Tuesday – Turning point
“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”
When children don’t turn to God or when they leave the church, their parents often reproach themselves that they were not good enough parents or Christians. Raising children is at its core a very hard job that is beyond human strength and that is why it always depends on God’s grace, which covers all our sins as parents. Our children will find the way home to their real Father. However, many parents cannot forgive themselves for their failures.
A big problem in the relationships with prodigal sons is resignation and giving up on them, which prevents many people from still having faith and praying for them. Here are a few possible guidelines for a new hope through prayer:
The Journey Back
When we look at the prodigal son’s journey back to the father, we can find nine prayer topics. Some of them we can use in our prayers for our prodigals, be it our husband or wife, our children, or parents, who have either walked away from God or do not know Him yet.
- The situation, in which he finds himself, is beyond his control or experience.
- He is becoming aware of his real needs, and that even after all his attempts, he is not able to fulfill them (verses 14 and 17).
- He has time (alone at work), when he begins to think and realize what is happening to him and how he is doing.
- He remembers the blessings of his Father’s house.
- He begins to see things as they really are. Pray for a spirit of revelation (Ephesians 1:17) and truth (John 16:13), that he would be able to see (Luke 4:18) and be free from lies and deception.
- He realizes that what he did was wrong. Pray that the Holy Spirit would convict him of his sin (John 16:8).
- He reacts with a humble and repentant heart. Pray that his heart would resemble that of David (Psalm 51).
- He remembers (or he is shown through revelation) the true character of the Father. Pray Bible passages over him, for example Numbers 14:18a, Romans 8:38-39.
- He has the courage to return to his Father. Pray that he would see Jesus as “The Way” (John 14:6).
- Pray for parents, who don’t know what to do with their children.
- Encourage parents, whose children have abandoned God, to talk about their feelings and then pray for them.
- Pray for the parents of young children in the church. Pray that they would not rely only on themselves in their children’s upbringing, but would rather rely on God who knows what every child needs.
- Pray for the deliverance from feelings of guilt and unforgiveness towards ourselves.