E is for EKBALLO
Ekballo = to send, thrust forth (et Greek)
"The Harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few. Pray, therefore, the Lord of the harvest to ekballo laborers into the harvest fields." Matthew 9:38
In looking at this verse, we see more than just another "command"of Jesus, or another "good deed"for his disciples to follow. We see something much greater. Jesus commands his disciples to pray this after he has been preaching the kingdom in cities and villages. So when he then looked upon the multitudes in verse 36, Jesus' heart was "moved with compassion."He saw them like "sheep without a shepherd."
Jesus, in a poignant moment, told his disciples to pray because he was bursting from within with compassion. I see it as if Jesus could not contain himself any longer. He saw the multitudes and it caused a response from a deep place of love. He saw the need, and he also saw the answer. His answer might not be what we expect. His answer was for his disciples to pray. Pray with fervency, pray with passion, pray from being moved with compassion.
Our hearts may do many things when first hearing the need of the unreached—from pressure, to shame, to excitement and faith, or guilt and fear. Let words of Jesus challenge us today to prayer.
"Andrew Murray has pointed out the strength of this verse, that the number of missionaries on the field depends entirely on the extent to which someone obeys that command and prays out the laborers."(Excerpt from Lou Engle's book,Pray! Ekballo!)
John Mott, the famous mission statesmen for the Student Volunteer Movement said this concerning prayer:
"The missionary church is a praying church. The history of missions is a history of prayer. Everything vital to the success of the world's evangelization hinges on prayer. Are thousands of missionaries and tens of thousands of native workers needed? Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He send forth laborers into His harvest."
If what these men are saying is true, we must put our full effort in praying this verse—that the Lord of the Harvest will ekballo laborers into the harvest field of the 7,000 unreached people groups around the world. That the final thrust of missions will begin with the church as a whole, thrusting itself into the place of intercession on behalf of the unreached, that the Lord of the harvest will truly send forth laborers into his harvest field. Amen.
Check out the Intro to the A-Z Series!
Check out F is for FRONTIERS.