Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Growing Prayers

God has helped UALC’s community garden bear much fruit. It’s produced more than 11 tons of fresh vegetables since we started, almost 5 tons last year alone. We hope to produce another 6 tons this year, and already have crops coming up. All of that goes to hunger relief programs and all that is the result of God’s blessings.

This year we sense God wants us to produce another kind of fruit—prayer. Prayer is a wonderful thing. It connects us with God, the most wonderful thing in the universe. It has the potential to do wonderful things in specific situations. James 5:16. The very act of praying changes those who pray in wonderful ways, regardless of the answers to specific prayers. James 1:5. God therefore urges us to pray—a lot. Ephesians 6:18, Philippians 4:6, Colossians 4:2. We want to make the garden a vehicle to produce more prayer.

How does that work? Several ways.

First, work the garden into your prayer time. There are many garden related matters you can take up with God. Pray about how we can do better: how we can produce more/better food, how we can make the garden prettier, how you can help. Pray about our garden community: that relationships among those already involved become deeper and sweeter and that more folks join us. Pray about those who receive our crops: about the situations giving rise to their need, that we and others best deliver God’s love to them, that they perceive, receive, and respond to that love. Pray for the health of particular types of crops (Tomatoes, peppers, etc.). Pray for rain. You get the idea—The garden provides an unending source of topics for conversation with God.

Second, check out our Blog for specific prayer concerns. We’ll be posting them here every week.

Third, come pray in the garden. Please come in and pray. Pray over the garden as a whole, individual beds/crops, or anything else that’s on your mind. The gates are never locked. There are benches to sit on. We will be posting signs with suggested prayer topics and related scripture passages in early May. You are welcome any time, so give it a try. (A practical note: early mornings and early evening are the most comfortable times once the weather gets warmer.)

God instructs us to “pray without ceasing” 1 Thessalonians 5:17. We’d be very grateful if you could make the garden a regular part of your response to that command.

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