You have a bean patch—a sphere of influence that no one else has and you can defend it in prayer. Sometimes when we get so focused in on praying for our own family we forget that God has called us to intercede for others–those in our sphere of influence. Years ago, I started calling my individual prayer focus my “Bean Patch” after reading about one of David’s three mighty men who defended his little plot of land when all others deserted him. His name was Shammah whose name means “God is there.” Scripture says God brought about a great victory when he stayed and fought for that land.
The Philistines were gathered into a troop where there was a plot of ground full of lentils (beans) and the people (Israelites) fled from the Philistines. But he (Shammah) took his stand in the midst of the plot, defended it and struck the Philistines; and the LORD brought about a great victory.” (2 Samuel 23:11 NIV)
Who is in your bean patch?
Who are those you are to stand in the prayer gap for, beseeching God on their behalf and telling the enemy to back off? Not all of us will view our prayer assignments the same way. We can be overwhelmed by prayer requests from friends. Now I ask the Lord to show me who I am to have as an ongoing prayer assignment. However, when others outside that prayer commitment ask me for prayer, I pray for them right then and over the next few days, but not on a permanent basis. Don’t be overwhelmed with thinking you have to pray for everything or person on this suggested list.
Consider those you may be called to pray for on a continuing basis, such as these:
1. Family (name each one—even extended family members)2. Friends/loved ones near & far off (name them)3. Neighborhood4. City (Jer.29:4-14). Seek the welfare of the city5. Nation6. Country God puts on your heart
How To Defend Your Bean Patch:
- Be specific. See Luke 11:5-13. He asked specifically for three loaves of bread.• Be persistent (Luke 11:5-9) Keep asking, seeking, knocking.• Pray Scripture passages aloud. God watches over His word to perform it. Faith cometh by hearing.• Write prayers in a notebook (including practical ones, scriptural ones).• Plant waiting prayers for the future: friends, career, spouses.• Get a prayer partner. (Matt l8:19). Every Christian woman needs a special friend who will pray with her about her special problems. Get a support team.• Be open to the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:26-27). Never presume God is going to answer in our perceived way or exact time frame.1 (See A Mother’s Guide to Praying for Your Children for more specifics on this list).
Ask God to show you who is in your bean patch and you will be off on an exciting adventure. At least that has been my experience and privilege.
Quin Sherrer has written or co-authored 29 books (primarily with Ruthanne Garlock) including bestsellers A Woman’s Guide to Spiritual Warfare: How to Protect Your Home, Family and Friends from Spiritual Darkness, A Mother’s Guide to Praying for Your Children, Miracles Happen When You Pray. Her book, Hope for A Widow’s Heart, addresses all aspects of this difficult journey for women.
Her book sales have exceeded a million copies, not counting those translated in other languages. She has spoken to audiences in 48 states and 12 nations, encouraging them in their daily and sometimes challenging walks of faith. Quin has three children and six grandchildren. You can contact Quin through her website at www.quinsherrer.com.
1. A Mother’s Guide to Praying For Your Children, Quin Sherrer, Chosen Books, Grand Rapids, MI: copyright 2011, pp.13-16