Prayer For A Fruitful Spiritual Harvest
The Recipe for a Great Harvest of Souls
Summary: We are “laborers together with God” (1 Corinthians 3:9) in God’s harvest. The Bible gives us simple, easily-followed instructions to participate with the Lord in the planting and reaping of an abundant harvest of souls.
Matthew 13:8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop — a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.
•• This is the godly desire of millions of Christians — to produce a crop, to bring forth a great harvest of souls for God.
John 15:16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit — fruit that will last.
•• The Lord’s clearly stated desire is that His followers “go and bear fruit”. The “go” in His command makes it clear that this fruit-bearing cannot be limited to internal fruit-bearing — that is, growing in the fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23. As important as that is, the charge to “go” and bear fruit makes it reasonably certain that Jesus is referring here to fruit born by our Christian influence upon other people’s lives.
John 15:8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit.
•• As you ponder the call of the believer to go and bring forth fruit — that is, to be sowers and reapers of a spiritual harvest — remember that God the Father is glorified by the fruit born through our evangelistic efforts. It is helpful if we view our soulwinning efforts as motivated by the goal of God being glorified by the results.
•• So then, how does the Bible teach us to participate effectively in the reaping of a great soul harvest?
1) Properly Prepare the Soil —
Romans 10:1 Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved.
•• Intercessory prayer! Prayer for lost souls breaks up the hard ground of their hearts.
•• One pastor with much wisdom concerning church planting described his strategy in establishing a new church. He said that he would initially go into the targeted town and do nothing but pray for the first three weeks. After having done that — that is, preparing the soil by prayer to receive seed — he would begin to go forth and minister.
•• One ministry spoke of their people having prayed extensively for the residents of a 200-unit apartment complex. They then contacted those residents and got 199 favorable reactions to initial overtures with the Gospel. The ground had been prepared by prayer.
•• We live in the predominantly agricultural Rogue Valley of Oregon. If we were to throw all the seed in our valley on rock-hard, untilled soil, virtually none of it would produce a crop. First the soil needs to be prepared. In the spiritual realm, we can prepare the soil of men’s hearts through prayer.
2) Sow Lots of Good Seed —
Luke 8:4-5, 11 …[Jesus] told this parable: “A farmer went out to sow his seed….  The seed is the word of God.”
•• When I have planted lawns, I have always doubled the recommended measure of seed. I sow lots of grass seed and have always had good lawns. Similarly, sow lots of the good “seed” of the “word of God”. For example: • “Be ready always to give an answer [a Scriptural answer] to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15, KJV).
• Make sure that “the word of [your] testimony” (Revelation 12:11) is saturated with God’s word.
• In appropriate contexts, go forth and “preach the word” (2 Timothy 4:2), teach the word, share God’s word in your personal witnessing.
Matthew 13:38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom.
•• First we saw the sowing of the seed of the word of God. Here we see another important seed — the good seed of Christian people sown in the world. This means such things as: • Getting involved with unsaved neighbors, friends, and coworkers…
• Showing the love of God to others through various acts of kindness
• Befriending people and, as opportunity arises in these new relationships, sharing your personal testimony
3) Spread Sufficient Fertilizer —
Matthew 4:4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but [man lives] on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ”
•• To grow, a crop needs fertilizer, which can be ned to a steady teaching of God’s Word. This is distinct from the initial sowing of the seed of God’s word which planted the crop at the beginning. Now this budding crop needs ongoing nurturing, and this is done in great measure by a steady diet of God’s word.
•• An evangelist friend of mine spoke of ministry in Africa where they saw 100,000 new converts in one region. They had to entrust these new saints for follow-up ministry into the hands of just a few existing churches in that area. He lamented the fact that these new converts were not ly to receiving the continual nurture of God’s word that would lead them to Christian maturity.
•• In the 1970s I was involved in ministry at Abbott Loop Christian Center in Anchorage, Alaska. At that time we were seeing rapid growth, with literally hundreds of new Christians placed by the Lord in our care. How did we nourish those hungry new saints? — (1) The word of God was preached and taught three times a week in church services. And (2) we began in that local church a Bible School with which we were able to “fertilize” that abundant harvest of souls with extensive nourishment from the word of God. Eventually about 1,200 of the saints from that church, well established in the word, were sent out on teams to plant new churches in the USA and overseas.
