3 Ways to Pray for Your Prodigal Child

by | Mar 25, 2016 | Woman

One day during his senior year in high school, my son left the house taking a car and money withdrawn from his savings account. He sent me this text: “Don’t try to find me.” We knew he had depression and was smoking marijuana, but now we realized that he was an addict using all kinds of drugs. I was frantic.

Have you ever thought you were losing the spiritual battle over your child as one thing after another goes wrong even as you pray with all your heart? Do you have a child who is in trouble with drugs, alcohol, sexual promiscuity or sexual identity issues, eating disorders, self-injuring, depression, suicide attempts or other mental health disorders, legal troubles, or behavioral issues?

Continuing to pray boldly when circumstances are getting worse and worse is a struggle. I know. I have been there.

Here are some things the Lord has taught me through our family’s journey.

1. Pray in increasing faith not fear.

Over time, I began to see that my prayers, as fervent as they were, needed a totally new framework. With the situation with my son, I felt I had to pray for every possible scenario I could think of each day since I didn’t know where he was, what dangers he was facing, or if he was even alive.

The Lord gently revealed to me that this kind of incessant praying wasn’t based on faith at all … it was based on fear. I was trying to control the situation in a different way. I could no longer control where my son was or whom he was with, but I would attempt to through prayer. This verse from 2 Chronicles 20:12 leapt off the page as I read it one morning:

“We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.”

I kept reading and came to verses 15-17:

“‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours but God’s. … Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you.'”

And through these verses, the Lord encouraged me to lay my son down at His feet each morning and stop praying all day. I could stand firm in my faith believing the Lord was at work whether I could see it or not. He knew what to do; I didn’t. And He always showed me the next step I was to take. I wanted to know the next twenty steps, but He would only show me the next one. This is how He increased my faith. Isaiah 30:15 confirmed it in my heart at the same time: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.”

2. Pray by releasing your prodigal.

There are times when it seems impossible to focus on concentrated prayer as you face one emergency after another. When spiritual attack is heavy and you are down in the miry pit, ask a few trusted friends to pray.

I love knowing that every prayer I have ever prayed sits in the golden bowls of incense in front of the throne of grace that we read about in Revelation 5 and 8. They are outside of time, with the Lord, in eternity. They are working whether we are able to pray another prayer or not. Christ intercedes continuously as pictured in Romans 8:34, and the Spirit intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express (Rom. 8:26). Intercession is happening.

In time, you will be able to pray again and focus. But for now, lay your child down at His feet and know you have put them in the best possible place. You may feel like you aren’t doing anything, but you have done what’s most important by releasing them to the Lord.

3. Pray persistently through hope in Christ.

I’ve learned new ways to pray for myself and my family. When I cry out to the Lord, here are some things that I ask Him.

For Myself

  • To enable me to let go of my shame and guilt, which is the best way I can help my children and others.
  • To keep me from deceiving myself and reveal sin that I am overlooking.
  • To not try to control or fix others and learn to change my responses.
  • To increase my faith (Luke 17:5) and help me overcome my unbelief (Mark 9:24).
  • To have faith like those in Hebrews 11 who never received what was promised (v. 39) so that I might pray boldly no matter what the circumstances.
  • To have courage to love as He loves, which means not withholding the hard consequences and possibly appearing unloving.

I remind myself that my hope is only in Christ, not in treatment centers, doctors, choices I or my family makes, circumstances, or anything else. My hope is only in Christ.

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

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...

The Biblical Way to Rise Above Mediocre Expectations

The Biblical Way to Rise Above Mediocre Expectations

We spend a lot of life figuring out if we “measure up,” a phrase someone coined in the mid-1800s. Even in childhood, we begin comparing ourselves with siblings and kids at school, and it never seems to stop. The problem goes back to Cain and Abel, doesn’t it? Most of...

RECENT ARTICLES

A Better Way to Witness to Others for Christ

”Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?” (Rom. 2:4). Looking...
Why Does God Want Us to Speak with Tongues?

Why Does God Want Us to Speak with Tongues?

Why speak with tongues? There are many reasons for speaking in a spiritual language. Primarily, though, the Scriptures require it. The apostle Paul commanded us, saying, “Pray in the Spirit always” (Eph. 6:18). Jude commanded it in verse 20, saying, “Pray in the Holy...

Why God’s Rebuilding is Better Than His Restoration

Why God’s Rebuilding is Better Than His Restoration

Often, I have prayed for the Lord to restore something in my life. Whenever I have gone through a hard season or a broken relationship, my prayers automatically petition the Lord to restore my situation. Whenever there is a loss, and you are going through the grieving...

Why America Must Adopt the Battle Cry of Isaiah

Why America Must Adopt the Battle Cry of Isaiah

A battle cry is used to summon armies to war. A loud, unified shout could intimidate the strongest of enemies. Confidence in battle often tilts the scale toward victory, whereas timidity, fear and cowardliness will surely lead to defeat. In these dreadful times, don’t...

Intentionally Raising a Godly Generation

Intentionally Raising a Godly Generation

Debbie put her faith in Christ at age 11. In fact, her whole family met Jesus at just about the same time. As her parents began growing in their faith, they nurtured growth in their children as well. Family Bible reading, prayer and talking about God’s leading in...

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-"]