By Doug Bing, Washington Conference president

It is an odd time of the year to write about harvest time.

For most of us, we are just starting to plant seeds inside to prepare to transplant later in the spring. We are just now eagerly looking forward to getting our gardens started and watching all that new growth. There is something quite special about harvest though. I enjoy the first harvest of a fresh tomato with that tomato smell when they are fresh from the vine. I enjoy standing in the garden while picking sweet peas and eating them raw straight from the pod. Life is great when you harvest fresh green beans and can savor their fresh taste for your evening meal and when you dig around in the dirt just a little and find some young potatoes to roast.

All those harvests are still weeks if not a few months away.

There is, however, a year-round harvest that is always available. Jesus spoke about this harvest in Matthew 9:36

But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.

Jesus was on a teaching tour and sharing the good news of the kingdom. He was seeing people who sound a lot like us today. People who were feeling harassed. People who were feeling helpless. People who were wandering around without any real direction in their lives. People who needed someone to follow.

They needed a shepherd.

Our world today is much like this. We live in a world filled with all manner of ideas and theories. People follow all manner of leaders who, frankly, are leading them directly into destruction. They are harassed by the stresses of life. They are troubled by the social ills of our world. They are helpless to fight against the unrealistic expectations that social media seems to place on them.

They need a shepherd.

They need guidance.

The next words from Jesus tells of harvest time. Matthew 9:37,38

Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.’

This is the harvest that is present here in the Washington Conference. The harvest that as the text says is God’s harvest. The harvest that the text says is needing workers to send into God’s harvest fields.

Here in this territory, there is no doubt that the harvest is present. The harvesters are not just the teachers in our great schools. The harvesters are not just the pastors serving faithfully in our churches. The harvesters that can and should be willing to be used by the Lord of the harvest is every person that is in love with Jesus.

Is the harvest the most important part of this text? Or is it the prayer to the Lord of the harvest for workers to go into the harvest fields? There is no doubt that both are important. Prayer however is a focal point.

Prayer is what connects the workers to the harvest.

Prayer is what points the workers to where the harvest is ready. Prayer is what wakes up sleeping harvesters to the harvest in their communities and in their workplaces. Prayer is what awakens the desire to be a harvester in those who know the Lord of the harvest.

This week would you join me in praying to the Lord of the harvest for laborers for the harvest. Don’t be surprised if that prayer awakens the harvester in you.