Taking Jesus’ Prayer Request Seriously

Mathew 9:35-38

August 5, 2018 AM

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland



I.     Introduction to the Series (Romans 10:13-14)


A.   Throughout this entire year, as we have been studying the book of Nehemiah in the Bible, I have tried to emphasize how important having control of your life is as a Christian


1.    Not under the dominion of the world, or the flesh or especially the devil – but under the rule of the Lord Jesus Christ!

2.    But of rebuilding your home, and the walls necessary to keep it safe and strong, and gates that control what goes in and out of your life


B.   But there is a world beyond these walls, a world that needs what you have - if you are saved

C.   A world that needs some GOOD News - the Gospel!

D.   But the world OUT THERE will NOT hear about the Gospel unless someone from IN HERE, and in every Bible believing church goes outside of these four walls and goes to them and tells them how to be saved
how shall they hear without a preacher?

E.   We MUST go…


1.    Where? Beyond our walls


a.     EXAMPLE: Of us living in a compound in a warzone. Safe and happy, and able to sleep at night and raise our children. While outside the walls is war, and hunger, and disease, and death. And YOU and I could help!

b.    You can’t just go and bring them into your compound yet – they need to be convinced there is hope, a life, freedom – not in the compound of your church, or some religion, but in a new citizenship! In believing simply and totally in Jesus!

c.     Our messed up world needs to be shown a way to come into the kingdom of God! Where it is SAFE, and there is LIFE, and rest, and security!


2.    Beyond our comfort

3.    Beyond our will – beyond what we would CHOOSE to do

4.    AND beyond our abilities - Beyond what we think we can do


F.    What will it cost us?


1.    To give the Gospel to one soul?

2.    To win just that one soul?

3.    To disciple and baptize all new believers?

4.    To birth another church, and then another, and then another?

5.    What will it cost? Well, it will cost us our comfort, our time, our money (it is not free), AND our families, and even our lives

6.    Just about everything we have!

7.    We are about TWO generations removed from the kind of culture that did whatever it took to do right – it just about doesn’t exist anywhere anymore where anyone gives up anything for anyone else!

8.    I have a whole Sunday sermon dedicated to this point – so, just wait!


G.   We MUST Go BEYOND the Walls

H.   And it begins with PRAYER


II.   Background (Matthew 9:35-38)


A.   Jesus is a very busy Man


1.    From the moment He was baptized, Jesus was on the go.

2.    Going everywhere, calling upon especially MEN to leave whatever they were doing, and to follow Him

3.    HE was more important than MONEY, than FAMILY, than retirement, than POLITICS, than CAREERS, and more important than having fun.


B.   Jesus introduced this world to the Gospel of the kingdom


1.    The kingdom of God is something no one had imagined to be the most important kingdom of all of history

2.    It is a kingdom that has no army, has no palaces, no national border, and has no politics

3.    It is a kingdom of PEOPLE who have been born all over again on the inside, changed by the Spirit of God, and cleansed by the atoning blood of perfect sacrifice in the place of sinful people!


C.   He reached out and helped everyone He ever met. There was no one He didn’t help. No matter how broken or lost!

D.   It was a GREAT time to be alive!

E.   But there was a ‘BUT’ moment… right in verse 36


1.    Where Jesus looked up from the long lines of the hungry, the hurting, the lepers, the lame, the broken, and the burdened…

2.    And He saw an entire world of people stretched out to the horizon!


F.    That’s when He turned to His young disciples, and said, WE NEED TO PRAY!


1.    Did you know that He never asked anyone to pray for anything that HE ever needed?

2.    But Jesus sure begged US to pray for what this WORLD needs!

3.    And it is simply one word - Labourers!


G.   That’s what we are going to do this month!

H.   We are going to pray for labourers!


III.     Message


A.   Jesus Gave Us an Example of Labouring (Matthew 9:35)


1.    Going into all directions


a.     Went – always in motion

b.    Into ALL the cities AND villages

c.     He was not picky, or put off by places like we often are – He just went everywhere


2.    Focusing on the most important needs


a.     Teaching about God – everybody wants courses on everything today except than about God.

b.    And Preaching about the Gospel and how to get into the kingdom of God

c.     And Healing hurting and broken people


1)    Jesus could do that – nothing was impossible for Him

2)    His disciples in the very next chapter were given that same power for their lifetime

3)    There was no demon or disease they could not overcome!


3.    And at a level that was “among the people”


a.     Not above them

b.    But right in their midst – at their level – He was just like those he ministered to - eating their food, listening to their hurts, and their stories, and meeting their needs

c.     Serving, giving His best, and even His life for those who would never want Him!

d.    Philippians 2:5-8


B.   Jesus Gave Us His Burden (Matthew 9:36,37) – is His Burden, View, Opinion, Concern


1.    He had a burden for the Multitudes – not just one, or a few


a.     But when He saw the sheer numbers of people yet to hear

b.    Multitudes = Thousands upon thousands

c.     Spread across the horizon

d.    Never ending numbers of people to reach


2.    He had a burden for the Lost


a.     LOST means far away from God and unable to find Him without help

b.    These were PEOPLE who fainted as they waited for help

c.     People scattered far and wide

d.    People who were like sheep without a shepherd


3.    The multitudes desperately needed a Messiah – a Saviour


a.     Throughout history people have needed a hero, a great leader

b.    Today this is true more than ever

c.     Science, technology, gadgets, and welfare are a shallow source of hope for all the deep problems of the human heart!

d.    So Jesus came!

e.     More hated than Trump throughout history, Jesus came INTO our world simply for one reason – because we needed Him!


