Scripture Focus: Matthew 13.37-43
37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. 

40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear. 

Reflection: Preparing the Ground—Guided Prayer
By John Tillman 

We need nothing more in this time of national grief and conflict than to refocus on prayer and our commitment to only Jesus Christ, preparing the ground of our hearts for his truth. We will pray, today, a prayer based on Matthew 13.1-43.

Preparing the Ground
Lord, We live in a difficult time for spiritual growth.

We live in a time of confusion when the enemy is trying to snatch the seed of truth from us…

We live in a time of rocky relationships that cannot stand the heat of the sun or the cold of the night. Our roots cannot break up the hardness of our hearts, so we cannot draw up living water for our own, or anyone else’s, thirst.

We live in a time of distraction, with controversies and conspiracies and crises by the dozens screaming for our attention…diluting our strength…sapping our energy and growth. We allow thorny antagonism to flourish, but not the flower or fruit of the gospel.

Lord help us, even in this time and space, to prepare our hearts as ground that is ready to receive your truth.

Help us to banish and scatter the demonic influences that would snatch away the truth and replace it with a comfortable lie. We especially pray against those demonic forces such as Q-Anon, that would snatch the true gospel from our hearts and plant tares in your good field.

Help us to break up the rocks of our hard heads and our hard hearts. Help us to see with eyes that can discern your truth and listen with ears that can hear the cries and needs of our fellow brothers and sisters. Heal our broken and crumbling relationships, making room for the growth of deep roots of love and community.

Keep us out of the weeds of needless controversies and pointless arguments. Keep us from being tangled in the thorns of addiction to wealth of money or wealth of fame. Help us to shape our lives to produce a fragrant flower to attract others and a fruit that satisfies the deepest needs of those who seek the gospel.

May we bring in many to the harvest. May we shine like the sun in your kingdom.
May whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.

Divine Hours Prayer: The Greeting
With my whole heart I seek you; let me not stray from your commandments. — Psalm 119.10

– Divine Hours prayers from The Divine Hours: Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime by Phyllis Tickle

Today’s Readings
Genesis 14 (Listen – 4:04)
Matthew 13 (Listen – 7:23)

Read more about Cultivation Leads to Harvest
Cultivation leads to harvest. Harvests, when shared, lead to celebration.

Read more about Judging Our Hearts
Jesus refers to false prophets’ disguise as sheep’s clothing that conceals an inward nature that is a violent and ferocious wolf.