You know that parable about the good seeds falling on different kinds of ground? The one Luke tells us about in chapter 8 in the Bible? There were the seeds (the Word of God) which fell on the path, those that fell on the rocks, those that fell among thorns and those that landed in good soil. The seeds had very different results according to the places that they fell.
If the different types of soil are representative of different people, then I can imagine the prayers of the people as something like this.
Prayer from the path
Lord, the seeds are gone! The devil came and snatched them away, at first it was just a few and as I continued to make poor choices slowly they all just disappeared. One day they were just lying on the path and the next they were gone. I didn’t think the little indulgences I allowed myself would hurt anyone – least of all me. Those seeds just had nowhere to go, no protection. I see that now Lord. I didn’t take care of them and the devil came and snatched them away……………
Prayer from the rocks
Those seeds that fell on the rocks, Lord I was so full of JOY when they landed there! I was filled with the knowledge of your love, mercy, grace and peace. I was so excited to be your child! But I thought that was all I needed to do. I didn’t read your Word, I didn’t fellowship with other believers and I didn’t sing your song or work for you in any way. One day I woke and things were all wrong in my life, I had trouble, I had hardship, sadness, pain and disappointment and I wondered where you had gone…the seeds were no longer in my heart…….they were gone…………..
Prayer from the thorns
Lord, I heard your voice calling me to follow and I did! I was so happy to be your follower, but then I got distracted. I saw beautiful things and I wanted them. I didn’t pay any more attention to reading, studying, and service for you. Everyone told me that it would be ok, that you wouldn’t mind my inattention. I didn’t know that the things I wanted – money, power, popularity – were only beautiful on the outside, but were ugly horrible and destructive on the inside. In my mad rush for things and success I left no room for you. I didn’t find out how awful those things were until I lost everything of any value! And now, what was truly beautiful inside and out is gone……..
Prayer from the good soil
Lord defend your words in my heart against all efforts to take them away. Don’t let me be tempted to stray from your words no matter how good something that tempts me might look. I know that I can find creative ways to rationalize my missteps so that little by little the good seed is stolen from my heart and I will never see it coming. I’ve been there. My prayer comes from the experience of the beaten path, the rocks and the thorns. Forgive me and free me from the guilt I carry over my own terrible choices. Give me wisdom to make the right decisions even when they are not the easy ones. Help me understand and apply your words to the living of each and every day. Help me to serve you in whatever way that pleases you even if I am afraid or timid. Guard my heart from the hardness of heart and the rocks and thorns that once held me. Hold me steadfast in times of trouble, when life seems to be more than I can handle, when troubles fall too fast to count, Lord may I find my strength only in you. May I always remember that You are greater than all the powers of this world and that the powers of darkness and deception shudder before You.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now begin again with a clean slate and an honest and pure heart. Blessings!