Reach Out to Your Prodigal Child
- Friday, December 15, 2006
Conquer fear. Let your fear draw you closer to God by causing you to rely on Him more. Ask God to reassure you of His constant presence with you. Pray specifically about each fear that’s haunting you, asking God to help you with each one and give you peace through the process. Recognize that every fear is just a shadow that will disappear in the power of God’s light.
Use your anger constructively. Don’t succumb to bitterness or rage, which will only harm you. Instead, respond to your anger in ways that will help you. Pray for the wisdom you need to deal with your anger wisely. Make a list of everything you’re angry about. Express your concerns to a trusted friend or family member, and ask what that person thinks would happen if you told your prodigal child your feelings. Decide whether or not to express your feelings to your child on the basis of whether or not you think doing so will have a positive effect on your relationship. Find physical ways to release tension, such as exercise or a massage. Confess your inadequacy to handle your anger without God’s help, and ask God to help you do so. Generate options for using your anger to solve problems. Change what you can change, and stop trying to change what you can’t change. Recognize the pattern in how you usually respond to anger, and work to learn more effective responses. Consider attending seminars or meeting with a trained counselor to get fresh ideas. List all your resentments (small and large), and ask God to free you from each of them. Don’t let anger destroy what is good in your life. Pray for the peace that only comes from God.
Grieve your losses. List what you’ve lost because of your prodigal child’s rebellion. Reflect on the impact those losses has had on your life. Then assess what’s left, and appreciate it (for example, if you have other children who are close to God, be grateful for that and invest yourself in their lives). Ask yourself what’s possible for you now, in light of your losses. Choose to rely on God’s grace and mercy and trust that God still cares for both you and your prodigal child. Never give up praying for your child, no matter how hopeless his or her current circumstances seem to be. Remember that God can transform even the worst circumstances into miraculous healing, so offer your circumstances – and your child’s – to Him.
Pray for protection. Realize that your prayers are like missiles that can be aimed at intercepting the dangers threatening your prodigal child. Pray regularly for your child’s protection from illicit sex, alcohol addiction, false religions, deceitful money schemes, and other destructive forces. Ask for protection from temptation, evil, people who do evil, negative influences, Satan, sin, and wrong thinking. Be persistent, praying for the God to intervene in every situation that comes to your mind. Trust God to use the bad experiences your prodigal child goes through to open his or her eyes to the truth and guide him or her toward wiser decisions. Please your child’s case before God, remembering that He is merciful. Believe that God is reaching out to your child, even when you can’t see that happening.
Plead for repentance. Pray that your prodigal child will repent, choose to seek God passionately, overcome pride and lies, and surrender control of his or her life to Jesus’ wisdom and care. Ask God to help your child hear God calling, recognize and admit his or her sin, feel the pain of separation from God’s love, turn away from sin and toward God, be willing to become wise with God’s help, and change for the better. Make sure you’re regularly repenting of what you need to repent of in your own life before interceding for your child’s repentance. Continue to offer your prodigal child unconditional love, if you’re in contact with him or her.
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