The mission of the church matters, so Jesus instructed his disciples to "pray about it." Let's be honest: for many Christians this phrase has become a cop out and at times an excuse for disobedience. Unfortunately we spend our time praying about things that, quite frankly, we shouldn't be praying about.
What is the mission of the church? Go. Make disciples. (Matt. 28:19-20, Mk. 16:15, Lk. 24:46-47, Jn. 20:21, Acts 1:8). If Jesus said it, there's no need to pray about it. It's what we are supposed to do. No need to seek God's will: it has been revealed.
Yet Jesus instructed his disciples to pray about it in Matt. 9:38. Having just healed a paralyzed man (Matt. 9:1-8), stood down religious snobs who questioned why he was eating with dirty low-lifes (9:9-17), healed a woman of her sickness, raising a girl from the dead (9:18-25), healing two blind men (9:26-31) and delivering a man from the prison of demon-possession (9:32-34), throngs of people came out to see Him, listen to Him teach and be healed (9:35). When Jesus saw the multitudes, "he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd" (9:36).
Jesus knew the needs were great. He knew that He had been sent to the earth to do something about it. He was here to make disciples. He was here to heal the hurting, give hope to the hopeless and bring salvation to the hearts of those who would believe. He didn't have to pray about it, but His disciples did. He told them, "Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest" (9:38).
Do you see why Jesus didn't have to pray and his disciples did? Jesus was living on mission. He was doing the work of the kingdom. He was sent to make disciples and that's what he was doing. You don't need to pray about whether the needs in your community are great. They are. You don't need to pray about whether or not you have been placed in your community to make a difference for God's kingdom. You have. You don't need to pray about whether or not God wants to use you to do something great for Him. He does.
What you need to pray today is not, "Lord, do you want me to make a difference? Lord, do you want me to be serious about your commission? Lord, do you want me to try and lead someone to Jesus today?" What you need to pray is simple, "Lord of the harvest, send me forth into the harvest."
The mission of the church matters, so pray about it. Then live it.