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 Treasures in the Wilderness.
Dear Lover of Prodigals,
I am pretty crazy about my grandchildren.
I pray for them so much. I love to talk with them, play with them, listen to them, snuggle with them. And I love to give them gifts—especially ones I know they will delight in.
We have a three-year birthday coming up. Her mom said a sand and water table would be perfect. The one I gave her cousins five years ago is still in delighted use. I’m sure, through the hot Florida summer, she will find great delight in splashing, pouring, throwing water everywhere.
Our God takes such delight in us as well. He loves to spend time with us, to splash blessings on us, to listen to our hurts and our hearts, to pour grace all over us.
And he feels the same way about our prodigals.
No, He does not love some of their choices. He is deeply saddened by the danger they place themselves in. His heart—like yours—is broken by the chains that bind them.
But He loves them. And delights in them.
Read some of the assurances of his delight:
“He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.” (2 Samuel 22:30)
“Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.” (Micah 7:18)
“The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17)
Watch this short video “Delight.” Please take a minute and a half to view this story of a Father’s delight in his child.
Do you see it? Even when we fail or make mistakes or sin greatly, our God of grace and mercy forgives, redeems, restores—and delights in us.
As He does our loved ones. He is crazy about you and the one you love.
Then this: The most likely way God will express His grace, mercy and delight to our wanderers will be through us. Even as they know we don’t like, approve of, agree with some of their choices and activities, when we extend love, mercy and grace to them, they can see God in us.
As we allow the love and grace and mercy that God has given to us to flow through us, our prodigals will begin to understand God’s great delight in them.
Can we do this? I pray we can.
P.S. And one of the best ways we express our love for them is to pray for them. Every day, many times. But specifically for ours and others on the June 2 Worldwide Prodigal Prayer Day. By yourself at home or in a special place, with a few friends, at your church…. I will pray on and off through the day, then gather with friends at our home from 7-9. During that time we each very briefly tell our story and pray for that person. Then we pray through the list.
That’s the big thing—to pray from the list. We have promised that every name on the list will be brought to God on His throne of grace. Hopefully many times as people around the globe bow heads and hearts before the Lord.
A brief reminder: My book, When You Love a Prodigal: 90 Days of Grace for the Wilderness, is drawn from the studies we have done in preparation for June 2 each year. I believe it will be a blessing to anyone who loves a prodigal, or is going through a hard time. It will release September 17, but you can pre-order it at Amazon now, which will cause Amazon to give it wider exposure to encourage more people.
What about you? How do you show delight?