Our Lord left us with a seed story, revealing the importance of a heart that is like healthy soil, ready to receive God’s Word, harbor it, and bring about a harvest. Yes, I am referring to the Parable of the Sower; have you ever considered this story as a prayer guide? With seeds abounding in our spring gardens—some to be sown, some to be saved—let us linger in Jesus’ horticultural parable and let our garden work draw us to intercede on behalf of others. Only a gardener would offer up a prayer for family, friends, and countrymen to become good dirt, LOL!
With the Lord, we know timing is critical. We are in the season of Holy Spirit, between celebrations of Shavu’ot and Pentecost, appointed feasts of the Lord. Watch and pray, Jesus challenged his followers (Mark 14:38), and it seems the seeds are perfectly appointed signposts to speak with our Advocate, Himself a gift given by intercession:
And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another [a]Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), to be with you forever—
John 14:16 AMP
As guardian-gardeners, our prayer work is peak-season. Revival in our nation is at hand! Sean Feucht’s soul-winning work through Let Us Worship meetings in the heart of our nation’s cities, along with Long Fellow Baptist Church’s baptism breakout near Nashville, Tennessee, mirrored in Mario Marillo’s California addiction-releasing tent meetings, to name a handful of Holy Spirit outpourings, show us that Word of God “seeds” are being scattered everywhere. Let us be fervent to ensure the hearts who have asked to receive our Savior’s forgiveness become “good ground.”
Parable of the Sower
The Parable of the Sower is a freebie; Jesus offered a forthright explanation of this garden metaphor, no need to dig deep to grasp its significance.
“A sower went out to sow his seed. As he was sowing, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the sky ate it up. Other seed fell on the rock; when it sprang up, it withered, since it lacked moisture. Other seed fell among thorns; the thorns sprang up with it and choked it. Still other seed fell on good ground; when it sprang up, it produced a crop: 100 times what was sown.” As He said this, He called out, “Anyone who has ears to hear should listen!”
Then His disciples asked Him, “What does this parable mean?” So He said, “The secrets of the kingdom of God have been given for you to know, but to the rest it is in parables, so that looking they may not see, and hearing they may not understand [quoting Isaiah 6:9]. This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God….”
Luke 8:5-11 HCSB
He goes on to leave His point in plain view, freeing us from searching commentaries to find meaning. Instead, I see the parable as a prayer guide, and our work is to engage the anecdote by putting the words into practice (Luke 8:21), moving into intercessory prayer. The spiritual stealing and stifled growth that can occur once the Word of God—Jesus—has been revealed prompts our prayer work, giving us key insight to formulate interceding decrees.
Yeshua gave us an explicit threat assessment. The following verse-by-verse guide addresses the risks that come to those who respond to the Word of God. May we cultivate a thorough prayer covering for our new brothers and sisters in Christ.
Believe and Be Saved: Luke 8:12
Let us begin by fortifying against the devil’s snatch so that God’s people will be saved.
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.
Luke 8:12 NKJV
O Lord, let nothing take away your Word from newly-believing hearts! We pray for all your new followers to be devoted to you, to sit with you, and linger in your presence. We decree that they will choose the one thing that matters, so that it will not be taken from them (Luke 10:41). You have warned us that the devil, like a thief, comes to steal (John 10:10); in your Holy Name we proclaim no one can deliver our of Your hand (Isaiah 43:13). We resist the devil and he will flee (James 4:7); let him be the one to scatter! Make the way for your people call on your name and be saved (Acts 2:21)! May they seek you with all their heart, and stay on your pure path by living according to your Word (Psalm 119:9-10).
Be Rooted: Luke 8:13
Let us contend for the roots of lasting joy so that God’s people will stand firm.
Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.
Luke 8:13 NIV
O Lord, how joyful are these gatherings happening across our nation, full of your love songs and lively Spirit! In these passionate moments, You radiantly rapture hearts; now we pray for momentary decisions to connect to the eternal roots of the faith. May new believers be rooted and established in your love (Ephesians 3:17). Give them understanding to the grafting that has taken place (Romans 11:17): We all have roots and share in the nourishing network of Israel’s heritage. The needy will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel (Isaiah 29:19)! The prayers of the patriarchs sustain us, and the wisdom of your prophets waters us! Let these newly-accepting believers endure all testing because Your Words are their heritage forever and the joy of their hearts (Psalm 119:111).
Be fruited: Luke 8:14
Let us pray to clear the way so that God’s people will be full in His Spirit.
As for what fell in the midst of thorns these are the ones who hear; but as they go along, worries and wealth and life’s gratifications crowd in and choke them, so that their fruit never matures.
Luke 8:14 CJB
O Lord, we pray fervently for your relationship with your people to flourish. May your Word go before your new followers in wildflowers, pre-emergent to worry with wide-open provision—You know what they need (Luke 12:27, 30). In the Name of Jesus we clear the thorns! We decree that You set their feet in spacious places (2 Samuel 22:20) May your new followers, especially those turning away from bitter addiction, satisfy desires not in life’s wealth and gratifications but through the fruit of your Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). May love, peace, patience, joy, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control fill their character, along with desire for the sweet taste of your Word (Psalm 119:103).
Bring a Harvest: Luke 8:15
Let us pray for good dirt hearts so that God’s people will yield so much more of God on the earth.
But what fell in rich soil — these are the ones who, when they hear the message, hold onto it with a good, receptive heart; and by persevering, they bring forth a harvest.
Luke 8:15 CJB
O Lord, may your new followers hold on fiercely to the Words they have heard; your Words are our life (Deuteronomy 32:47)! May they highly value their place in Your kingdom where nobility is found in good ground, led by a King who gave up everything and plunged the depths to save His people. You are good and what you do is good (Psalm 119:68). Let your new followers know your goodness and make their way to the rich store of perseverance (2 Peter 1:5-7) and all the qualities that will keep them effective and productive in our Lord Jesus Christ. We decree that all your new believers are receptive and delighted in Your Word (Psalm 119:70), abounding your reign on this earth forever and ever. Amen.
Once again, our gardens give us a unique point of view to God’s handiwork. As the cool weather crops from the mustard, parsley, and grain plant families go to seed and we are occupied in seed-saving activities, let us think affectionately of our God, also occupied with saving His people. May the mystery and play on Words — seed and intercede — endear us to the Holy One of Israel, a master of horticultural detail, the appointer of harvest feasts! May we be prompted all the more fervently to pray for his Word to be scattered everywhere, and soil-prepped hearts to respond.
In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Joel 2:28, Acts 2:17 NIV
G O D B L E S S A M E R I C A T O R E V I V A L
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Find more devotions on Jesus’ Horticultural Parables in God’s Word for Gardeners Bible, in the Garden Stories section beginning on page a-44
Photo Credits: ©2021 Shelley S. Cramm featured image – mustard seeds hung to dry
AMP notes Scripture quotations taken from the Amplified® Bible, Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. www.Lockman.org a. Paracletos, one called alongside to help.
CJB notes Scripture quotations taken from the Complete Jewish Bible by David H. Stern. Copyright © 1998. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Messianic Jewish Publishers, 6120 Day Long Lane, Clarksville, MD 21029. www.messianicjewish.net.
HCSB denotes Scripture quotations taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
NIV denotes Scripture quotations taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.®
NKJV denotes Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.