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,
When my husband had a major birthday a few years ago, I decided I would do a photo album to celebrate his life. I was late in that decision and needed to gather early pictures and later pictures from family, friends and coworkers.
So for several weeks I was always working on the photo album. I kept it a secret—he could not see what I was doing. On the day of his birthday, I presented him with a beautiful photo book. He was totally surprised and delighted. He had had no idea that I was working on it.
In a similar—but certainly not the same—way, God is working through the hard times we walk through with our loved ones. We just can’t see it yet, but He will reveal it at the right time.
He is doing two major kinds of work.
First, He is working on and in our prodigals. He is protecting them from the world, the flesh and the devil. He is using choices and circumstances to show the consequences of destructive decisions. He is reminding them of love and provision and opportunities they have enjoyed in the past.
He is wooing them with offers of forgiveness and assurance of His great love for them. He is relentlessly pursuing them. He loves them more than we do and He will not give up.
Second, He is also working on and in us—those who love those prodigals. He is committed to forming the likeness of Christ in us—to helping us become more and more like Jesus. At least in my life, that has been a formidable task.
How does He do it? By surfacing areas of pride and self-will and fear and grumbling and greed and unforgiveness—you know what yours are—so we see how much we need Him. With gentleness He loosens our clenched fists and coaxes us to “let it go” or “lay it down” so He can replace it with His holiness and love and mercy and grace. He opens our eyes to see His good plans for us—and through us.
Sometimes we are aware of his work in us. Other times we are surprised by the changes He has worked. But know this—He is always working.
Suddenly or subtly, we recognize that He is God and He is good. We begin to truly believe He can be trusted—in our wanderers’ lives and in our lives.
He has given us this wonderful promise in Philippians 1:6: “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Trusting in His goodness,
What about you? When have you been surprised at what God was doing?
C2019 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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