4) Provide Plenty of Water —
•• A gardening expert once told me of an experiment that had been done with two identical plots of grass. One was watered fairly heavily, the other just moderately. The plot of grass receiving the most water thrived and looked better than the one given less water.
This is just common sense, and it applies also in the spiritual realm.
John 7:37-39a …“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.
” By this he meant the Spirit…
Acts 1:5,8 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit…. (8) you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
•• Christians new and old need to be encouraged to receive the biblical baptism with the Holy Spirit with the Scriptural evidence of speaking in tongues. As a result, Jesus said, there will come from within you a flow of “living water”. Jesus also promised from that Holy Spirit anointing a power to be His witnesses.
•• This flow of living, Holy-Ghost water from within you will: • water your own plant, your own spiritual life, and…
• touch others, for we are called to “go and bear fruit” (John 15:16) in the lives of those around us.
5) Do Appropriate Pest Control —
Matthew 28:19-20a Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.
•• Get them properly baptized in water, to bury the old man of sin. Biblical “pest control”!
•• “Make disciples … teaching them to obey everything” Jesus has commanded. This speaks of transformation, of change, of putting off the old and putting on the new (Ephesians 4:22-24).
These things are the biblical recipe for a good crop, the kind of spiritual harvest that Jesus desires — “…I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit — fruit that will last” (John 15:16).
1) Properly prepared soil — hearts opened by prayer
2) Lots of good seed — God’s word sown and lived out by God’s people
3) Sufficient fertilizer — ongoing, systematic instruction in the Bible, the word of God
4) Plenty of water — the baptism with the Holy Spirit
5) Appropriate pest control — Water baptism to bury the old man of sin, and exhortation and instruction in the changed life that pleases the Lord
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©1998, 2015, James H. Feeney.
Pentecostal Sermons and Bible Studies
by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.
Prayer is our spiritual breathing
Precious children of God, greetings to you in the name of Jesus Christ! I bless your day today! May this day be successful and filled with the glory of the Lord! Today we will finish talking about effective prayer life.
We established that there are three levels in prayer. Here are the first two:
- Asking when you know the will of God and receiving.
- Seeking for the will of God when you don’t know it.
Today we will discuss the third level that comes into action when the first two kinds have been used but the answer has not come yet. So, this next level that Jesus spoke about is:
„…knock, and it will be opened to you”
- Prayer is knocking until it is opened to you.
It happens that God has already revealed His will to you and you have asked and prayed, but the door stays closed. If we carefully read Mathew (7:7-8), we see that after asking and seeking, we also need to knock and then it will be opened to us:
«Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened»
Knock! Knock and keep knocking! And the door will be opened! We need faith so that we do not give up. In some situations you ask clearly knowing the will of God.
In other situations don’t know the will of God, but you pray, seek and God reveals His will to you. In other situations you ask, seek, pray, but the door stays closed.
What should you do then? You need to knock and keep knocking! And God promises to open the door.Prayer is a very important part of our spiritual life. Prayer is our spiritual breathing. And we must organize our lives in such a way that we have time for the things we discussed. Let’s review them:
1) Prayer is spiritual work when a human spirit fellowships with the Spirit of God. When you pray, your spirit feels that it has touched God and communicated with Him. If prayer has remained in the realm of mind, then prayer cannot be effective. Prayer takes the whole man, the spirit of man.
2) Prayer is deliberate drawing near to God when you leave other things and focus on God alone.
3) Prayer is fruitful time spent with God. It means that prayer and haste do not go together. “Telegraph prayers” do not usually work. Basically, prayer requires some quality time set apart just for this reason.
4) Prayer is two-way communication. The next time you pray, please, remember to give God opportunity to say something to you.
5) Prayer is pouring your heart before God. If you are concerned about something, go to God and pour out your heart before Him. It is not bad when we go to people; we need to help each other. But the first person you need to go to is God! God has given you this instrument of prayer so that you run to Him at the time of need.
6) Prayer proves that you need God. By praying you prove to God that you need Him. If you believe that you need God but you do not have any prayer life, then you deceive yourself.
7) Prayer is asking God according to His will and receiving from Him.
8) Prayer is seeking the will of God. Seek, and you will find.
9) Prayer is knocking until it is opened. Pray, seek and knock. You can ask from a distance; but in order to knock you need to get close.When we pray and ask but do not get an answer, it means God wants you to come closer and knock. I know for sure that you cannot knock being far away.
I cannot knock on the door of the auditorium, if I stand at the pulpit. So sometimes in such a way God motivates us to draw even nearer to Him.
