Day Six: The Soil
“Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12 Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. 13 But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away. 14 Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. 15 But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.”
We’ve been working in the garden this week, weeding the veggies and taking care of the ground. Ninety degrees is way too hot, so we fill up the baby pool, pull out the shovels and get started. Armed with sunglasses, sunscreen, straw hat, and a container of ice water, I sit in the dirt and rake up the grass.
Weeks ago, we tilled up the rows—a large-ish patch for a family garden. My kids laughed at my attempts to work the gas-powered tiller—mechanical, bulky, heavy—it was very much unlike my self-propelled mower at home. I love my bright orange mower—I know how to use it, and I’ve gotten used to it. It’s mine.
The tiller, however, has a purpose. It’s the tool we use when we need to prepare the ground. So, laughable or not, I gave the thing a go and broke up some ground. Then I handed the machine-monster to my 16 year old niece and watched her take off! She was the real tilling-champion of the day and made short work of the stubborn grass and weeds in that field.
Prayer is a lot like that gas-propelled tiller when it comes to ministry. Sometimes we find it easier going to church and reading the Bible than taking time to pray throughout the day. We know that our loved ones are going to a foreign country to serve, and we want to pray the right thing, but what if we don’t say it right or what if it feels odd or uncomfortable?
The good news is that we are getting the ground ready for this trip—not just you, not just me. Our mission team is going to serve—planting seeds of God’s Word into the hearts of those living miles away, and we are doing it together.
Let’s pray today:
Pray for God to prepare your heart for His Word this week—whatever He wants to do in and through you. Pray for individual members of your missions team—let God prepare their hearts for the Word used to teach & serve. Now pray for the new soil—the ground that has never been broken up before. Pray that God would plow up stony hearts & pull away thorns to reach the broken, the hurting, and the lost for His glory.
We can say this prayer together:
“Dear Lord, I pray that You would prepare my heart to serve. Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. I delight in Your Word, and Your perfect love casts out fear. Put me in place to be part of Your perfect plan. May I give an offering with the words I speak, the song I sing, the hands to serve, the seed I sow to bring You glory, Lord. God, I pray that You would prepare the hearts of the people to receive Your Word…”