C.   Jesus Gave Us Our First Duty (Matthew 9:38)


1.    Jesus turned to His disciples, His followers, His people – those who already were with Him, and already trying to do some part…

2.    Asked them to “Look at the harvest that I see”


a.     Not the CUSTOMERS that Apple and Microsoft and Exxon and Toyota see

b.    Not all the VOTERS that Fianna Fail and Labour and Sinn Feín see

c.     And not all the problems that people always bring with them

d.    But a full harvest of PEOPLE for the kingdom of God – fruit, souls, conversions, new lives, new homes, new minds, new hearts

e.     It is plenteous – so many souls that CAN be won

f.     BUT there are so few labourers to go and gather them in!!!


3.    So, Jesus asked us to Pray


a.     The greatest prayer request Jesus ever had was for us to pray for labourers –


1)    NOT for preachers, or pastors or missionaries or teachers, or singers or builders, or bus drivers or chefs or treasurers or secretaries or artists or accountants…

2)    But for lowly and little paid hard LABOURERS – who will do whatever needs to be done to get the Gospel everywhere!


a.     He simply said, Let’s pray to the Lord of the harvest

b.    And ask God to give us more labourers to help us do the ministry

b.    Before you EVER worry about what is the will of God for your life, you need to be doing what he had already clearly asked – to PRAY for labourers


1)    Pray that they will be soft towards God’s call

2)    Pray that they will not fight and resist God’s pull

3)    Pray that they will have the same compassion as Jesus did

4)    Pray that they will quickly answer YES, use ME!

5)    Pray that they will get going and get busy labouring, in every way possible

6)    Pray that they will stay faithful labouring for Jesus and for souls


c.     And pray all this, not just once, but constantly!

d.    There are always more and more people being born, and immigrating, and moving around!


4.    It’s funny and so sad – it’s no wonder so few GO and reach our world, because so few of us PRAY!


IV.How Does God Answer That Prayer Request?


A.   Through PREACHING like you have heard this morning

B.   Through HEARING His still, quiet, small voice in your heart, tugging, and pulling, and convicting, and breaking it to conform to His will!

C.   And through SURRENDER to such a powerful call – letting Jesus win the argument over who is BOSS over your life!


1.    To See the world as Jesus does

2.    To Pray

3.    To Labour until the harvest is finished


D.   Will You Let me Describe What it Looks Like When God is Answering this Prayer?


1.    He Answers it when WE ALL start to Follow Our Example – Jesus


a.     The work of the Gospel is not for others to do, but for ALL Christians to do

b.    How can ANYONE claim to follow Christ and then not do as He did?

c.     He left everything to search for me!

d.    How far will YOU go?

e.     JESUS went in all directions


1)    Be always in motion

2)    Going into ALL the cities AND villages around us and even beyond us

3)    Crossing EVERY boundary

4)    Learning ANY language

5)    Understanding any culture


f.     We will start enacting a Three-fold effort ourselves


1)    Teaching the Gospel – could YOU explain it to someone who has never heard?

2)    And Preaching – could you get up on a street corner, or even up in front of this church and preach even for 5 minutes about why get born again before it is too late?

3)    And helping – do you EVER go out of your way to help people where they REALLY are hurting? In their HEARTS towards GOD!


g.    We will actually LOWER ourselves to everyone’s level around us – as servants of all. Mark 9:35  And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.


1)    Not above them

2)    But right in their midst – at their level – eating their food, listening to their hurts, and their stories, and meeting their needs

3)    Serving, giving YOU best to unnamed, unknown people, and even your LIFE for those who will not only reject Christ, but reject you personally!


2.    He is answering when WE ALL Start FEELING how HE felt


a.     Care about the Multitudes – not just one, or a few


1)    But when He saw the sheer numbers of people yet to hear

2)    Multitudes = Thousands upon thousands

3)    Spread across the horizon

4)    Never ending numbers of people to reach

5)    7.5 billion


b.    Care about the Lost


1)    These were People who fainted as they wait

2)    People scattered far and wide

3)    Like sheep without a shepherd


c.     The multitudes STILL need a Messiah – a Saviour


3.    He Answers when We Christians start Fulfiling Our Duty


a.     Opening our eyes and seeing SOULS

b.    Doing the hard Math – that there is much to do

c.     Being ashamed - Because there are so few labourers


4.    He is Answering that prayer request when We actually Pray


a.     And ask Him NOT ONLY to send forth labourers…

b.    But to make of US more labourers!


V.   Conclusion and Invitation


A.   What’s the goal of this message


1.    To get you to believe in the need for the Gospel IN OUR GENERATION

2.    To get you to start praying for countless labourers to go and fulfil the need of our generation for the Gospel

3.    To get you to Stand up and say yourself, Here am I, SEND ME!


B.   It’s time we actually believed


1.    In the Labouring – that it still works and it is STILL worth it

2.    In the Potential – of so many turning to God

3.    In the Lordship of Jesus Christ – that HE is truly still very much alive, and very much interested in us keeping with the basics of winning souls and discipling them to live just like HIM!


C.   I would like to pray, right now, for labourers…


1.    Pray for labourers to be soft towards God’s call

2.    Pray that they will not fight and resist God’s pull

3.    Pray that they will have the same compassion as Jesus did

4.    Pray that they will quickly answer YES, use ME!

5.    Pray that they will get going and get busy labouring, in every way possible

6.    Pray that they will stay faithful labouring for Jesus and for souls

7.    PLEASE answer this prayer request most of all Lord!