I recently became prayer coordinator for a local Christian women’s organization. As prayer coordinator, I am responsible to plan monthly small group prayer gatherings or “prayer coffees” where the ladies pray for personal and community needs as well as supporting the larger community luncheon meetings with prayer.
Here is the meeting plan I used for November:
Decoration ideas: anything fall that relates to the harvest – apples, pumpkins, home canned goods.
Coffee, assorted teas or cider. Some kind of harvest type food.
I served a vintage apple cake recipe circa 1940 from my aunt called Jewish Apple Cake One of the attendees also brought a great caramel dip for sliced apples or crackers/ pretzels.
I made prayer cards which the ladies could use to write down the requests. These cards could be hung on the fridge or slipped into their Bibles – anywhere they would see them often and remember to pray through the month. For this meeting I made the prayer cards in the shape of canning jars about the size od a3x5 index card. One of the ladies jokingly said she needed a quart jar for her requests, rather than a pint sized jar. LOL!
Preserving the Harvest Through Prayer
Let’s do a little word association game today. Think of a one word answer and say the first word that pops into your head
(Encourage the ladies to share their words and why they chose those words. My ladies associated “crowds” with an unruly group of fans that recently destroyed property in their excitement following a college football game where their team won.)
Think about those crowds of people. How do you see them? (Greedy, jostling, pushy, impatient, impolite, tired angry, single-minded)
Now, how do you think Jesus sees those same crowds of people?
Matthew 9:36. “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” (NIV)
Jesus had compassion on those crowds of people. He looked at them and saw their individual emptiness, their needs, their shame, their hurts. He saw their hearts!
Now think about those crowds of people and look at them the way Jesus did. What do you see now? – a tired mom with a toddler in tow, a dad worried about losing his job before the holidays, a daughter whose mom isn’t expected to make it through the holidays…. They become individual people with needs.
But if we continue to read that passage in Matthew, Jesus saw something else in the crowds.
Matthew 9: 37 and 38. “Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Pray to the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
Here he saw more than just a crowd of people, he saw souls that needed to be harvested.
But he also saw something that saddened him – there weren’t enough laborers to gather that harvest so he told his disciples to pray over the harvest that there would be enough workers.
The devotion for today is called Preserving the harvest through prayer. Looking at the home canned food on the table we understand preserving – it’s the process of putting food into jars and preserving it so it lasts until we’re ready to eat it. (One of my guests suggested that prayer is like the glass jar – it surrounds the person and helps to preserve them as the Lord works in their lives to bring them to himself.)
Prayer is our #1 tool to preserve the harvest! Let’s use it.Here’s several suggestions for usingthe tool of prayer to preserve the harvest:
- We can pray for the individuals in the crowds.
You might strike up a casual conversation while waiting in line at the check out. Something that is said may give you an inkling into the needs of that person so that you can pray for them.
- Blanket the crowd with prayer, targeting issues they may be facing.
Example – With divorce rates over 50%, there will be at least 5 people out of ten in a room filled with people who have gone through divorce. You can pray for the Lord’s touch on those who have experienced divorce or any other life issue like domestic violence, abuse, etc.
- As Jesus directed us, we need to pray that the Lord will send people to minister to the people in the crowds.
- This is where it gets personal – Pray that you will have the right words, the right attitude, the compassion of Jesus as you are out in those crowds to be an influence in someone’s life each day!
End in prayer for wisdom and courage to become a prayer warrior and a worker in the harvest field.
Take prayer requests, having the ladies write each one on their prayer card. Take time to pray for each request and remind the ladies to put their prayer card somewhere they will see it often as a reminder to pray.
Please feel free to use this devotional, but if you do, be sure to leave a comment below and let me know how things went!
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