A Prayer for Your Prodigal
By Cindi McMenamin
“Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once more” (Psalm 71:20-21).
How do you trust God and not worry when you see your child start spiraling downward?
How can you know when to say something and when to let your child work it out?
How can you trust that God ultimately has "good" in mind when it all looks so bad?
One of the most intense concerns a mother has for her children, apart from her concerns for their physical safety, is her concern for their spiritual condition. We fear our children will turn their backs on their faith and all they were taught and needlessly stumble through life.
That situation can not only be fearful, but it can make us feel so helpless.
I asked hundreds of moms to share with me their secret to maintaining hope for a wayward child, even if the situation looks hopeless. Their answer is always the same. Their hope is in God, not their child, and God's ability to turn that child's heart back toward home.
Janice, who witnessed her daughter self destruct into drugs and a dangerous lifestyle for several years, saw God turn her daughter’s heart around. But, she said, her only comfort during the season of her daughter's rebellion was praying Scripture over her daughter. Isaiah 49:16 was especially encouraging to her.
"See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me."
While that verse prophetically refers to the nail prints in Jesus' hands, it symbolizes to us that Jesus knew each and every person by name that He would die for; those nail prints were like an engraved name on His hand.
Children will hear our voices in their heads. And they may try to shut out that voice at times if their hearts are hardened. Children will also hear their friends' and peers' voices, and the voice of the enemy seeking to lead them astray. But we want God's voice – the the voice of His Holy Spirit – to be louder than anyone else's voice.
Insert your child's name in this prayer and pray it often:
Create in _________________ a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within him/her (Psalm 51:10). Though you have made ______________ see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore ____________'s life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring _____________ up. You will increase ________________'s honor and comfort ____________ once again (Psalm 71:20-21). Thank You that Your word says I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate ___________ from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Editor’s Note: Content taken from the article “7 Ways to Pray When Your Child Goes Astray” by Cindi McMenamin. You can read that piece in full here. All rights reserved.
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Originally published Friday, 07 January 2022.