As Jesus looked out to the end of the age, he pointed out a terrible problem. “He said to his disciples, ‘The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.’” (Matthew 9:37, NKJV).

As I read these words, I wonder, “What’s the solution? How can more laborers be raised up to go the nations?” Jesus gave the answer in the very next verse: “’Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.’” (Matthew 9:38). You may think, “Doors are closing all over the world.” That may be true, but it doesn’t matter how closed some nations may look to our eyes. If God can tear down the Iron Curtain in Europe and the Bamboo Curtain in Asia, nothing can stop him from working wherever he will.

The apostle Paul was sent forth as a missionary through the power of prayer. It happened in Antioch where leaders of the church were praying over the harvest (see Acts 13:1-5). Paul’s first missionary journey came out of a prayer meeting. It was the direct result of godly men obeying Jesus’ words to pray for God to send laborers into the harvest.

The same is true today. We are to be about the work of praying for the harvest. While we’re praying, the Holy Spirit is searching the earth, putting an urgency in the hearts of those who desire to be used by the Lord. He’s touching people everywhere, setting them apart for his service.

While we’re asking God to send forth laborers, the Holy Spirit is stirring someone somewhere, and it doesn’t matter where it takes place. The powerful truth is that our prayers are being used to send laborers into the harvest.