Praying for the Lost and Prodigal
By: Debbie McDaniel (Crosswalk)
Often in the midst of a fresh new year, in the hope of all it can bring, there¡¦s an ache that burdens us deep inside.
As believers we know where true hope is found. We¡¦re grateful for the love and forgiveness of Christ. We¡¦ve been set free. Redeemed for His purposes.
And yet not everyone shares our desire to walk close and stay connected to God in this life. There are some we love who have pushed away any need of Him, they¡¦ve chosen another path. And maybe they¡¦ve bought into the lie; that other things can satisfy. Maybe out of hurt or misunderstandings, they¡¦ve walked away. Broken relationships, pride, or harsh words may lead some to stay distant. There's a deep rift that seems almost impossible to ever reach.
They might even be right there beside us, a part of our family, or live in our homes, but spiritually, their hearts are far away¡K
No matter what the reason, or how far gone one seems to have traveled, it doesn¡¦t change this one truth. God¡¦s love reaches. It¡¦s never too short to save, He¡¦s never too weary of extending more grace.
His power is limitless.
His forgiveness is endless.
The very reason Christ came was to seek and to save that which was lost. He came to reach. It¡¦s what He does best. And the arm of the Lord is mighty and strong.
Yet sometimes, we lose our hope. We don¡¦t see how anything will ever change. The answer doesn¡¦t come. Maybe we get tired of praying. Of waiting. Or we fear for the future and eternal security of those we love most in this world.
We understand the reality that no one is guaranteed tomorrow. That deep burden can so tug at our souls, press on our minds, it¡¦s hard to move forward in faith.
God¡¦s hope for us this season¡KHe is Able. Keep on praying. Don¡¦t lose heart. Don¡¦t give up. Know and believe that He is at work, often behind the scenes where we can¡¦t see. He¡¦s ordering steps. Arranging appointments. He¡¦s protecting and shielding. He¡¦s covering and caring. He desires for all to come to Him and will stop at nothing to draw our loved ones to Himself.
Prayer is powerful. And praying God¡¦s Word over those we love is speaking His Truth over their lives, as it builds our own faith. We don¡¦t have to pray from an attitude of fear and worry, but we can pray strong prayers in the authority of Christ our Lord.
A Prayer for the Lost and the Prodigal:
You know our hearts, you hear our prayers, and care about all that concerns us. You understand the burden we carry and how we want, more than anything, to see our loved ones come to you. Help us to remember that you love them more than we ever could. And you desire to extend your great love and forgiveness, your mercy and hope.
Thank you that nothing is too difficult for you. Thank you that your power is unlimited and you came to set the captives free. Thank you that you wait, arms open, for the prodigal to return, that you look for his arrival to lavishly celebrate that he¡¦s come home.
We praise you for you are Redeemer and Rescuer, Savior and Lord. We know and believe that there¡¦s no pit so deep that your love can¡¦t reach us still. We understand that your mercies are new every morning, and your faithfulness is great.
Lord, we ask that you would halt the plans of the enemy over these we love as we bring them before you right now. We pray that his schemes be demolished and that your plans for good, for a future and hope, would prevail. Would you open blind eyes that they might see your Truth. Would you rescue those walking in darkness and heal the deep wounds of those who¡¦ve been hurt.
We pray for the miraculous intervention of your Spirit to draw them to yourself, to work strong on behalf of our loved ones who are lost and wandering.
For you came with good news, to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for captives and release for the prisoners.
Though we deserved penalty for our wrong, you stood in our place and took the blows on our behalf. You choose to die, so that we can live. Forever and free.
Lord, forgive our unbelief. Forgive the times we¡¦ve doubted that you could ever change a distant heart. Forgive our hard-heartedness, our weariness, or forgetfulness to ¡§pray continually.¡¨
Thank you that you never give up on us.
Remind us of how you¡¦ve changed our own hearts. How your miracle of life and hope has sprung up deep within our souls.
We love you Lord, we need you, and we thank you that you hear our prayers and are at work even now.
Powerfully. Faithfully. Miraculously.
Thank you for the gift of our Savior, God with us. Thank you for your goodness and love¡K
In Jesus¡¦ Name,
Some Verses of Hope that Remind Us God Is at Work, Saving the Lost and Restoring the Prodigal:
¡§The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners¡K¡¨ Is. 61:1
"For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.¡¨ Luke 19:10
¡§¡KWith man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Matt. 19:26
¡§The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.¡¨ Lam. 3:22-23
¡§The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.¡¨ 2 Pet. 3:9