As part of our Summer Worship Gathering in July, we spent time praying. What a moving experience to be in a room full of women, pouring their hearts out to the Lord.
We prayed for prodigals in our life, for our city, our church, our world, and each other. We covered some territory! That is the powerful gift God has given us in prayer. No matter where we are—in a cubicle, a hospital bed, a corner office, on a walk, in a public school or in prison, we can communicate with the God of the Universe, who has the ability to affect people and situations anywhere.
In the days ahead, we’ll be sending out specific ways to pray which are in keeping with how we prayed at the Summer Worship Gathering.
Today, you’ll hear from Lisa Diehl on how to pray for prodigals.
As the mom of a prodigal, I know. It is gut-wrenching to see our loved ones walk away from the Lord and from our families. I have shed many tears over our son, often in a puddled messy heap in the middle of the floor of our home. But as long as our sons and daughters are breathing, ladies, THERE. IS. HOPE. So, we watch the horizon expectantly from the porch for that long-awaited return. Allow me to share a few things I’ve come to learn in the waiting:
1. We MUST RELEASE our loved ones into the Lord’s protective care.
God cannot work with our meddling hands! When we let go of our sons/daughters, we release them to the most beautiful and safe place they can possibly be—in the hands of the Almighty Father. Our release allows our own hands the freedom to grab hold of Jesus and cling to Him alone.
• Read “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young, August 23 devotion
2. SPEAK LIFE into the lives of our loved ones and about them!
Proverbs 18:21 says, “The power of life and death are in the tongue and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
Do you say things to others along the lines of, “Oh that’s just how he/she is” or “He’ll never change?”
Proverbs 23:7 tells us, “For as he calculates in his soul, so is he….”
Do we try to have hope, but inwardly bring doubt to the table?
I challenge you to recognize that careless thoughts and words spoken about your loved one are an unwitting partnership with the enemy and it speaks death to the possibility of change. May it never, EVER be!!! Be that change you want to see and, as the prodigal father did in Luke 15, anticipate with great expectancy the coming celebration when your loved one returns.
3. CLING to BIBLICAL PROMISES. When you’re weary in the journey, be reminded of the many scriptural promises of hope:
Jeremiah 31:16 – “Thus says the Lord: Keep your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for there is a reward for your work, declares the Lord, and THEY SHALL COME BACK FROM THE LAND OF THE ENEMY.”
I used to cry often. No more! I cling to this promise daily! Here are a couple of other examples:
“Moreover the Lord your God will circumcise your heart AND THE HEART OF YOUR DESCENDANTS to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live.”
— Ezekiel 37:21
“….the desire of the righteous WILL BE GRANTED.”
— Proverbs 10:24
4. PRAY. Linger LONG with the Lord in intercessory prayer.
Romans 12:12 reminds us to “Rejoice in hope, be patient in affliction, be constant in prayer.”
• Pray for brokenness in the one gone astray. Pray “whatever it takes”…and mean it.
• Pray for the Lord to use someone who will love our sons/daughters with His love and melt their hearts with His grace.
• Pray for the Lord to change YOU. Ask Him what new thing He wants you to see about Him. He says “Call to me and I will answer you and show you great and hidden things you do not already know.” -Jeremiah 33:3
• Pray for His strength to sustain you in the waiting. Let’s RUN with endurance the race set before us until we see our loved ones come home! -Hebrews 12:1
Finally, I also pray Isaiah 62 over our son every day inserting his name in every verse. He WILL be called “Redeemed, not forsaken!”
In the meantime, while we are waiting for the Lord’s perfectly timed restoration, as long as our eyes are on Him—the view from the porch is glorious!
— Lisa Diehl