I don’t think it’s any accident that God placed Adam and Eve in a garden, or that Jesus used so many farming metaphors in his teachings. There are a lot of Biblical lessons to be learned in gardening and farming–lessons about living, about relationships, and, of course, about prayer.
- Start by preparing the soil. No good crop comes from randomly throwing seeds up in the air and leaving them untended. We cannot expect our lives to produce peace, love, patience, and joy if our hearts are hard, unbroken, and unable to accept God’s mercy, wisdom, conviction, and discipline. We cannot expect friendships or family ties to grow without time, effort, and vulnerability. And prayer requires faith and a sincere desire to meet with God–to listen, learn, and draw near. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hosea+10%3A12&version=ESV See also https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-stories/parable-of-the-sower.html
- Plant seeds! It seems almost too basic to list, but how many of us (and I count myself) have a tendency to hold on to our faith, to the wonderful promises of God, to the grace He has given, to the love we should be sharing with others? How many opportunities do we lose because of fear, busyness, or self-interest over the interests of others? Today will soon be yesterday– it will never return to give us another, better chance to make a difference. Small steps taken are better than grand plans that never come to fruition! ” Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” Colossians 3:23 Pray boldly, pray deliberately, pray consistently.
- Seek (and give) nourishment. Just as seeds and plants need light and water, we need to take in the nourishment of scripture, meditation, prayer, and fellowship. We need to spend time with the one who is “the light of the world”, and “the living water”. Even so, we will experience seasons of drought and shadow. We need fellowship with others who can keep us in touch with the true source of light and life– and we need to be there for others in their time of need.
- Watch and wait. Plants grow with light and water– and time. We live in a world that celebrates speed. We expect immediate gratification; instant satisfaction. But growth and maturity and wholeness can only come in God’s perfect timing. http://Psalm 145:15-16 The eyes of all look to You, And You give them their food in due time. You open Your hand And satisfy the desire of every living thing. James 5:7-8 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. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near Don’t give up, and don’t try to hurry God’s provision. He is Faithful.
- Expect a harvest–but expect some surprises, too! God’s ways are not our ways (https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/God~s-Ways-Beyond-Human-Understanding) God often chooses to answer our prayers or alter our circumstances in ways that defy or exceed our expectations. God never answers our prayers only to gratify us in the moment– His plans are mysterious and eternal. They are also righteous and perfect and just.
- Give Thanks and Rejoice!