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What is the secret to leading a blessed life through prayer?

How to wisely Sow

In the New Testament of Matthew, Jesus presets us with a parable for effectively sowing the seeds of prayer for most effective results. He stated:

A farmer went out to sow his seeds.
As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.
Some fell in rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprung up quickly because the soil was shallow.
But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.
Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and chocked the plant.
Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop - a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.
Jesus

As Jesus explains on further, this parable identifies three main problematic causes for why a seed does not produce its intended good:

Problem 1: The seeds are left on the surface.

Some expect Godly Thoughts to germinate blessings, when they are just left out in the open and superficially scattered. However, when seeds are dropped on the ground, rather than within the ground, - they will not sprout.

The seeds will be destroyed by nature as food - whether by birds or by bacteria... whether by other people's opinions or by simple forgetfulness...

The first principle to effective prayer is that the seed needs to be buried deep within our mind. God's prayers need to submerged in our psyche. Love, Truth, Beauty and Freedom are not a cheap sentiments to be merely printed on greeting cards.

These values, these prayers need full understanding. To have these grow into a harvest of abundance, - they need our effort, - "digging the prayer in".

This means that you can't just mindlessly repeat words.

Concentrate and think about what the words mean.

The key to a Christian conception of studies is the realization that prayer consists of attention. It is the orientation of all the attention of which the soul is capable toward God. The quality of attention counts much in the quality of the prayer.
Simone Well

Problem 2: The seed is planted in rocky and shallow soil.

Others expect Godly Thoughts to create fruits when the seeds have been implanted in the shallowness of 'rock-logic'.

While this method is better than leaving the seeds on the surface, they still won't produce fruits, because when the seeds are placed in shallow rocky soil, - the growth is short lived. The plant withers when it approaches the sunlight too quickly, and it then finally collapses, because it has no root system developed.

The lesson for effective prayer is that we need to dig the prayer deeper than our mind, or our 'logical understanding'. When the harsh elements of life will come up against these budding seedlings, - unless we have buried this prayer also into our heart, into our soul, into our very being, - the seedlings of love, truth, beauty and freedom will get burned.

To reach the harvesting stage we need to go beyond 'logical reason'.
If we have a deep root structure, if the prayers are personal and heartfelt, - then the elements of light and wind help it to grow, and make them even stronger.

Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul.
It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.
Mahatma Gandhi

Grant that I may not pray alone with the mouth;
help me that I may pray from the depths of my heart.
Martin Luther

Problem 3: The seed is planted amongst weeds which choke the plant.

This third scenario is certainly better than the previous two, because the seed actually grows and it produces some fruit. It assumes a basic understanding of the 'germination process'.

The challenge that Jesus reminds us of, is that of fruitfulness. If the prayers are sown amongst weeds, - the weeds divert energy and nourishment away from good crops, and we have a limited harvest. 'The worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth', choke the seeds.

It is inevitable that many of us have a challenge at this level. There are so many 'weed-seeds' being thrown into our gardens, - by the media, by well-intentioned friends, by education systems... - and they look very similar to the good seeds.

How can we tell them apart?

Jesus asserts that actually, we will not be able to tell them apart. The only way to learn about the strands, is to observe 'the effects', or the fruits that these ideas have. If we pay attention, we will see that 'every good tree bears good fruit, and every bad tree bears bad fruit.'

In the meantime however, we need to manage our time and resources to ensure the good seeds that we have planted are nourished and protected.

We need to be wisely cultivating...

 

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