Devotions for the Praying Heart
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But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest. Matthew 9:36 – 38 KJV

Resurrection power released through prayer is the real secret of effective Christian service. That’s why God used a corporate prayer meeting to launch the ministry of the apostle Paul.

The Bible gives no indication that the prophets and teachers from the Antioch church who attended that prayer meeting had any idea what direction it was going to take. They thought they were just getting together for a time of fasting and worship. But Acts 13:2 – 5 tells us that:
As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus. And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews …. (KJV)
Many times, we read those verses and miss what really happened there. We don’t realize that the prayers of the Antioch leaders actually prepared a ministry path for Paul and Barnabas. Their prayers sent resurrection power out ahead to smooth the way so that they would be well supplied—both spiritually and naturally—on their missionary journey.

As a result, Paul and Barnabas stepped out to do the work of God and things immediately started falling into place for them.

When they got to Seleucia, they found a boat ready and waiting to take them where they needed to go. They didn’t have to sit around for months literally waiting for their ship to come in. Because the power of prayer had gone before them to make preparation, they could just set sail and go.

My, how we need that kind of power to be released in prayer these days!

Multitudes of ministers stand ready and waiting to go into the harvest fields of the world, but God won’t send them out until a path is cleared for them. He won’t thrust them into situations where no spiritual preparation has been made.

That’s why Jesus instructed us to pray for the Lord of the Harvest to send laborers. He understands that the sending follows the praying.

Even Paul, who had one of the greatest apostolic callings of all time couldn’t just go out on his own and do the work of God. To be truly effective in ministry, a highway of resurrection power had to be raised up for him to walk on. The same is true for ministers today. For them to be successful in what God has called them to do, they need a path cut for them by rivers of living water flowing from the spirits of praying believers. They need people like us to pave the way through prayer!

Scripture Reading: Acts 13:1 – 12

Source: Devotions for the Praying Heart by Lynne Hammond.
Excerpt permission granted by Lynne Hammond Ministries

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