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 just completed our annnual June 2 Worldwide Prodigal Prayer Day. The logical next questions is: Now What Do We Do?
Dear Lover of Prodigals,
Once again we did it! We prayed for all those names on our list of treasured prodigals, as well as our own beloved wanderers. What a privilege!
And what a battle! I am always exhausted at the end of the 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)
All spring we learned of names of God that are promises to us–promises that God will be faithful and true to His names. Jesus assured us, Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. (John 16:24)
We discovered that He is the most high and all-sufficient one; a God who sees and hears; our shepherd and peace; our help and deliverer; our provider and victory; always with us; and a faithful promise keeper.
So what do we do now that we have prayed?
We wait–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.
We trust–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)
We thank–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 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 lovingkindness. We are His primary means of extending that love and grace that will (eventually) draw them back to God and to us.
We Hope—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 as we ask in the name of Jesus.
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—to “keep on asking, seeking and knocking.”
May you remember that His names are promises of who He is and what He is like.
What about you? Will you still be praying for a prodigal you know or love?
c2018 Judy Douglass