Imagine putting a huge sign in front of your church that reads:
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Imagine if a multitude of people took you up on the offer and came in! Think of the needs, the workers necessary, the kingdom inconveniences, the challenges; the smile on God’s face!
You are probably aware, but the above quote is an excerpt of Emma Lazarus’ poem “The New Colossus.” As a nation, we put this on “our sign,” the Statue of Liberty and most of the nations of the world have taken us up on the offer! They’re coming! Not everyone who comes to this land comes poor, not all come as welcomed; but they (we) come.
Our friend, Andy Millar pastors “Light of Nations” Foursquare Church in Denver, Colo., and this is his reality. They’re reaching out to Iraqis, Libyans, Indonesians, Hispanics, Ethiopians, Liberians, Nepalese, Bhutanese and Congolese to name some. Andy’s biggest need isn’t cash, it’s help; laborers. There are people waiting for Bible studies, for prayer, for healing, for Jesus’ touch.
God promised to bless the families of the earth through Abraham in Genesis 12:3. God entrusted blessings to Abraham knowing that he would not hoard but share with others and thus bless the nations. Likewise, in Matthew 9, Jesus saw the crowds and had compassion on them. He saw that they were harassed and in need. He wanted to bless them all. The compassionate charge to His disciples: “Pray for laborers!”
God still wants to bless the families of the earth, and so He entrusts us by bringing many of them to these shores. Some are coming to encounter the Savior they’ve yet to know. Others are coming as pastors and disciples to lend us a hand and answer those prayers for more laborers.
Jesus is well aware of the need for resources that we have. What do we do? We pray for laborers. We make disciples. We take God’s blessings and bless others; knowing that He will take care of us!
Prayer Focus: In these days of high unemployment, it’s great to know that there is much work available in the Lord’s kingdom; the “harvest is great”! May we lift up our eyes, see this unique window of time we’re in and pray for laborers.
By: Ted Vail, director of Urban and Multicultural Ministries