Saturday, September 21, 2013

What Does Prayer Have to Do with Planting Seeds?

Papaya (We call it "paw-paw")

In 2006, the Church of the Nazarene purchased land on which to build a missionary home.  Almost as soon as we had the lease in hand, we began to plant seeds all over the 2.5 acres of land. 

If we ate a fruit that had a seed, we planted the seed - passion fruit, papayas, pineapples, soursop, mangoes, coconuts, avocadoes, and lots of citrus trees.  Before we left on home assignment in April, we ate avocadoes for the first time from one of the seeds that we planted.  We’re still hopeful that one day the mangoes, coconuts, and citrus will begin producing fruit too.
Grapefruit or Pamplimus

Over the ten years that we have been living in Vanuatu, we have planted many kinds seeds of all different shapes and sizes.  But, the seeds that are bearing fruit that will last are the seeds of the gospel that have been planted in the hearts of people.  The Lord has brought many people across our path during these ten years. Try as we may, we cannot MAKE seeds grow.  We can plant and water, but “only God makes things grow” (1 Corinth. 3:7).  It is such a joy to watch as God transforms individuals and bears fruit in their lives, as they begin to take part in the work of sharing God’s word. 
David with Pastor Gideon and Kami ready to plant
seeds of the gospel on Tanna.

Missionary J. O. Fraser labored about 100 years ago to share God’s Good News with the Lisu tribal people in China.  He planted many seeds and carefully watered, but saw little to no results year after year.  He understood the necessity of prayer when preaching the Gospel to people who were lost in the fog of tribal religions. 
Raela planting seeds through women's ministry
 “In 1922, Fraser wrote his prayer partners, ‘I used to think that prayer should have the first place and teaching the second. I now feel that it would be truer to give prayer the first, second and third place, and teaching the fourth’” (  

We pass along to you the challenge that brother Fraser shared with his prayer partners, 

“I am not asking you just to give ‘help’ in prayer as a sort of sideline, but I am trying to roll the main responsibility of this prayer-warfare on you. I want you to take the BURDEN of these people upon your shoulders. I want you to wrestle with God for them” (Ibid.).

As we wrestle in prayer for those who need freedom in Christ,
God through his grace prepares the hearts of those who will hear, 
so the seed of the Gospel can take root and grow.
Planting seeds in the lives of SPNTC students who in turn go out to share Christ.

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