with Him in leading people to Jesus. We can partner with God by praying, sending and going. God has chosen to work through us.
We are asked to pray that the Lord will send laborers to the fields. His fields. The Lord is looking for intercessors to start the process. He puts the need in our heart and then waits to see if we respond. He reveals the mission field to us and then ask us to petition Him on their behalf. (He wants us to be moved with compassion for them like He is.)
First we pray for the field. We pray that the Holy Spirit would go forth and cause the peoples hearts to be turned from stone to flesh so they may be acceptable to the Gospel. Then we pray for the laborers to go. We ask the Lord to choose, equip and ordain people to go. Also we ask the Lord if we are to go.
Here is where we also partner with the Lord. He wants to send through us. God wants to provide us with finances to give to those that go. This is part of God’s economy. God wants to bless us by letting us be a part in His work through our generous giving.
Also a big part of sending is the roll played out by church leadership. They are charged with hearing from God as to who is to go and commission them by the laying on of hands. (This laying on of hands is to release the anointing of the Holy Spirit to guide and impower.)
Acts 13: 1-3 Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.
If the Holy Spirit speaks through the leadership for you to go, then you have the green light to go. Never go without the oversight of church leadership and the anointing of the Spirit. (As Christians we are to be under authority no matter what your place of service is.)
Going is to be moved by compassion for others and recognize you have the ability to reach out to them. In most cases that does not mean we have to relocate to another city or another land. We are all to be missionaries to those we have compassion for. Going is taking the Gospel anywhere and everywhere. Jesus said to take the Gospel into All the world. All is your family, neighborhood, job, school, etc.; wherever you find that you have been placed.
My belief is that as Christians we are to do all three. Pray for the mission field, give so others can go and go yourself.