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.
We have now entered into spirit and heart preparation for the June 2 Worldwide Prodigal Prayer Day. Each week we will be going to God’s Word with open spirits and hearts to hear from Him, to be ready to enter into the battle for the souls of the wanderers we love. Our theme this year is Promise: He Is True to His Name.
Dear Lover of Prodigals,
Alone. Overwhelmed. Stretched. Sometimes these are the feelings we encounter as we continue on this journey with those we love. Others pray, encourage, share our burdens. But still we feel the weight.
Amazingly, our God offers to carry it all with us, for us. He says, “You’re not alone. I am with you.”
In both the Old Testament and the New Testament we discover God has revealed His names that promise that He will always be with us.
God, who we know is the Most High and Almighty God, makes the most remarkable choice: He dwells with His people—first in the Tabernacle and then in the Temple. In Ezekiel’s vision of the New Jerusalem we see a new name for the city: Jehovah Shammah. “And the name of the city from that time on will be: THE LORD IS THERE.” (Ezekiel 48:35)
In the past and in the future, we can know we are not alone because God’s very name assures us that He is with us.
In Isaiah 7:14 we see another name for God’s presence with us: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”
We are told by Matthew that this prophecy is fulfilled in Jesus: “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’).” (Matthew 1:20-23)
This what the incarnation is all about: God became human so He could be with us in the flesh. Oh, but this presence of our God with us is so much more in Jesus. He is not just with us—He actually lives in us. He doesn’t just dwell with us; He indwells us through His Spirit:
“Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (I Corinthians 3:16) Even as God dwelled with the children of Israel in a temple, now we actually have become the temple of the indwelling God.
So, though our wilderness journey with our prodigals may take us through dark nights, on rough paths, into scary situations and beyond our capacity to endure, God is with us every step of the way. He hears our cries, comforts our hearts, strengthens our resolve and fills us to overflowing with His love and grace.
We have this promise: “…God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’” (Hebrews 13:5)
As we approach our June 2 Worldwide Prodigal Prayer Day, my God’s presence be increasingly real to you. May you have courage and hope to not give up, but to keep praying and believing.
In His Name,
What about you? How does knowing God is with you encourage you?
C2018 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.
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