Ask God for grace to arrange your life for effective praying. Be honest with yourself today. Is your prayer life effective, or it has turned into fruitless routine? Maybe your really do not have any prayer relationships with God? You alone can answer these questions.
We often talk of prayer; we hear of prayer. It makes us think that we know what prayer is. But do we practise praying? We know that prayer is necessary for our spiritual life, just air is necessary for our physical life. We must be enough diligent and disciplined to pray.
If you need healing for your spiritual life, then ask God: «Lord, heal my prayer life. Renew my prayer life. Breathe Your life into my prayer life so that it would become live. In the name of Jesus Christ I ask you to help me to connect with You daily through prayerful fellowship.
Help me deliberately draw near to You so that nothing – not work, not cares – would stand in the way of fellowshipping with You. Lord, remove all barriers my way to effective prayer. I do not want for prayer to be a formality. Prayer is not just a formality; prayer is necessary for life.
Help me, Lord! I receive Your strength. I receive Your grace. In the name of Jesus Christ! Amen. »
May God bless you and help you to become power prayer people who do great exploits in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ!
Pastor Rufus Ajiboye
Fruitful prayer and Bible study begin with changed desires — Southern Equip
Often, when we come to spiritual disciplines we list them, plan for them, and then labor to perform them. In the best scenario, we realize—sooner rather than later—we can’t do them apart from the power of the Holy Spirit. And so we pray and ask God to help us.
Yet, such an approach may go wrong from the start. Why? Because we put the law (and its list) in front of the gospel (and its power).
In other words, when we devote ourselves to discipline, we “covenant” with a bank of rules we trust to make us better—better people, better Christians, better (fill in the blank).
But of course, the law never brings life and can only be a delight when God has written his law on our heart.
The problem with any lawful approach to discipline, however, it not that it contains laws. The gospel is not antinomian—lawless. The third use of the law is a gift to the growing disciple.
The problem is when we call upon the Spirit to assist us after our plan is put in place. Now granted, if you’re setting out to read the Bible, pray, and fast, you have already taken your cues from the Spirit’s inspired Word—especially, on that last discipline.
But still the root cause of burnout remains. What is that? The problem of desire.
Spiritual Desire is the Key to Spiritual Discipline
In You Are What You Love, James K. A.
Smith reminds us that we are not “thinking-things” (Descartes), but “loving-things” (Augustine), creatures who follow our passions and desires more than any well-reasoned directive.
Smith illustrates the point with his transformation in eating. Leaving behind his “meat and potatoes” diet with no room for vegetables, he now craves Greek Yogurt and salads—so he says.
He recounts the process of transformation and how his mental beliefs outran his bodily appetites. (Rosaria Butterfield speaks of the same reality in her interview with Mark Dever).Reading Wendell Berry in a Costco food court—the height of hypocrisy, one might say—Smith explains how our spiritual appetites also lag behind our acquired knowledge.
The point he makes about bodily appetites is the point I want to make about spiritual ones.
If our minds are convinced that we need to read the Bible, pray, go church, and stop watching so much TV, but our hearts (and bodies) still long to sleep in, browse the Internet, and go shopping, then the problem is less our thinking and more our desiring. Come up with the best plan, tether it to a dozen apps and reminders, and it will still fail.
The heart will pull us after its own desire.
As we know too well, there’s a gap between what we know and what we do. “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate” (Rom. 7:15). Moreover, the habits of life given to us by the culture, “secular liturgies” as Smith calls them, train us to fill ourselves on other appetizers.
In such cases, the best laid plan for spiritual discipleship fails because it is not matched by spiritual hunger. But to make matters even worse, such a desire is cultivated by following a routine of spiritual disciplines. What will break the cycle of spiritual disinterest? What is the source of spiritual hunger that might impel our disciplines and result in true communion with God?
The Birth of a New Desire
The unsurprising but truthful answer is God. Only God can create, sustain, and increase our spiritual appetites.
Only God can order our days such that we get the daily bread we need and the space and time and desire to commune with him. Indeed, just as God the Father sought us in salvation, when we lacked desire for him (Rom.
