I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

John 15:1–2 ESV

Insight: Yesterday, the pansies were beautiful; velvety and brightly colored, they poured out their perfume so the wind could spread it. Today, the edges are cracking and curling, the blooms are beginning to droop. It’s time to be pruned because the plant’s energy needs to go into new blooms. Last year, the irises were tall and splendid; the leaves green and straight, the flowers iridescent in every tint and shade. Now the flowers are gone, the leaves brown and lifeless. It’s time to be pruned so that the new growth can emerge. The old pear tree has produces so many pears that its limbs are weak and won’t support another year’s fruit. It’s time to be pruned so that the dead limbs don’t fall and do damage. It’s time to prune the good branches for their shade prevents growth for only the best fruit need remain on the branch. The old glories have to go.

Prayer: Father, we confess that we have held on to our old glories. We’ve clung to the special moments, ministries, forms, successes, and insights, You gave us last year, or even twenty years ago. We repent and ask you to prune us, to deal with our sins, our foolish habits, our thought patterns that drain the life from us with which you want to infuse us. Father, we ask that you get us ready for new growth in the Spirit. Revive us with Your Holy Spirit, breath life in us, and in our churches. Call us to run after you in prayer and study so that we may bear healthy fruit on strong branches. We pray in Jesus’ name for your mercy. Amen.

~~Nancy Beckham