Jesus told a parable about a farmer sewing seeds. Some fell on the road and were trampled; others fell into the thorns and were choked and produced no crop. But some fell on fertile ground and produced a great crop. He goes on to say that the seed that multiplied into a great crop represents the seed of a good and noble heart.
I reflected upon this at great length, and it caused me to assess my prayer life. When I pray, I am too often self-centered in my conversation with God. I emphasize my needs, instead of praying for the strength, peace and wisdom to serve God and others. At times, my prayers are all about me—instead of how I best love and serve the Lord. I become preoccupied with my challenges and concerns, and fail to see the big picture.
The Apostle Paul said he learned to be content no matter what his circumstances—rich or poor, healthy or sick. But too often my attitude on serving and loving God had become conditional. “God, if you will bless me, then I can serve you better. God, please provide for my needs so I can serve others.” At times my prayers do not spring from a good and noble heart. They spring from a heart that is wicked and self-serving.
The Word of God says the prayer of a righteous man is heard. As a community of believers, are we seeking God with a righteous, noble and good heart? Or are we more concerned with our own circumstances? Until we learn to approach God with prayers and petitions on how we best glorify and serve Him, rather than be served, our prayers will continue to fall among the thorns and be lifeless and powerless.
As we approach Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday, we have so much to be thankful for. Can we together allow our prayers to reflect that gratitude, rather than continuing to focus on ourselves? Can we learn to become less focused on ourselves and our needs, and more focused on God and His desires?