Each morning I have been waking up for the last two weeks between 5-7 am (mostly) to spend an hour in Scripture and prayer. This is a part of a new clergy group that I was invited to join with. We read a chapter from the same three books, pray, and then send our insights via e-mail to the rest of the group. We pray for each other, special prayer requests, and the ministry of the Church. This morning I decided to reflect rather than all three chapters but rather on a particular word in the Gospel lesson today as it caught my attention. Today we read from the Gospel according to Luke Chapter 10.
“Therefore pray earnestly to The Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into the harvest.”
The word that caught my eye this morning is the word “earnestly.” And so I searched its uses else where. It is used again in Psalm 63:1 where it talks about seeking God just as we thirst for water and our flesh faints as if in a place with no water.
You, God, are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
where there is no water. NIV
I don’t know if any of you have ever been out hiking with very little to no water but you almost become frantic. To earnestly search or seek for water in those times you are turning over every stone in hopes to find a mere puddle of water. That is what it means to be earnest. It means to recognize that it is a dire need and you do it with all the strength and power you have in you.
Another example came up elsewhere in the scriptures of being earnest in prayer that caught my attention. And that was actually the example of Jesus being earnest in prayer in Luke 22:44
And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.
Jesus’ earnest prayer had him sweating drops of blood. He was praying with all that he had with the full intention that it would change something. Maybe change his own heart and flesh.
So I beg us to reflect more on how are we praying earnestly for the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers within our own ministry settings. How have we been praying for Red Valley United Methodist Church to fulfill its calling. Have we prayed a little prayer here or there, or are we praying earnestly for the Lord of the harvest to raise up the laborers in our faith community.