PRAY WITHOUT CEASING

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Flowering is arguably the most important season of a plant’s life. One can tell whether the crop will bear fruit or not depending on how it flowers. And yet that is the most delicate period of the plant’s life, as the flowers can be destroyed before pollination takes place and thus will not bear fruit.

Because flowers are beautiful and smell nice, they attract a myriad of different insects – both useful, like bees that transport pollen, and destructive like caterpillars. Little children too, especially girls, love plucking flowers and putting them on their hair. Strong winds, heavy rains and even strong sunshine can destroy the flowers before their time.

We too are like plants that flower. God has created us with the potential to bear much fruit in the form of the gifts of the Holy Spirit plus other mental and physical abilities. Some of us have ability to become world-class musicians or coaches, teachers, preachers, interpreters, model parents, friends and so on. If every talent and ability were to blossom and get to the level of legendary, this would truly be “heaven on earth.”

But just like the animals that destroy the flowers before they are ready to form into fruit, the devil lies in wait to put all our abilities and plans asunder. He is jealous and naturally destructive. He reaps where he did not sow; he places roadblocks and bumps where there shouldn’t be.

That is why would-be great musicians become drug addicts and responsible men turn into alcoholics; that is why would-be legendary teachers lounge in the staffroom demoralised, while some don’t go to school; talented boys and girls die before their time and girls destined to be great leaders become mothers at 16. It’s such a dangerous environment.

And brethren, nothing can redeem us from these evils of indolence, envy, alcoholism, sexual promiscuity, laziness and what have you, but prayer to God. Jesus told us to pray without ceasing. We should pray while sitting, while walking, while relaxing and while working. The destructive forces in the world are so cunning and timing that they come when our star is about to shine – when the flower is about to turn into fruit.

That is why King Solomon prays in Song of Songs 2:15: “Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.”

He realised that in as much as the farmer puts his best foot forward in tending to his crop, there were these little foxes that came while he was away and destroyed the crop and thus denying him the fruit that was his main expectation.

Are there little foxes in your life dear brother and sister? What are the little foxes that threaten your God-given abilities dear sister? What is preventing you from becoming the person God intended on the day he placed you in your mother’s womb? Surely, you were not created to be a loser in life, nor to live on the periphery, or to play small and never quite win in the game of life. I believe God intended you to light the entire world with your gift and for your name to be mentioned far and wide – and not for your shortcomings but for your overcoming.

Pray sister, pray brother. The evil one never sleeps and is always lying in wait to destroy anything that shows promise. Only prayer and determination to keep on the straight and narrow path will keep you on the course for which God created you. That is how you get back at the foxes too and how you keep focus on the end result.

Nothing is as painful as a child’s death. Many times I wonder what that flower that has been plucked would have become were it not for disease and accidents. And what about the many men and women that are rotting in the filth of sexual sins and alcoholism… What could they have given to the world to make it a better place? What about the youth that are addicted to drugs… Will they ever bear fruit?

Your foxes may not be as destructive as the ones mentioned above but they are foxes all the same. They are destroying your vineyard. Pray without ceasing. Again I say pray. Tell God to confuse and dismiss the foxes that are gathering against you; and to bless you with the power to bring your plans to fruition. Amen.

Published April 2016

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