I always had good intentions to become a prayer warrior like Miss Clara. My problems start when I get on my knees. I can’t think of a single thing to say. I go through all the steps of prayer and in two minutes then…nothing. Expect a random cricket. Or a creaking pipe.
I was so relieved to discover that the Bible actually is full of scripted prayers and prayer outlines. I was even more excited to learn that praying with Bible verses is some of the most effective praying we can do!
This month, several women from around Anchorage (and beyond) have joined together to pray purposely and fervently. Many of us have committed to pray for our city, state, and nation. As I was writing a prayer plan in my journal, I was kind of stumped on what verses to pray over our city and state. Some of the other prayer topics came easy, but this one was hard.
Suddenly, I remembered the parable about the sower. It’s one of the most commonly heard parables, but I never thought about it as a prayer guide before.
“Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seeds. As he scattered them across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate them. Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. But the plants soon wilted under the hot sun, and since they didn’t have deep roots, they died. Other seeds fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants. Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted!” –Matthew 13:2b-8 NLT
“The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts. The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced. The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!” –Matthew 13:19-23 NLT
Pray for the soil.
As Jesus explained, the soil represents the hearts of men as they hear God’s Word.
If their hearts are hard like a worn path, they won’t understand the truth when they hear it. This enables the birds (the “evil one”) to snatch is the Word away before it has a chance to germinate. Let’s pray for the Holy Spirit to soften those hearts in advance.
If their hearts are full of rocky baggage and issues, then the seeds of truth will grow quickly, but without any depth. As soon as hard times come, they disappear. Let’s pray for the Holy Spirit to begin healing so that truth can survive in the hurting person’s heart.
If their hearts are full of the thorns of materialism or busy-ness, then God’s Word may sprout and grow, but it will never bear fruit. Let’s pray for the Holy Spirit to weed out the excess cares of life so they can be fruitful.
Pray for the farmer.
To reap a big harvest, a farmer must have help. He must depend on friends and employees to get the seed planted at just the right time. He must study the weather. He must gather the best seed.
- Pray for God’s people to get out into the city to plant the seed of God’s Word.
- Pray for churches to reach their communities.
- Pray for para-church organizations to find Spirit-filled volunteers.
- Pray for chaplains to have freedom and boldness to proclaim truth.
- Pray for Christian blogs to expand their reach.
- Pray for Christian radio to be discovered by more unbelievers.
Pray for the harvest.
Even with the best soil, the best farmer, and the best seed, a crop can still fail if the weather is not favorable. We need the rain of the Holy Spirit to gently water the soil to help the seeds germinate and grow. We need the sunshine of God’s love to encourage the plants to grow healthy and strong.
- Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to work in the souls of those living in our state and our town.
- Let’s ask God to shower His love down on those who need Him so much.
- Let’s ask Jesus to create circumstances favorable for the growth of His church.
Who will join me in praying for our community?
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