10:20); so we depend on God the Spirit to convict, agitate, implant, empower, and enlarge a new appetite in us.This is our hope. It comes from God and is born in the new birth. In conversion, the seed of the Word produces life, but it also produces a new spiritual appetite. This is what Ezekiel 36 means when it says,
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. (26–27)
What a glorious gift, the new birth is. Not only does God justify us when he gives us faith; he also empowers us to begin a life of sanctification. The spiritual disciplines are the “free weights,” if you will, that enable the child of God to grow in spiritual strength. And while at the start we may not feel any pleasure in a spiritual regimen, the new life presses us forward.
In You Are What You Love, Smith rightly addresses the power of habit, but he overlooks the new birth.
He explains how bodily habits and spiritual disciplines transform us, but he forgets (I trust, he assumes) the power that comes from the spiritual life within.
This desire for God as given in the new birth is the source of strength for every spiritual discipline. And then, and only then, in cooperation with the Spirit, do we have power to say ‘no’ to ungodliness and walk in new ways.
Perseverance, therefore, is not (ultimately) attributable to the choices of an individual. It, everything else, is a gift of grace. Reading the Bible, understanding the Bible, and desiring the Bible are all fruit of the Spirit. And thus, the child of God who wants God but doesn’t want him enough, is led to cry out the man in Mark 9:24: “I desire, help me desire.”
To be clear, this emphasis on the affections does not undermine truth. It is a humanity-affirming, appetite-embracing truth in itself. We are not saved by knowing truth but by loving truth and thereby abiding in it (see John 8:32; 2 Thess. 2:10). Such desire for God is what ultimately overcomes the difficulties associated with the spiritual disciplines.
Discipline begins with desire
As you make plans for the New Year, let me encourage you to take seriously Paul’s words in 1 Timothy 4:7, “Discipline yourself for godliness” (NASB).
Only, in all your well-laid plans, do not forget self-discipline is both given by the Spirit (Gal. 5:23) and sustained by desire. Therefore, the first spiritual discipline is not just establishing a list of improved habits.
It is the prayer-full cry for God to enflame your desires for him.
Indeed, the whole point of Bible reading, journaling, service, etc. is for our affections for the Lord—and the affections of others in the Lord—to increase.Yes, this comes through regular exercise of the spiritual disciplines, but the underlying endurance comes from a hungering and thirsting for righteousness.
Therefore, as we enter into 2017, let us do so praying for God to give us more of himself—first by awakening a desire within us and then by cultivating habits of Scripture and prayer centered around him.
23 Short Prayers — Hope for Your Soul
Whether you have had a personal relationship with God for years or you are only beginning to discover who Jesus is, we all need guidance sometimes when it comes to prayers. It’s often hard to find the words to pray, that’s why we put together this collection of short prayers.
The following short prayers offer guiding words to use for praying over various topics including worry, anxiety, doubt, forgiveness, fear, and other areas of life where we need to ask for God’s help.
Please use these prayers and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you as you add some of your own words and personalize your petitions to God.
Prayer for Peace
Father God, my heart is filled with chaos and confusion. I feel as if I am drowning in my circumstances and my heart is filled with fear and confusion. I really need the strength and peace that only You can give. Right now, I choose to rest in You. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen. ~ Mary Southerland.
Prayer for the Broken-Hearted
Lord, my heart is broken but You are near. My spirit is crushed, but You are my rescuer. Your Word is my hope. It revives me and comforts me in especially now. My soul faints, but you are the breath of life within me.
You are my help, the One who sustains me. I am weak but You are strong. You bless those who mourn, and I trust You to bless me and my family with all that we need. You will rescue me from this dark cloud of despair because You delight in me.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen. ~ Jennifer White
Prayer for Perseverance
Holy Lord, Thank You for grace. Please help me move beyond the hurdles that trip me up and give me the strength and wisdom to look up and see the hope I run toward in Christ. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. ~ Gwen Smith
Prayer for Self Control
Father, today I ask forgiveness of all the negative and harmful words I have spoken about myself. I do not want to abuse myself in such a way again. Transform my thoughts and let me understand how marvelously you made me. Change my habits so I use my tongue to speak hope and favor upon my life. In Jesus' name, Amen. ~ Sarah Coleman
Prayer for Loving Jesus
Father, I have to thank You for looking beyond my faults and for loving me unconditionally. Forgive me when I fail to love others in the same way. Give me eyes to see the needs of the difficult people in my life, and show me how to meet those needs in a way that pleases You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. ~ Mary Southerland
Prayer for God’s Direction
Lord, help me not to lean on my own understanding but in everything acknowledge You so that You can direct my words, thoughts and actions. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. ~ Sharon Glasgow
Prayer For Worry
Father, I am tempted to worry about so many things. Our world is a mess! Forgive me for focusing on anything or anyone but You. Thank You for the Bible that equips and empowers me to live each day. Right now, I declare that You are my only Hope. Please help me remember that You really are in control. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. ~ Mary Southerland
Prayer for God’s Strength
Lord, thank you for your greatness. Thank you that when I am weak, you are strong. Lord, the Devil is scheming and I know he desires to keep me from spending time with you. Don’t let him win! Give me a measure of your strength so that I might not give into discouragement, deception and doubt! Help me honor you in all my ways. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. ~ Debbie Przybylski
~ Debbie Przybylski
Prayer When Feeling Inadequate
Dear Lord, Thank You for fearfully and wonderfully creating each of us. Thank You for giving us worth in Your eyes. Help us live as the one You uniquely intended us to be. Help us abide instead of strive, living peacefully and joyfully as heirs to Your Kingdom and co-heirs with Christ. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. ~ Julie Sunne
Prayer for Being Grateful
Father, I am so sorry for the way I complain about my circumstances. Please forgive me for my bad attitude when things don't go my way.
