Matthew’s gospel uses dramatic language to describe the condition with which Jesus found the crowds who followed him (Matthew 9:36). In response Jesus had compassion on them (of course). But rather than immediately dispatching more people to help, he first told his disciples to ask – pray – that the Lord will send out workers into his harvest field. This shows us that addressing the needs of others doesn’t start with going out, but speaking up… speaking up in prayer and tapping into God’s inexhaustible grace to give us the things we need! This is a good thing as it keeps us focussed on who runs the show (God!) and who generates the compassion (Matthew 9:36) to meet the needs of the harassed and helpless – us included! As we experience the joy today of seeing a child received into God’s family by baptism, and the evidence of a deepening trust in Jesus that is confirmation, let us remember that it is God who has worked the miracle faith that we are blessed to see this day. Therefore, pray he continues to send workers out to the field – that is all of us – and pray that we will be obedient to serve in the places he has put us, for ‘Freely you have received, freely give’ (Matthew 10:8).