Once a month I write a letter to the wonderful Prayer for Prodigals community I am part of. Often those letters, though specific to those who love a prodigal, apply to any or all of us in the challenging circumstances of life. In this post we look at the enemy who takes captives and the rescuer who sets free.
Dear Lover of Prodigals,
Have you seen much of the enemy lately?
Sometimes it seems that, no matter what you do to rescue your prodigal, to win her heart, to capture his mind, nothing works. Even when your prodigal is seeking to change patterns, to make better choices, to turn things around, they can’t catch a break.
Someone is opposing them. His name is Satan.
Our enemy is a roaring lion
Satan is a very real “player” in our journeys with our wanderers. Peter warns us, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” Jesus reminds us that “the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy…” (1 Peter 5:8; John 10:10)
He is so subtle, clever, crafty—and evil. His plan is to capture hearts and minds, even to enslave those we love. He entices and tempts and blinds and deceives.
Our rescuer offers freedom
But our God offers freedom. Jesus said He came to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free. He came to rescue our prodigals—and us.
I often read in Isaiah and always God speaks to me, this time through several verses in Isaiah 49. I realize these verses concern the children of Israel and the promise of their return to their land. But every time I read them, God whispers to me that He will set free far more than Israel many centuries ago.
So perhaps these Words from our Lord, via Isaiah, will encourage you as well:
I have spent my strength for nothing…
Isaiah 49:3-4: “He said to me, ‘You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will display my splendor.’ But I said, ‘I have labored in vain; I have spent my strength for nothing…’”
That’s what it feels like sometimes, doesn’t it. We love, serve, encourage, discipline, spend—and PRAY! We are weary. Our strength is spent. And where is the result?
Isaiah 49:8-9: “This is what the Lord says: ‘In the time of my favor I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you;…to say to the captives, “Come out,” and to those in darkness, “Be free!”’”
I believe God is saying to us: “I will answer you.” And to our captives living in darkness: “Come out. Be free.”
Engraved you on the palms of his hands….
Isaiah 49:15-16: “I will not forget you! … See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands….”
How often I rest in the assurance He will not forget me—or you or any of our loved ones. The evidence—He has engraved us on His own palms.
Isaiah 49:25: “But this is what the Lord says: ‘Yes, captives will be taken from warriors, and plunder retrieved from the fierce; I will contend with those who contend with you, and your children I will save.’”
Every time I read this verse I see a picture of my prodigal—and your prodigals—in the grasp of the warriors of Satan, his demons fiercely holding them as plunder for the evil one.. But God says He will contend with those fierce warriors and will retrieve them and save them!! My heart leaps!
…will not be disappointed.
Isaiah 49:23: “Then you will know that I am the Lord; those who hope in me will not be disappointed.”
When I read that last phrase, God’s peace washes over me. My prayers and hope are not in vain. He is God and He is good. He will not disappoint.
May God confirm in your heart and your mind that He is in the battle with you, fighting for your loved one.
Grace and peace,
What about you? How has the enemy taken captive? How has God set free?
C2017 Judy Douglass
If you would be interested in requesting prayer for a prodigal loved one, or being a part of our wonderful praying community, respond in comments or write to me at PrayerforProdigals at gmaildotcom.