Ruth Bell Graham’s 5 Truths on Prodigals and Those Who Love Them

by | Apr 28, 2016 | Parenting

Each day, the BGEA team hears from parents, grandparents, siblings and friends who desperately want their wayward loved ones to come back to God.

If you’re praying for a prodigal, we hope you’ll find wisdom and encouragement from the words of Ruth Bell Graham, who spent countless hours praying for her own prodigals.

The excerpts below are from Mrs. Graham’s book, Prodigals and Those Who Love Them.

1. It’s important to have a plan. Consider this poem from Mrs. Graham:

I will—
Encourage.
Keep communications open at all times.
Let them know they are loved and welcome at home, always.
Permit the children to disagree with me, provided they do it respectfully. (And I find occasionally they are right and I am wrong).
Make a clear distinction between moral and nonmoral issues.
Encourage.

2. Your own walk with God must come first. Mrs. Graham wrote about a time when she was worried about her son, Franklin, and his friend, who were planning to go on a dangerous trip.

I needed to recommit my life to God before I could ask that He do that for them.

I prayed, “Lord, You take care of them. I need to settle some things in my own life with You.”

It is unrealistic to ask the Lord to do in someone else’s life that which we are unwilling for Him to do in ours.

I settled some things with God that day. The load lifted, and peace came.

3. Worship and worry cannot live in the same heart. One night when she was traveling far from home, Ruth Bell Graham was awakened in the middle of the night, thinking about one of her prodigals. She turned to Philippians 4:6-7:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Suddenly I realized the missing ingredient in my prayers had been “with thanksgiving.” So I put down my Bible and spent time worshipping Him for who and what He is. This covers more territory than any one mortal can comprehend. Even contemplating what little we do know dissolves doubts, reinforces faith and restores joy.

I began to thank God for giving me this one I loved so dearly in the first place. I even thanked Him for the difficult spots that taught me so much. And you know what happened? It was as if someone turned on the lights in my mind and heart, and the little fears and worries that had been nibbling away in the darkness like mice and cockroaches hurriedly scuttled for cover.

That was when I learned that worship and worry cannot live in the same heart: They are mutually exclusive.

4. There is always hope. I, as a mother, need to walk with God in loving obedience, feeding on His promises. If I lose heart, how can I be of any help?

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope” (Rom. 15:13).

5. Miracles are God’s department. “It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord” (Lam. 3:26).

We mothers must take care of the possible and trust God for the impossible.

We are to love, affirm, encourage, teach, listen and care for the physical needs of the family. We cannot convict of sin, create hunger and thirst after God, or convert.

These are miracles, and miracles are not in our department.

I bring those whom I love
to You,
commit each to
Your loving care:
then carry them away again
nor leave them there:
forgetting You
Who lived to die
(and rose again!)
care more than I.

So back I come
with my heart’s load,
confessing
my lack of faith
in You alone,
addressing
all I cannot understand
to You
Who do.

You know each heart,
each hidden wound,
each scar,
each one who played a part
in making those
we bring to You
the ones they are
(and dearer each to You
than us, by far),

So—
now I give them
to Your loving care,
with thankful heart,
—and leave them there. {eoa}
 

For the original article, visit billygraham.org.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Is He a God of Wrath or a God of Love?

Is He a God of Wrath or a God of Love?

Do you think the God of the Old Testament is a God of wrath, and the God of the New Testament is a God of love? The truth is that God is the same throughout the entire Bible. His wrath and His love are revealed in both the Old and the New Testaments. So why, then, did...

How You Can Have a Perfect Heart

How You Can Have a Perfect Heart

Your heart is the most important part of you. It’s not only a physical organ that keeps your blood pumping, but when the Bible refers to the heart, it’s talking about who you really are. Each person has an inner and an outer life. There’s the person we show to...

How the FBI Raid on Mar-a-Lago Is Spiritual Warfare

How the FBI Raid on Mar-a-Lago Is Spiritual Warfare

It's been a few days since the FBI raided President Donald Trump's home in Mar-a-Lago, and the Biden Administration has yet to explain to the American people why they did what's never been done in American history—the government raiding the home of a former president....

How the Holy Spirit Can Restore Your True Sanity

How the Holy Spirit Can Restore Your True Sanity

Most of my life I tried to avoid one thing—being crazy or insane. When I was growing up my mother had emotional issues and saw a psychiatrist regularly. She was on medication which only seemed to make her mood swings worse. She had high highs, and low lows. When I...

Israel Prophecy: The Enemy is Stirring an Unimaginable Conflict

Israel Prophecy: The Enemy is Stirring an Unimaginable Conflict

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJFFqAgykmU A cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian militants took effect late Sunday in a bid to end nearly three days of violence that killed dozens of Palestinians and disrupted the lives of hundreds of thousands of Israelis,...

RECENT ARTICLES

Why Partial Obedience to God is Disobedience

My husband had a saying for our children growing up. “Partial obedience is disobedience.” He wanted them to understand that doing half the plan would not get them the full reward. Another reminder...
Kingdom Economics: Why is America Declining Spiritually So Quickly?

Kingdom Economics: Why is America Declining Spiritually So Quickly?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a surprisingly strong July Employment Report.  Total nonfarm employment was 528K (398K previously, 250K expected).  Private nonfarm employment was 471K (404K previously, 230K expected). The headline unemployment rate dropped to...

Can You Discern Spiritual Wind?

Can You Discern Spiritual Wind?

The wind is a funny thing. We do not know where it comes from nor where it goes. We cannot see it, but we can see and feel its effects. Wind can be gentle and refreshing, cold or hot, strong, and dangerous, and everything in between. When the wind blows, we must...

Messianic Rabbi: He That Has an Eye, Let Him Hear

Messianic Rabbi: He That Has an Eye, Let Him Hear

It is interesting that, as a Messianic rabbi the question I am asked most often by Christians is if I believe that they as Christians have to celebrate, or observe, the biblical Holy Days. They are usually asking about those days listed in Leviticus 23: Shabbat, Yom...

How the Holy Spirit Is Preparing America

How the Holy Spirit Is Preparing America

As the crackdown against Christianity in America grows, it is a cycle believers have seen before. While no one celebrates their religious freedom coming under attack, God has used this persecution to great effect throughout history. Over the centuries, there have been...

Dealing Effectively with the Dynamics of Change

Dealing Effectively with the Dynamics of Change

Change can be challenging. Some people look forward to change and embrace it. Some people dread change and try to avoid it. Since change is inevitable, so here are some of the dynamics surrounding change and the specific strategies to deal with change more...

God’s Holy Interruption Is Coming Soon

God’s Holy Interruption Is Coming Soon

This past weekend I preached at The Roads Church, a charismatic congregation located in the tiny town of Norris City, Illinois. Located amid cornfields, the population is only 1,325, but almost that many people visit the church on weekends. They come from all over...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]