I want to see Your hand in every part of every day — good or bad.
Help me learn how to face every storm with confidence, knowing that You really are in control even though I cannot hear Your voice or see Your hand at work. In Jesus Name, Amen. ~ Mary Southerland
Prayer of God’s Provision
Dear Father God, Thank You for Your unfailing love for me, Your blessings, and goodness. Thank You for Your faithfulness to guide me and see me through times of uncertainty, for lifting me up, and setting me on high.
Thank You for Scripture that comforts and reminds me of Your promises, plan, and provision. Thank you for taking away my fears and worries, the what-ifs, and reminding me that my help comes from You. Help me be a good steward and to sow wisely.
In Christ’s Name, Amen. ~ Renee Davis
Prayer for Growing Faith
Dear Lord, help me — every single morning — to find faith in the midst of the chaos. Give me the desire and ability to see You, hear You, talk to You, and give thanks to You.
And as I do, I pray that I will draw nearer and nearer to You, and that my faith will multiply exponentially as I understand in new, deeper ways that You are everything I ever hoped You would be. And so much more.
Amen. ~ Kelly O’Dell Stanley
Prayer for Confidence
Lord, help me let go of my fear of failure. I know Satan wants to use my fears to hold me back from living boldly for You.
Forgive me for not living in faith, and help me from this moment on to live with bold confidence in You. Lord, help me not compare myself to others around me.
I pray instead that I can keep my eye on You and live a life that proclaims Your excellence. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen. ~ Rick Warren
Prayer for a Heavy Heart
Lord, I want to lay before you all that weighs heavy on my heart. Reveal even the sin I am not aware of, Lord. I lay these at your feet and pray your forgiveness on me. I believe you when you say that you wash us whiter than snow. Thank you Lord for your unending love for me! Help me start fresh right now to make choices that honor you. In Jesus' Name, Amen. ~ Rick Warren
Father, sometimes it does feel that you have left us in the battle. We know that you are with us, but so are our feelings of aloneness. The Enemy seems to be taking ground. Our crying out to you seems to go unanswered. We know you are at work, but help us trust you in the midst of our questions. In Jesus' Name, Amen. ~ Ron Moore
Short Prayer for Thankfulness
God, sometimes life gets me down and I find it hard to see things to be thankful for. Open my eyes to see the gifts you’ve given me in my life. I’m going to start by thanking you for loving me enough to come to earth and die so we can live together forever. Amen. ~ Wendy van Eyck
Prayer for Restored Relationships
Father God, open my eyes to see the ways I’m Cain.
What conflicts am I allowing to brew in my family? What anger is bubbling into murderous rage in my relationships? Thank You for the clarity to see how hatred kills relationships.
I choose instead the way of love. Love protects. Help me to protect those I love by loving them. Your way is always best, Father. I pray in Jesus’ Name, Amen. ~ James MacDonald
Which one of these short prayers spoke the most to you and how can we be praying for you? Comment below and let us know!
This article is part of our larger Prayers resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Visit our most popular prayers if you are wondering how to pray or what to pray. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can't find the words to pray.
Prayer for Healing
Prayer for Strength
Prayer for Protection
Good Night Prayers
A Birthday Prayer
Prayer for Forgiveness
Prayer for Guidance
Prayer for Peace
Prayer for Faith
Prayer for Love
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