Praying Is Like Planting
by Sharmon Coleman, ProvenWay Executive Director Petunias or periwinkle. Which are the deer less likely to eat and hardy enough to withstand my not so green thumb? That was my dilemma as I stood in Lowe’s thinking about my patio planters. My hubby and I were hosting a backyard barbque, and our patio needed to be de-wintered. I made my decision (periwinkles) and headed to my casa laden with potting soil, flowers and fertilizer.
Once home, I began Operation Planting Flowers. First came cleaning up the pots, ridding them of dead leaves and plants followed by adding potting soil to the planter. I pulled out my hand spade, dug holes, and gently placed my flowers, patting the soil firmly around the seedling to keep it in place. A little water with fertilzer and mulch, and viola! I had beautiful flowers in ONE pot. Did I mention I did this all on my knees? I stood, proud of my accomplishment, only to realize I had nine million pots left to repeat this process. After a couple of hours, the planters were filled with beautiful color, and I was exhausted! My back ached, my knees were numb, and I won’t even talk about my nails!
As I was cleaning up my mess, I began to contemplate how prayer is like planting.
- Prepare the pot. Prayer begins with an honest look inside, ridding debris that hinders our goal of loving and serving Jesus. Just as the planters had to be readied for new life, so do our hearts! What do you need to clear out to make way for God to do a new thing? (Isaiah 43:19)
- Have a plan. My flowers didn’t just magically appear. I had a plan. Sweet Servant of The Most High, what dream has God placed on your heart? Write it down, and pray until God brings it to fulfillment. Make a date with the Lord every day, thanking Him for His answer, and lifting His word back to Him. Intentional prayer, inspired by God, changes things just like my intentional plan for fresh flowers brought vibrant, fresh color to my patio.
- Get on your knees. Just as planting flowers requires getting down on your knees, so prayer requires getting on your knees whether literally or figuratively. We must humble ourselves, knowing and believing that Abba Father knows what is best for us, even if we don’t understand His answer. “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you in due time,” James 4:10.
- Be patient. Prayer takes time just like planting. We can’t expect to utter one prayer and for God to move mountains, although He certainly can. Prayer is a process, and we must commit to perseverance. Just as there is a time lapse between planting a seed and seeing evidence of new growth bursting from the soil, much nurture needs to happen during that time. We must water and nurture our God honoring requests through prayer. Although it appears that nothing is happening to our physical eye, much is going on beneath the surface. Praying is planting a seed in the heavenly realms. We need to keep on praying even when it seems that nothing is happening. Jesus tells us that His Father is always at work in John 5:17. So pray on, Sister. That seed you planted in heaven is growing. Keep a sharp eye for visible evidence. It will come in His perfect time. Prayer never expires.
My friend, how is the garden of your prayer life? Grab the spade of God’s word, get on your knees, and start planting and tending those prayers until God’s promise becomes reality here on earth!