Read |Luke 8: 4 - 21|
At 31, I recall with amusement, the heartbreak of my adolescence. The unrequited love that made me give up eating rich foods and smiling. The heartburn that I sought to cure with the melancholy tunes of Bonnie Raitt and powerhouse ballads of Celine Dion. For a season, my whole life was blue because my heart was blue. Out of my heart flowed all the issues pertaining to my life. (Proverbs 4:23).
In this week's reading we encounter Jesus' teaching, "The Parable of the Sower". In it God makes us wise to the relationship between our heart health and our capacity to receive and profit from His Word. He is the sower, the Word is the seed and the place of planting, our hearts. The sower and the seed are without flaw, so that it is the place of planting that becomes significant to determining outcomes. The possibility for bearing fruit exists and is offered in every place--to every heart. But, every heart does not and cannot receive it. Sometimes the heart is sick.
A Prayer for the Hard Heart
The hard heart is likened to a path. It is impenetrable. No seed can be planted there. Instead, no matter the the quantity of seed and frequency of sowing, the seed remains exposed on the surface. The seed becomes food for the fowls of the air. This heart is most desperate. It cannot be saved. (Luke 8: 12). But, God gives us this hope in Ezekiel 36: 26, "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh." (CSB).
For the hard heart pray:
A Prayer for the Rocky Heart
The rocky heart is dry. The seed that is planted shoots up and then withers. It cannot be sustained in the way of life because there is insufficient moisture. She hears the Word and rejoices at receiving it. But, then the trial and her falling away. She is not rooted. Her roots do not go deep to drink from the eternal spring. She withers away. But, somewhere else in Scripture, God does give us a picture of a rooted life. Psalm 1: 1 - 3, CSB reads:
How happy is the one who does not walk in the advice of the wicked or stand in the pathway with sinners or sit in the company of mockers! Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s instruction, and he meditates on it day and night. He is like a tree planted beside flowing streams that bears its fruit in its season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.
The rocky heart's correction is to:
For the rocky heart sing this song as a prayer:
A Prayer for the Thorny Heart
The thorny heart is crowded with the concerns, riches and pleasures of this life. (Luke 8: 14). She has lost sight of the eternal because what is seen has captured her heart. To regain her heart she must cast her cares on Jesus, in prayer. (Philippians 4:6 - 7). She must empty herself. She must make room for God--His presence and action. Room in her heart, schedule, relationships and resources. (Isaiah 54:2).
For the thorny heart pray:
A Prayer to Guard the Healthy Heart
The healthy heart is repentant--not hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. (Hebrews 3:13). It is set on wholehearted obedience--walking in the way of righteousness by His Spirit. (Romans 8:13). It is continually refreshed by the presence of God. It is planted and purposefully placed in (or in full reliance on) Jesus Christ. (John 15:16). She, who possesses this heart, is radiant and most blessed. She must guard it.
To guard your heart pray:
Carolyn Sinclair McCalla is an educator, Christian education youth coordinator, author, singer, workshop and retreat leader, speaker and. founder and president of EarthBasic. However, she is first and foremost a daughter of God, with a passion for encouraging women to embrace the fullness of God's love for them in Jesus Christ. You can connect with Carolyn on facebook, Instagram and here.