The unreached are all around us.
Some believers find themselves called to give up their lives on foreign, unreached soils as missionaries. Some become pastors of churches. Others labour long to serve the poor and needy and broken.
Most, though, live a more “normal” life, if a Christian can have such a life. They finish school, get a job, get married, buy a house, and have children. They attend a local church, go to the weekly Bible study or small group, tithe, and volunteer when the need arises.
Often this latter group of believers may find themselves wishing they were doing or were able to do more. I myself often feel this way—I felt alive as a frontier church planter, and now I feel stuck in a job where I work five or six days a week.
So I was very encouraged a couple of days ago in reading the ninth chapter of Matthew, especially this bit at the end:
“When [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” — Matthew 9:37-38 ESV
Here, there is a great call to those who do not seem to be called to full-time ministry: pray for those who will go.
According to Joshua Project, there are over three billion people in this world that are in the “unreached” groups. How many of those are ready for “harvest”, starving to hear the gospel? How many Christians are longing to be sent out into the fields? And how can we help?
Pray, Jesus says. Pray earnestly. Pray that God would raise up labourers to work amongst the tiny Abai Sungai in Malaysia or the Zaza-Alevi in Turkish Kurdistan. Pray that men and women, young and old, would cast aside the cares of this world and spend their lives serving those whom the Lord is calling to Himself from the nations. Pray that the church would not slip further into apathy and narcissism but rather earnestly seek to train and send their best even to die in order that the gospel would come to those whom the world considers enemies.
So maybe you or I are not the ones who will go to Muslim Assamese in India—but someone will go and some will believe. Surely those who go will need prayer, and those who send them will need prayer.
We may not know who those someones are, nor meet them this side of eternity, but we can obey Jesus’ command with joy in praying for them to be sent. It is a prayer we can be sure is answered, as it is written in Revelation 7:8-10,
…behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
What a joy it will be to someday behold the face of someone whom we have never met that willingly gave up their life to reach a people no one else could reach. Imagine saying, “Finally, I meet the faithful brother whom I prayed the Lord would send, and these here to whom you carried the Good News who have believed.
Wouldn’t that be amazing?