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Text Sermons : ~Other Speakers M-R : Old Paths Magazine - Issue 18 : Prayer At Harvest Time: Now by John Piper

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Is Possible With God!

WHEN JESUS SAID THAT it is hard for rich people to enter the Kingdom, the disciples responded, "Then who can be saved?" Jesus seemed to take away all potential for harvest. But actually, what he was doing was laying a new basis for potential. He answers, "'What is impossible with men is possible with God" (Luke 18:24-27). If there is going to be harvest time at Bethlehem it will not be because there are so many competent communicators. The harvest we want is impossible with men. New birth is a miracle. Our goal isn't a big church or fancy statistical charts. Our goal is to see God do the impossible through failures like us. That is the way it has happened in history and that is how it will happen again. In God's time, he will perform the miracle of harvest and it will be marvelous in our eyes. "You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and (then!) you shall be my witnesses (harvesters!)

Pray It In

Not only did Jesus find a privation among the people, and feel compassion and see a potential harvest, he also commanded us to pray it in. "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few, therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest" (verse 38). The strangeness of this command points to something very important. It is strange that the farm hands should be told to beg the owner of the farm to send out more workers into his harvest. Surely Jesus doesn't mean to imply that God doesn't know there is a shortage of reapers! And surely he doesn't mean that God doesn't care whether the harvest comes in! Why then are the farm hands told to beg the farmer to get more help?

A Great Movement Of Prayer

There is only one possible answer. God has willed that his miraculous work of harvesting be preceded by prayer. He loves to bless the world. But even more, he loves to bless the world in answer to prayer. It is God' s way before he does a great work to pour a Spirit of supplication upon his people so that they plead for the work. Therefore, the sign that God is going to bring in the harvest at Bethlehem will be a widespread movement of prayer among you people. If in response to this message there is no new movement to pray then I will not be encouraged to expect 1982 to be the year of harvest. I would press on to labor in the word and hope that perhaps after another year of humbling me and purifying me, God might be pleased to answer my prayer. But if in his sovereign kindness, he pours out upon you the Spirit of compassion and supplication and there is a great movement of prayer, then I would begin to count the days till harvest begins.

We must look not to our failures and incompetencies. The harvest we want is, in any case, impossible with men. The potential all lies with God. "What is impossible with men is possible with God."

John Piper - John Piper is the Pastor for Preaching at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Promoting Genuine Biblical Revival.
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