The farmer is looking for a harvest. A visionary gift allows him to see something that does not exist, yet he applies all of his energies as if this unseen outcome were inevitable.
Jesus described it like this:
“And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.” (Mark [4:26]–29 KJV)
Natural laws inform the farmer’s actions and allow him to trust for a future result before the first seed is even sown.
Prayer works in a similar way. It harnesses the spiritual laws of faith and patience and applies them to whatever subject is being addressed in the spirit.
There’s a world of exposition we could explore around the subject but I want to focus on one not overtly mentioned.
Ploughing the field.
The story of the farmer begins with casting seed, but something needs to happen prior to the planting. Ploughing.
In my experience, the same process applies to spiritual sowing and reaping.
At times the spiritual ground can be hard and overgrown. Atmospheres can be tough.
These kind of prayer situations are not easy jobs to undertake. Some would like to believe it is no more than a shotgun prayer of faith that's required to materialise the harvest. A rapid-fire request in the name of Jesus thrown into the air.
More often than not though these well-meaning prayers bounce back and don’t even break the surface.
Ploughing requires time and effort to infuse an atmosphere with new responsiveness to the Words of faith when they are spoken.
I used to visit schools and speak to children and young people about Christ. The preparation, or ploughing as I refer to it, was undertaken long before those actual visits took place. I and those I worked with would pace the floor for hours praying in tongues, knowing that our faith-filled words were travelling to the very rooms we would minister in, breaking up the fallow ground ready for sowing.
“Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.” (Hosea [10:12] KJV)
Prayer prepares the ground.
Sometimes it takes a little hoeing, other situations demand some heavy-duty intercessions to soften the soil.
I hope these pictures help you see what I mean. Ploughing in this way, through extended times of intentional targeting tongues, is powerful. As you pray and pace the floor (I choose to pace, you don’t need to of course) you will sense the shifting atmosphere and feel faith rise for the harvest you envision.
The soil will be softened and the seed will fall in pleasant places, bearing fruit, some thirty, some sixty, some a hundredfold.