For this week’s Monday Minute, Muriel talks about how we are all prodigal children and that coming to the end ourselves is the best thing God can let happen to us.
Prodigals: Coming to The End of Ourselves
by Muriel Gregory
I am a prodigal. But aren’t we all? Do we not all have this moment in our lives when we are faced with the question, “Do I believe what I say I believe?”
Wonderful parents raised me, but I was not raised in a Christian home. My grandmother is the one who took me to mass and introduced me to God. I do not remember a time when I doubted God’s existence.
Life with its challenges, its doubts, its unanswered questions… Life took me down a wayward path. I think I called it exploring. Did I believe in God? Yes, but I also saw pain and suffering and war. Did I know that Jesus was the son of God? Yes, but I could not figure out how to attain a personal relationship with someone who lived two thousand years ago. Modern life did not seem to have a place for such archaic beliefs.
I loved my grandmother very much, and we corresponded until the day she died. If I were to pull out her letters today, I am sure I could find on many of them the simple yet impactful sentence “I prayed for you.” I know she did. Until the day she died.
Maybe you have a prodigal child.
According to the dictionary, prodigal means spending money or resources freely and recklessly; being wastefully extravagant. What is being wasted here is the relationship with God and the promise of the Kingdom of Heaven.
We find a beautiful story in the first chapter of the gospel of Mark. Jesus is doing what Jesus always does: healing, preaching, reaching the masses, and then retreating to a quiet place to pray and recharge. The interesting verse comes right after that.
And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, and they found him and said to him, “everyone is looking for you.
There are two beautiful and essential truths written there. The first one is that EVERYONE looks for Jesus. No matter the choices we make, the paths we take, the hardships we encounter, we are all looking for Jesus. The problem is that most of the time, we do not know Jesus is what we are looking for.
The other beautiful thing in those two verses is that the disciples went and looked for Jesus to tell him that people were looking for him.
If you have a prodigal, go and tell Jesus that he or she is looking for him. Pray with a sincere heart, knowing that God is already at work in that situation.
- Pray against the enemy. Prodigals are amid spiritual warfare (Luke 22:31-32).
- Pray specific scriptures over them. Psalm 18:16-19 is an excellent place to start.
- Pray for a heart of brokenness. A brokenness that will lead to healing. Sometimes we need to come to the end of ourselves to encounter Jesus.
Prodigal also means having or giving something on a lavish scale.
And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.
Luke 15:21-24 (emphasis mine)
God is a prodigal God, and he anxiously waits for all his children to come home so he can lavishly love on them. My grandmother always prayed for me, and I am forever thankful she did. I was lost, and now I’m found. One day in heaven, I will celebrate with her.
Pause Having a prodigal child or family member is a heavy burden. Pause first and allow yourself to be filled with the Spirit. Allow God’s love to fill your heart and quiet your mind.
Pray, Pray with the knowledge that God is already at work. Pray, thanking him for what he has already done. Remember to pray the promise, not the problem.
Worship God loves your child more than you do. That is cause to worship. Worship turns our gaze up. When I worship, I seek his kingdom first and trust in the promise (Matthew 6:33).
Lord, I am forever grateful for your lavish love. I pray for our broken world and against the schemes of the enemy. I pray for the hearts of all your wayward kids to be strengthened. May they all find their way to you again. Amen.
If you would like the Planting Root Prayer team to pray specifically for you, please submit your confidential request through our Prayer Request Page.