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::Devotional:: ‘The Pruning Shears of Prayer’

March 1, 2010

Any gardener will tell you that pruning is an absolute must when it comes to plant life.  Flowers, bushes, trees, vines – you name it and there is some form of pruning involved to maintain the health of the plant. Dead branches, diseased limbs, unproductive vines all need to be cut away in order for the plant to stay alive and to produce.  As disciples of Jesus, we’re not all that different from these plants.  There are areas of our lives that are dead, diseased, and unproductive as Christians and the Lord desires for them to be removed.  In fact, where the gardener would use a set of pruning shears to cut back the plants, we are cut back through the pruning shears of prayer.

This past week I was really wrestling with some emotions in my heart about a certain situation in my life.  When I say wrestling I really should say I was being man-handled by these emotions because I was not able to fight back against them very much at the beginning.  Instead, they tossed me around quite a bit.  I’ve learned from the study of God’s word and experience that these emotions were not from the Lord and therefore were not productive.  I couldn’t simply ignore them because they were constantly there, yet somehow I needed to get them removed.  I’ve also learned that I can waste a lot of time and energy trying to remove those emotions myself or even replace them with other things;  a solution that never works.  My hope was in Christ alone.

He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.  John 15:2

I was in need of some serious spiritual pruning.  Some branches in my simply needed to be cut off completely.  They were dead and diseased; poison to me and the Holy Spirit that dwells within me.

For the sinful nature desire wat is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature.  Galatians 5:16

The acts of the sinful nature are obvious:  sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.  Galatians 5:19-21

Last week, my unfruitful branches were jealousy, dissension, factions, and envy.  They had to be cut away and that was my prayer.  I asked the Lord to help me overcome these emotions and that He would help me to resist the devil’s attempts to establish strongholds in my life through them.  I prayed every morning for a week in specifics about these emotions and the situation I faced.  Don’t you know God was faithful!  Not only was He faithful in removing those poisonous branches but He went beyond my request and pruned the branches that were productive so that I would experience more of the Holy Spirit.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Galatians 5:22

As God proclaimed His actions in John 15:2, He was faithful to make good on His promises to me last week.  My jealousy gave way to joy and my envy gave way to encouragement.  I was given the victory at the hands of the Lord through the pruning shears of prayer.

-Stay Rooted Col. 2:7-

One Comment leave one →
  1. Pat Turner permalink
    March 1, 2010 10:41 am

    I like the words to this Lifesong. Very good devotion.

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