This is the follow-up post to a weekly series of mini-devotionals on By the Spirit, which was the theme of the 2017 June 2 Worldwide Prodigal Prayer Day. This letter goes to the members of the Prayer for Prodigals community, but it is true for all of us.
Dear Lover of Prodigals,
We did it! We prayed for all those names on our list of treasured prodigals. What a privilege!
What a powerful place in the Kingdom effort we have! Everywhere I go I see ever greater evidence of the intensifying efforts of the evil one to capture hearts and minds—especially of young people—and carry out his steal, kill and destroy agenda. God calls His people to battle—on their knees.
And what a battle! I am always exhausted at the end of Prodigal Prayer Day. We—and those we pray for—have an enemy who doesn’t like that we are on our knees on their behalf. But “thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere.” (2 Corinthians 2:14)
So what do we do now? What follows a Prodigal Prayer Day?
–to see what God is doing. Sometimes we will see immediate answers; other times we await the unfolding of change. He is often kind to give us little glimpses of His response to our prayers. Some of us will rejoice in amazing transformation. Mostly we will wait.
–God heard and is answering our prayer. We have great assurance from God’s Word that He desires for our prodigals to return to Him—and to us. So we take comfort from these verses: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” (1 John 5:14-15)
–God is working even when we don’t see it. We are admonished to give thanks in all things, even when we don’t observe what we hope for. We commit to a prodigal prayer day, but then we must remember that we look through that dark glass—God is always working even if we can’t discern what He is doing.
We give love and grace—
–as the hands and heart of our Savior to our loved prodigals. Our Father says He will woo them back with His loving-kindness. We are His primary means of extending that love and grace that will (eventually) draw them back to God and to us.
–because we have a strong anchor to hold our hope—Jesus Himself. We remember that God’s promises are all YES in Christ, so we have confidence to keep on hoping.
We walk in the Spirit—
–remembering and appropriating all the Spirit offers to us, as we have been studying. He advocates, encourages, comforts, reveals truth, liberates, gives peace, fights for us, empowers. We do this moment by moment.
And we pray—
–with hope, with perseverance, with assurance. A day set aside to pray for prodigals is wonderful, engaging us and our God for release of His grace and power. But we still need to keep praying. Many new friends have joined our community and many more names to pray for have come to us this year. I encourage you to continue to visit the prayer center and to pray through the “big list” to “keep on asking, seeking and knocking.
Please let us know as you see God’s hand at work in the life of your prodigal after our prodigal prayer day. You can share with us here and here, or just reply to this letter.
May you walk in the Spirit as you keep loving and praying,
What about you? How will you continue to pray?
c2016 Judy Douglass
Our yearly day of prayer is June 2. But our community prays all year. 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.