Prayer To Remain In The Vine (16 May)
Sing: Crown Him With Many Crowns
“I am the vine, you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me, you can do nothing” (Jn 15.5)
Paul to Timothy: “….be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus….Endure hardship with us…..The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops….. (2 Tim 2.1,3,6)
“Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time, I will tell the harvesters; first, collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn” (Mtt 13.30)/ “Then, He said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” (Mtt 9.37)
“Therefore, be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains.” (James 5.7)
“When a farmer plows for planting, does he plow continually? Does he keep on breaking up and harrowing the soil? When he has levelled the surface, does he not sow caraway and scatter cumin? Does he not plant wheat in its place, barley in its plot, and spelt in the field? His God instructs him and teaches him the right way…..All this comes from the Lord Almighty, wonderful in counsel and magnificent in wisdom.” (Isaiah 28.24-26, 29)
Search your heart and pray as the Spirit leads
Thank You, dear God, for the many imageries in Your Word on farming and agriculture that teach us precious lessons on Who You are and how You deal with us.
First and foremost, we are reminded of the need to keep connected with You in continuous, consistent communion. Like the branches that will not survive for long without sustenance from the vines, our faith will falter and wither if we do not feed on Your Word daily, reading it, reflecting on it and applying it. Like the farmer, Lord, may we be diligent in doing this, knowing that even as we press on, the fruit of our labor will bear evidence to our faith and perseverance. Indeed, may the fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control – be so evident in our lives for all to see. Our identity is in Jesus Christ. Our strength is from Jesus Christ. Our destiny is with Jesus Christ. He is our core that gives us life.
In any farm, the time of harvesting is a time of joyful celebration. All the hard work through the growing season is well worth it as the harvesters go out in song and dance to bring in the fruits, vegetables and other produce from the ground that reflect Your wonderful provision and Your control over nature itself. For us, the harvest also represents lost souls. Like how we carefully nurture the fruit trees and vegetable crops, we need to emulate the diligent and patient farmer in tending to the souls of people whom You bring into our paths. Indeed, the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Still, may we not be discouraged but count it a privilege for us to be part of Your workforce to do Your work. May we till the ground, water the plants and apply fertilisers wisely and judiciously even as we have the opportunity to do so whilst the sun shines and rain abounds. Because we know that when the floods and droughts come, the opportunity will be lost.
In doing the work of a farmer, dear Lord, we ask for Your wisdom and skills. Not everyone has green-fingers. In the realm of nature, some of us may be totally sincere and want to nurture a plant or tree well. But still, despite our best efforts, they wither and die. But we know that every believer can and should be a farmer in Your garden of life. Hence, as we reach out to our family members, our neighbours, our co-workers and bosses, and our fellow volunteers, may we always remain earnest, humble and teachable on how to effectively witness and testify to God’s goodness in our lives. It may not come naturally to some of us. Hence, we need to remain prayerful and be ready to be trained.
O God, You created the Garden of Eden for man’s enjoyment. When Adam disobeyed You, he sinned and created a chasm between man and nature. In quite a few ways, over time, we are gradually destroying the earth. May the pause presented by this Covid-19 pandemic cause us to renew this bond between man and earth, and relearn once again, in a fresh way, the many precious lessons that farming teaches us as Your children and workers. In Jesus’ most wonderful name we pray. Amen.