In Matthew 9:36, we read that Jesus saw the crowds and had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. The crowds also reminded him of a plentiful harvest without anyone to gather it in. Turning to his disciples, he told them to pray for the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.
Let’s join our Lord and Savior’s disciples, those with him that day and those who have followed him over the centuries, and pray to the Lord of the harvest.
O Father, our heavenly Father,
We praise you, the Lord of Lords,
Creator of the heavens and earth,
Our Savior, Lord of the harvest!
O Lord, have mercy on us and open our eyes,
Give us hearts filled with compassion,
Give us eyes to see the sheep without a shepherd,
To recognize the needs beyond our own.
Lord, move our hearts to pray as Christ instructed,
Place deeply in our hearts and on our lips a plea to you,
Fix our eyes on you as the Lord of the harvest.
Yes, you are the Lord, and the harvest is yours!
The sheep we do not see, you know!
The sheep we are unconcerned with, you love!
The sheep without a shepherd, you gave your own Son!
Lord, help me to pray as you instructed,
Please send out laborers into your harvest,
Send shepherds to bring home the sheep.
Give me a heart like my shepherd,
Give me a heart of compassion and prayer.
Give me the courage to enter into the harvest.
Give me a confidence that rests in you.
And lift my burdened heart with your assurance,
Remind me of your sovereign care.
You will not leave your harvest ungathered,
Just as you did not leave me on a distant hill.
Awaken and focus our hearts, Lord,
Give us strength to persevere in prayer,
And courage to answer with compassion,
As the Spirit moves us to do your will.
We offer this prayer in our Savior’s name. Amen