Pray While You’re Pulling Weeds

By Sandra P. Aldrich

Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17

On days when I face a tedious to-do list, I ponder a childhood scene from my Kentucky farm days. Our neighbors were hard workers with healthy livestock and productive gardens. But one farmer, whom I’ll call Abe, preferred sitting to working.

Each morning, he’d sit on his front porch and watch the sun rise above the rolling hills. In the evening, he’d sit on his back steps and watch the sun go behind the hickory trees. Each spring, in a burst of energy, he’d plant a big garden but then neglect it. His family often ran short of food and would need help from neighbors.

My “waste not, want not” grandmother, Mama Farley, was growing increasingly frustrated. Finally, the day came when she grabbed my five-year-old hand, and we marched down the road to Abe’s house. As usual, he was sitting on his porch.

“Well, now,” he said. “What brings y’all out so early?”

Mama got right to the point. “Abe, you’ve planted another fine garden, but it’s going to weed—just like before. You’ve got a family to feed.”

He shrugged. “Now, Miz Farley, the Lord always provides. All I have to do is pray.”

Mama frowned. “Well, Abe,” she said. “Why don’t you pray while you’re in your garden pulling weeds?”

Now these years later, I try to pull my daily “weeds” by doing what I can do. And I pray with each responsibility. Amazingly, Mama’s advice still works.

Lord, my to-do list often is too large. But thank you that as I invite your help and do my part, you will do yours.

Sandra P. Aldrich is an award-winning author and international speaker. Visit her at