Wednesday, December 12, 2007

What are you tied, or bound, to?

So what are you bound, or tied, to? I am not talking about obligations in the tradition sense of the word, but rather what have you chosen to be bound, or tied, to? Let me just get right to the point, in Matthew 9:37-38 it says, "Then he said to his disciples, 'The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.'" Jesus makes this statement after being out among a large number of peoples in a variety of settings. In a preceding verse he notes that the people were "harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd". Jesus saw the needs of the people all around him and he urged his followers to ask/pray that more people would become workers among these people. The needs are just as plentiful and people just as "harassed and helpless" as they were when Jesus spoke these words. But what does it mean to ask/pray for these needs?

As I have studied I have come to understand that the word we translate "ask" or "pray" in Matthew 9:38 carries the meaning of "to beg as binding oneself". That gives me a much stronger picture than just ask or pray. Therefore when Jesus says "Ask (or pray) the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." he is urging us to make sure we are bound, or tied, to the request. Also, to add the image of begging for this need adds greater urgency and passion to the request.

So, are you binding yourself to your prayers? Especially your prayers for the lost and for workers among the lost? It would seem to me that to be bound to this request implies that I am involved in meeting this need. Not just in asking and hoping that someone meet the need, but asking that someone join me in meeting this need. How different would you pray if you thought of yourself as "bound" to your prayers?


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