So I want to do something a little bit different. I want to read a longer passage of scripture and then just go right into praying, according to it. So it’s the Parable of the Sower and Jesus’ explanation of it.
“When a great crowd was gathering and people from town after town came to him, Jesus said in a parable, ‘A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed some fell along the path and was trampled underfoot and the birds of the air devoured it. And some fell on the rock. And as it grew up, it withered away because it had no moisture. And some fell among thorns and the thorns grew up with it and choked it. And some fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold.’ As he said, these things, he called out, ‘He who has ears to hear, let him hear.’ And when his disciples asked him what this parable meant, he said, ‘To you, it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God. But for others, they are in parables. So that seeing they may not see and hearing, they may not understand. Now, the parable is this. The seed is the word of God. The ones along the path are those who have heard. Then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts. So they may not believe and be saved. And the ones in the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root. They believe for a while. And in time of testing fall away. And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way, they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life. And their fruit does not mature. As for that in the good soil, they are those who hearing the word, hold it fast, hold it fast, and an honest and good heart and bear fruit with patience.'”
Oh God, thank you for this parable. And the way it leads us to pray. God, one for soft hearts and fertile soil in our own lives. God, we pray, that every day as we hear your word by your spirit, you would soften our hearts and that our hearts and minds and lives would indeed be fertile soil for the reception of your word, for hearing your word, holding it fast, with honest and good hearts and bearing fruit with patience. God, I pray for that in my life. I pray for that over every single person who’s listening right now. God, we pray that you would keep the Word from being choked out by the cares and riches and pleasures of life around us.
As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.
God, we pray against that. We pray for the reception of your word and a fruitfulness flowing from the word that is not pulled away from you by the cares and riches and pleasures of life. And God, even as we pray these things for our own hearts, God, we pray these things for others’ hearts around us.
God, I pray for my kids. And I pray for the members of my church. And God, I pray for those who are visiting, who are joining in online right now, every Sunday and hearing your word. God, we pray for friends that we’re sharing the gospel with. God, we pray for family members, for coworkers who don’t know you, for neighbors who don’t know you. God, please soften their hearts to receive your word. God, we pray for this all around us, in our cities. God, I pray for metro Washington, D.C. God, I pray for others as they substitute whatever community city they live in.
God, we pray for the softness of heart, for openness to your Word. God, we pray for an awakening in our country. God, we pray for spiritual awakening. Please, oh God, soften hearts. God, we pray for fruit that is yielding a hundred-fold for your glory. God, we pray only you can do these things. We pray that the power of your word would fall on soft hearts by the power of your spirit. And the fruit would be born. God, and all these unreached people because we pray for every day. God, we pray for soft hearts among unreached people. They might hear your word, believe it and respond to it and obey it and hold fast to it and not be choked out by every attempt of the adversary to do so. God, we pray for your word to bear fruit in our lives and our families and our churches and our communities, our cities, and among the nations. We pray this according to this parable. In Jesus’ name, Amen.