I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the parable of the sower. Jesus said, “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear” (Matthew 13:4-9).

The condition of the heart is critical. Is it good soil? Rocky soil? Shallow soil? Although we minister to all and serve all, we want to look especially for the people who are good soil. Who is receptive to what the Holy Spirit is doing?

I’ve found that people in recovery understand this concept very well and that it can become a focus of prayer. We’ve been praying together with people that their hearts will be ready to receive the seed and for God to do his work in their lives. We pray that the seed would take root and grow. And for something like this—that is the clear will of God—we can pray in faith that people will have receptive hearts.