When a farmer prays
At the root of rural America, at the core of modern agriculture and across both red and blue states, you’ll find faith-filled farmers and ranchers. Farmers harness the power of community, supporting one another in turbulent and joyous times.
Last week I spent time at a farm show in Fargo, North Dakota. Like most events, the Northern Ag Expo was canceled in 2020, so I enjoyed the small talk and chit-chat with the farmers and agribusiness professionals who stopped by our booth. During a few of my conversations, the tone changed, almost to a whisper, and the other person motioned for me to step away from the crowd and even lean in.
I’m not going to share the details of those conversations other than to mention they involved the topic of prayer. These specific farmers wanted to share how they prayed for our son, Hunter , and family and asked others to do the same, the past two years. They asked how Hunter is doing in graduate school, wanting to know how they could continue to pray for specific needs.
Pause for a second and think about strangers rallying around you and your family. It happens more than any of us know. Without being from the same town, county or even state, people still stand in the gap to pray for others — and at a farm show, I was humbled by the reminder: Farmers pray.
As farmers shared their stories, I was also reminded of a far greater calling in life. I was there for work but left with the reminder we all need prayer warriors. If you’ve never truly experienced the power of prayer in your life, my insight is to keep praying and you will.
The farmers who stopped me last week, their words, faces and intentions have stayed with me. First, they chose to share with me, which I deeply value and treasure.
Second, I believe farmers are unfairly painted in mainstream media with a broad brush when it comes to political views, socioeconomic status and cultural mindset.
Forget all of it.
At the root of rural America, at the core of modern agriculture and across both red and blue states, you’ll find faith-filled farmers and ranchers.
Farmers pray on their knees in their fields.
Farmers pray from the tractor cab.
Farmers pray alongside their momma cows in the pasture.
In the early morning, in the wee hours of the night, farmers pray.
On social media or even flippantly in conversation, we’ll write or say, “I’ll pray for you.” But do we follow through? Farmers do, though you’ll likely never know of their faithfulness to pray.
As the interactions from the farm show churned in my mind, I looked up a Pew religious landscape study on the frequency of prayer to learn 55% of us pray daily, 16% weekly, 6% monthly and 23% never or seldom pray.
It’s not only “old people” who pray. Actually, those between the ages of 30 and 49 are the top demographic to pray daily. The data highlights parents with children under age 18 and their frequency of prayer, which made me chuckle as I am in that 30% who pray daily for my tween and teen. It’s also not just Catholics, Orthodox Christians, Mainline or Evangelical Protestants who pray, of which I am one. Mormons, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindu, Jehovah’s Witness and other religious groups are accounted for in the study.
The frequency of prayer study reminded me we’re all more alike than different. We can overcome many trials through uniting through the power of prayer, rather than being fractured over our differences.
Farmers serve as examples of faithful prayer warriors, and while it might not be fully documented in a research study, I’ve heard and felt their prayers firsthand. Farmers harness the power of community, supporting one another in turbulent and joyous times.
We all should take note. Growing food for the world takes a lot of faith. The most dedicated, faith-filled folks I know are farmers. I am humbled to be a part of their community and prayers. Thank you, farmers. Thank you to all who pray.
Pinke is the publisher and general manager of Agweek. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or connect with her on Twitter @katpinke.