top of page

Break up the Dry Ground

Updated: Oct 15, 2021

"...till the Spirit is poured out on us from on high, and the desert becomes a fertile field, and the fertile field seems like a forest."

(Isaiah 32:15 TNIV)

I like this verse from Isaiah as a representation of revival; the dry ground becoming fecund and full of life – because the pathway from parched earth to fertile field is the pathway of revival.

It's a pathway that involves breaking up dry ground. We speak of sowing seeds for the kingdom, but as all farmers and gardeners know, before the seed can be planted in the ground, the ground itself must be prepared. Following the earth’s winter rest, we weed, rake and hoe the ground to create fertile soil. We break up the fallow ground of winter so that the new seed may be sown, take root and grow.

And so it is with a spiritual harvest. One of the most powerful images the Lord gave me when he called me was the parable of the growing seed from Mark 4 (see Mark 4:26-29). In the parable, Jesus outlines the farming process from sowing through to harvest and I saw that the Lord was encouraging me that if I will but sow the seed, he will do the rest. Indeed, “a man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how” (TNIV).

For the Holy Spirit brings the crop. Indeed, the more I prayed for Australia for instance, the more I heard in prayer Joel 2:28: “I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophecy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions” (TNIV). This was wildly uplifting. So this is what the Lord wants to do! But what of the ground? I had a sense that maybe our prayers were preparing the ground, making a pathway for the Holy Spirit.

I shared the things I was sensing with a dear friend, through whom I learnt of ministries among Indigenous Australian Churches, such as the Solemn Assembly. The Assembly, held last September, took the premise in Joel 1:14 to assemble the people and pray for the nation. I was so inspired, but also sad that I had missed the prayer campaign, until the thought dawned on me that those prayers have broken up the fallow ground, creating fertile soil for my petitions.

There's a movement friends. Let's pray. We can be discouraged when we pray and see no change, yet like the Bible guides, let us take our cue from nature and have faith that if we keep ploughing and sowing, God will do the rest. As we read last week, did not John Wesley’s persistent, private prayers reap a public revival?

I have a burgeoning belief that prayer is breaking up the dry ground. So, continue to water the ground with your tears (Psalm 126:5-6) and plough it with your knees bent in prayer, so that “the desert may become a fertile field and the fertile field, a forest” (Isaiah 32:15, ESV).

Copyright © Sharmila Meadows February 2021

Scripture quotations are from The ESV®Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, TODAY’S NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 2004 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Hodder & Stoughton Publishers, a division of Hodder Headline ltd. All rights reserved. “TNIV” is a registered trademark of International Bible Society.

50 views3 comments

Recent Posts

See All


I love the image of fertility - not only does the barren become fertile, but it explodes in abundance. Not a crop, but a forest. Your last comment is so important too. How often do we get discouraged when all we seem to be doing is breaking up the ground. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Replying to

Dear RevBlots! Thank you so much for visiting The Mission Post and for sharing these spiritual insights! "Explodes in abundance" is an encouraging reminder of what the Lord can do with our offer. One to remember! Look forward to chatting further with you Rev Mark !


Thanks to all of you who have visited The Mission Post so far and for the many comments I have received privately. I would love for you to share your thoughts by comments on the site, so that together we can share faith perspectives and encourage each other along the way.

bottom of page