There is a difference between speaking Truth and preparing people to receive Truth. We have been called to do both, and Jesus has a strategy for both.
Beware the simplistic perception that all we are called to do is “faithfully” communicate Truth. Of course, we must be faithful to preach even if no one listens, as Noah preached for 120 years to a mocking crowd and Jesus preached to a generation that killed Him for what He said. On the other hand, we must avoid the perception that we are called to hand out Truth like lollipops and hope people like the taste.
Jesus discusses the preparation of soil by differentiating four soil types. I think we could see these are broad illustrations of how people are prepared to receive Truth. “The seed is the Word of God.” We could also discuss what can be done to prepare the field so the Truth is sown in good ground.
Plowing Prayer and Preaching involves us in a process of preparation. In each case, there are accompanying strategies that apply spiritual authority and power to the present conditions.
The first category is “hard ground.” In the field, there is a path upon which people walk through or those working the field move around. This “hardened ground” does not receive the seed because it has been pounded down with feet, rain, sun, and neglect. It hasn’t experienced a plow.
This ground needs a breaker anointing, plowing prayer and preaching. It needs a spiritual violence to turn it upside down. It needs a new identifier that removes the signage, “pathway,” from it so people change their traffic patterns. It needs a new declaration, “Don’t tread on me!” It needs to be set free from this abuse so that it stops lying fallow.
Fallow ground has buried its purpose. It no longer has a sense of its purpose so that it can pursue the potential of its purpose. It just lies there and gets walked on. It attracts demons because the seed sown upon it becomes the demons food. “The birds of the air eat the seed that is sown on hard ground.”
Of course, I’ve heard both extremes on this subject. The preaching people say that we don’t need warfare prayer because there’s power in the Word. The prayer people usually feel unappreciated because their work lacks proper recognition, and they tend to exaggerate their work to gain some appreciation. Truth is that both are strategic to getting harvest from this ground.
While plowing prayer can open the ground’s purpose, plowing preaching still sows the strategic Word of The Lord to the location.
Consider the process in Ephesus and Asia Minor to get a deeper sense of what was going on through plowing prayer and preaching, both of which released “extraordinary miracles” through Paul’s mundane life and living, his work aprons and sweat rags healed and delivered.
“This is the manner by which the Word of the Lord intensified through spiritual might to take dominion. (Acts 19:20)
You want that result? Follow this pattern. Note the use of Greek words in this phrasing. Kratos for dominion. Ischou for spiritual power. Auxano for intensify in expansion.
Consider the spiritual dynamics being communicated by these words at a time there was not copy of the Bible and the communication process wasn’t about handing out the Four Spiritual Laws. [Not that salvation Gospel is not infinitely valuable and part of the strategy of the kingdom, but that this verse doesn’t describe a Billy Graham crusade.]
Paul’s plowing prayer and plowing preaching was apostolic, confrontational, demonstrated with miracles, breaker anointing in authority, atmosphere changing in spiritual might (a term used only for angels and God).
The wording speaks of angelic power, dominion authority, supernatural intensity and expansion of “the Word of The Lord.” The seed to be sown is God’s purpose for that place and people in that time, or that place in that generation (people of a time.)
So, plowing prayer and plowing preaching should occur at the same time accompanied by demonstrations of power and authority that produce miracles and overthrow prevailing thrones of iniquity in that arena of spirit. The writer could have chosen several other words to describe this atmosphere change, but used the ones that Holy Spirit inspired that would describe the manner in which this regional transformation occurred.