And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. -Luke 18:1 (ESV)
I heard an interesting fact about bamboo the other day on KSBJ radio: once you plant bamboo seeds in the ground, you must faithfully water them for a very long time…and then, finally, they will sprout. And once they do, they grow explosively. The on-air personality, Carlos, then explained how it was much like prayer.
I was intrigued, so I read more about it: when watered and planted appropriately in soil, bamboo seeds slowly extend roots and store minerals and water. When the season is right, the culm (cane) grows upward through the soil to the surface, eventually growing leaves, and the plant rapidly grows at that point.
Wow. That’s a lot like prayer and blessings, isn’t it? It can take a lot of persevering faith to keep watering a seed that you don’t even see, and wonder if it’ll ever sprout. And, it won’t sprout till the season is right…but that season won’t come if it’s not faithfully watered. It’s tempting to give up…but don’t.
Pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17), and don’t lose heart. If you need to, ask Him for more faith to carry you in this seemingly endless fruitless season as you pray confidently for things yet to come (1 John 5:14). Ask Him to help overcome your unbelief (Mark 9:24).
The sprouting season comes to the faithful and prayerful who persevere in nurturing even mustard seed-sized faith. Don’t give up on that bamboo!