Matt.9:37,38 – Then He *said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore, plead with the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”
None of us stand alone in the work of the harvest. First of all, it is all the Lord’s work, Him working through us to minister to the hurting to glorify His name. After that, He loves to spread out His work, especially working through the least likely to reach other “least likelys”. He chose fisherman, tax collectors, political activists, as well as women of questionable backgrounds to be His vessels. When He said to pray for laborers He immediately sent them out as answered prayers. Matt.10:1 – “Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every sickness”. Here is how Chrysotom describes this passage.
“He shows how great the gift is when he says, “Ask from the Lord of the harvest.” And in an inconspicuous manner Jesus indicates that he himself is the one who holds this authority. Then to signify how promising is the harvest, Jesus calls them to “pray therefore the Lord of the harvest.” In doing so he indirectly declares this lordship to be his own prerogative. For after having said, “pray therefore the Lord of the harvest” when they had not made any request or prayer, he himself at once appoints them… From this it is clear that he himself is the farmer, he himself is the Lord of the harvest, he himself is the master of the prophets. For if he sent them to gather the harvest, it is clear that they do not harvest what belongs to someone else. Instead, they harvest the things that he sowed through the prophets. In calling their ministry a harvest, he was encouraging them but also empowering them to this ministry.”
This passage reminds me of when Parris and I first returned to minister in New Orleans. To be honest, we weren’t returning to start a church, we came because the ministry that sent us here required we work for two years in the USA before they would send us overseas. We had every intention of finishing the two years and then going somewhere overseas. Obviously the Lord had different plans. After being in NOLA for a little over a year the calling to the city to pastor became real to us. He told us clearly that others had labored here and we were entering their labor. So ministry is not about special people with special talents, it is about the calling of the Lord and our willingness to say yes.