“We should plant a garden!”
Now you would think that a farmer’s daughter would understand the magnitude of what she had just suggested, but somehow, I remained oblivious until midway through that summer of 1986.
Our large backyard had no shade and the expanse of grass was scattered with weeds. Digging it up and starting over seemed just the ticket.
Mark rented a tiller and began the backbreaking job of turning over the hard Central Texas earth. After his first few passes, we realized that it would help if we watered the ground a bit first, so that the Rototiller could more easily penetrate the ground.
Day two, as the teeth of the tiller dug into the soil, Mark realized that one pass through wouldn’t be enough. He worked until dusk going over and over the same plot of land.
Day three, we discovered quite a few rocks in our “garden”. Having no wheelbarrow, we simply picked them up and carried them to the alley. Mark took care of the larger ones and I managed the smaller ones in a little bucket.
Looking back, we should have also carted off the upturned grass and weeds. But in our inexperience, we figured that we had ruined the root system and it would decompose to fertilize our vegetables.
Au contraire. Although we did end up with a nice stand of vegetables, we also fought the grass and weeds all summer.
This bit of gardening gave me a visual about how the Father prepares heart-soil for the seed of His Truth (Luke 8:5,11) and how we can roll up our sleeves to join Him in prayer.
“Water _______’s heart-soil, Father, that it might be easier to begin.”
Just as Mark irrigated our soil, the Father will soften a hard heart in preparation for His Truth (Psalm 65:10). He is just awaiting our intercession.
“Till their heart-soil for depth to persevere.”
So many hearts have been packed, beaten and trampled down by others. Like soil beside a road, it’s no wonder that their lives bear nothing of real value. Ask the Father to overturn their past and soften their hearts for cultivation of Truth (Luke 8:5,12). This may take a while.
“Cleanse their heart from anything which will choke or snatch away Truth.”
Boulders of bitterness may need to be removed (Luke 8:6,13). Thorns of worry or greed may need to be carried away (Luke 8:7,14). Pray as specifically for these past hurts as best you know how. And remember that He is well able to unearth these issues without your meddling. Better to err on the side of silence than on the side of gossip.
“Grant them fertile soil that bears fruit.”
Whatever the Father touches or says is good (Genesis 1:31). He is all about fruitfulness (Genesis 1:28-29). Diligently continue your prayers over the hardened heart until they can bear the fruit of the Spirit – fruit that can last (Galatians 5:22-23; John 15:16).
As you intercede, pray these for your country as well. God likes a large garden. Expand your understanding of His vision for cultivation.
Read past posts about prayer: