“Before she was in labour, she gave birth; before her pain came, she delivered a male child…For as soon as Zion was in labour she gave birth to her children…” (Isaiah 66:7-9).
The harvest of souls does not come easy. A period of travail must precede the ingathering of the harvest. Anyone who is interested in gathering souls for the harvest must be ready for a long battle. Sustained commitment to evangelism, missions and outreach is something we cannot avoid. What we are here to do today is to pray for the harvest, to pray for boldness for evangelism and for signs and miracles to accompany us as we go out to share the gospel.
Our heart cry has always been the harvest; we must not relent until we experience it. God has promised us a great harvest, we must work towards it. Prophetic utterances have been given by many in the prophetic ministry concerning the coming harvest. We must key into this harvest season.
Harvest does not come cheap because it is a spiritual battle. Satan and Demons are involved in the contention for souls. But we must not relent. We must continue to mount pressure.
We can have a glimpse of what is involved in the harvest from Acts 17:16-34
Let us note the points Paul highlighted in this passage:
The city was given to idols, verse 16
The city had philosophers, verse 18
Paul took time to study the altars in Athens, verse 23
Take note of their reaction to Paul’s message, verse 32
There were some converts, verse 34
Take note of all the points Paul raised in his message.
Isaiah 66:7-9, reminds us that a period of travail must precede the harvest. In praying for the harvest, we must recognize that there are forces of darkness. So we must pray hard and pray against the following:
The God of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4).
The veil cast over people and over nations (Isaiah 25:6, 7).
There are different kinds of veils: religious, cultural, environmental and demonic veils,
In addition to veils, there are barriers: mental barriers, cultural barriers, social barriers, political barriers, religious barriers, etc. All these forces and factors affect our efforts to reach out to souls.
Not even Jesus took lightly the intense battle involved in the harvest. He prayed for hours to win souls. He urged us to pray to the LORD of the harvest to send labourers into his field (Matthew 9:35-38).
Finally, we must always bear in mind that the Bible says we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers. More importantly, we must remember that our weapons are mighty through our God (2 Corinthians 10:4).