Prayer is like a Combine

Would you try to harvest a 1000-acre field with a hand held scythe? To try and harvest such a large size field with a hand held instrument would take a very long time and a huge amount of effort. Depending upon the size of the field it would even become impossible to harvest it by hand. 

But if you were to bring the power of a combine to the field, then what was at one point impossible suddenly becomes possible. The field can be harvested. 

Prayer is like a combine; it makes possible what is impossible. Too often prayer is overlooked or dismissed because we fail to realize how essential prayer is. “But in everything by prayer” (Philippians 4:6) scripture tells us but do we actually believe that? Too often we approach the problems, challenges and even the opportunities in our lives as if we have been given a hand scythe and been sent out to harvest while there is a brand new combine sitting in the farm yard. 

We wonder why we don’t see more people coming to know Jesus. We wonder why the church does not fill up on a Sunday morning. We wonder why we do not see transformation in our communities and nation. The answer in part is that we are not praying. We are standing with a scythe when we could be sitting in a combine! 

Prayer is powerful, it changes and transforms who we are and the circumstances in which we find ourselves. It does so because it draws us into a relationship with our heavenly Father and as we continue to come into His presence then we cannot fail to find ourselves changed. Through time spent in prayer God’s power is released and transformation takes place. 

Jesus said, “I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. ” (John 4:35) But to be effective in harvesting those fields we need to see our prayer lives renewed and revived infused with Holy Spirit power, which comes from our Father. 

It is time to climb up into the combine of prayer and see transformation and harvest happen.

Prayer is like “Green Eggs and Ham”

One of my boys’ favourite bedtime story books (okay It was mine too) was “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Seuss [1]. In the book Sam is insistent that his friend try his plate of green eggs and ham. Page after page of Sam asking “Would you like them here or there?” and the friend is adamant that he does not like green eggs and ham. But eventually he is worn down and realizing the only way to silence the persistent Sam is to actually try the green eggs and ham, he takes a bite. Transformation takes place. “Say! I like green eggs and ham! I do! I like them, Sam-I am!” It’s a great children’s book and I will admit to trying to use the Sam-I-am approach to encourage my own children to try new foods.

The reluctance of the friend to try the green eggs and ham is similar to how we sometimes approach prayer. “That is not really for me.” or “It’s not my gifting” or “I don’t like it.” These are examples of the excuses we use to keep us from praying. The psalmist encourages us to:

“Taste and see that the Lord is good, blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” (Psalm 34:8)

The challenge he presents is to try things God’s way. The psalmist goes on to promise that those who seek the Lord will lack no good thing. As we step into the place of prayer, we discover the riches of God which he gives through this prayer relationship. In prayer, as we seek God, he promises that he will be found (Jeremiah 29:8) and we shall lack no good thing.

If we take the palmist’s challenge to “taste and see that the Lord is good” we will find, just as Sam’s friend did, that the Lord is good. There is a blessing which comes out of time spent in prayer. We will also discover the vast variety of styles and ways to pray. We can pray in the rain or in the dark or on a train or in a plane or in a car or in a tree for pray is so good, so good you see!

A whole new dimension of relationship with our Heavenly Father opens up to us when we take the risk and try prayer. We taste and see that the Lord is indeed good.
[1] “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Seuss (New York, New York: Beginner Books: Distributed by Random House) 1960