Tag Archives: bountiful

God, Stir the Soil in Me

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Chicago Botanic Garden - credit Kevin Jones

Chicago Botanic Garden – credit Kevin Jones

God, Stir the Soil in Me

I have long had a heart for God. Long had obedience, trust and love been on my mind. I wanted to run after God in my teenage years, but I didn’t know exactly how. (I did struggle through, but not following as well as I wished I had, in retrospect.)

So, as I read the prayers in this section, some of them reach deep, deep down within me. To a much younger me. I cry out, from a distant, deep-down place. Lord, Lord! Here I am! Choose me! Send me! Help me to serve You through service to others!

Yes, today’s prayer is about Obedience. The prayer I chose for today from The Oxford Book of Prayer concerns “Thy Will Be Done” (Prayer 267, pages 88-89) [1] There were so many prayers. So many moving words, so many heartfelt cries to You, God! But, I am going to place the prayer I ultimately chose, here.

“God, stir the soil,/Run the ploughshare deep,/Cut the furrows round and round,/Overturn the hard, dry ground,/Spare no strength nor toil,/Even though I weep.

“In the loose, fresh mangled earth/Sow new seed./Free of withered vine and weed/Bring fair flowers to birth.” (a prayer from Singapore, Church Missionary Society)

Ah, stir the soil within me, God! I know Your plowshare must needs run deep. I know—so well!—the ground within is hard and dry, Lord. Please, Lord, I ask—no, I beg—spare no strength nor toil. I realize You must labor over this fallow earth, gracious God. And, yes. I know I often weep at the pain it takes to transmute the fallow earth of my heart and soul into a bountiful garden.

Dear Lord, as You prepare the soil of my soul, in the loose dirt sow new seed. I know full well how difficult it is to break up the stubborn, clay-ey clods. (I know, full well! What a challenge I must be to You, Lord.) Yet, at the same time, You wish to, need to clear away the withered, dry plantings of the past. The weeds as well as the good plants. Just as the lush gardens I see outside my friends’ home, You wish to make the earth within me just as beautiful and bountiful; into a fair garden within my heart and soul.

Dear Lord Jesus, the words of the Gospel for this Sunday are ringing in my heart: “For the Son of Man Himself has not come to be served but to serve, and to give His life to set many others free.” (Mark 10:45, J.B. Phillips translation)

Gracious God, I hear You call. Here I am, Lord. Send me.

@chaplaineliza

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[1] The Oxford Book of Prayer, edited by George Appleton. (New York: Oxford University Press, reissued 2009), 88-89.