January is a particularly significant time for Oklahoma Baptists. It is a time of new beginnings and fresh focus on sharing the Gospel of Christ. For the past few years, the State Evangelism Conference (SEC) is preceded by a local and state-wide Night of Prayer for revival, evangelism and spiritual awakening. This year is no exception as many believers will gather for prayer and worship from 5:30-7 p.m. at Oklahoma City, Southern Hills. Many others will conduct a night of prayer in their own congregations. In light of current days, nothing is more important than humbling ourselves to cry out for God’s mercy, blessing and power. (2 Chron. 7:14; Acts 1:4-8)
This year’s SEC theme comes straight from Scripture as we are to be “Unashamed” of the Gospel of Christ. This year one of the five prayer segments will be a focus on evangelism through church planting. But whether it is evangelism through personal witnessing, preaching or planting, one thing is foundational to all—the need for God-called laborers! Indeed, what church or program has not encountered a troubling lack of motivated laborers? While books, sermons and training are great, only God can fill laborers with deep a sense of call to share Christ. To address this crucial issue, Jesus provides both a perfect solution and direct command.
In Luke 10:2, Jesus commands His people to pray a very specific prayer. “Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” While Jesus’ command is clear, believers often either marginalize or outright neglect serious prayer for laborers. We must not forget to do what Jesus plainly said.
Fervent prayer for laborers is crucial for three biblical reasons. (1) Praying for laborers obeys what Jesus plainly commands; to marginalize or neglect prayer for laborers is disobedience. (2) Praying for laborers is in the center of God’s will. In 1 John 5:14, God promises to answer prayer that is “according to His will.” (3) Prayer for laborers puts our faith in God’s Spirit, not just human manipulation. Whether it is seeking soul winners or Sunday School teachers, wouldn’t it be better to have laborers that are God-called over those we merely talk into doing something?
Regarding prayer for laborers, an exciting new tool is available through the BGCO Mobilization team. It is an attractive card titled, The Luke 10:2 Prayer Challenge. Church Planting specialist Paul Stevens places tremendous focus on prayer and strategist Randy Proctor created a practical prayer tool. The Luke 10:2 Prayer Challenge is a practical tool believers can easily place in a Bible or carry. It also lends itself to a powerful church-wide emphasis.
For the past few months, the BGCO Mobilization team has placed special focus on praying for laborers. It should be no surprise that BGCO church planting has seen a significant increase of people feeling “called” to church planting. Believers, doesn’t it make sense to just “do what Jesus says?” Indeed, it does! Whether it is encouraging soul winning or recruiting church planters, let us prioritize “prayer for laborers.” For more information on The Luke 10:2 Prayer Challenge, contact the BGCO church planting office at 405/942-3000 ext. 4310.