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Why Praying For Your Prodigal matters

Encouraging Prayer / James Banks
The Truth Network Radio
February 19, 2022 12:00 pm

Why Praying For Your Prodigal matters

Encouraging Prayer / James Banks

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February 19, 2022 12:00 pm

James Banks and Robby Dilmore discuss praying for a lost family member whether it be a parent or cousin. The two discuss how to pray for the lost ones and how to approach them in a loving way.

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Hi, this is Roy Jones with ManTalk Radio Podcast. Our mission is to break down the walls of race and denomination.

Your chosen Truth Radio Broadcast will be starting in just a few seconds. Thank you. And now, here's James. So today on Encouraging Prayer, we're going to talk about why it is so important to pray for the prodigals in our lives. And this is a timely topic, James, because I understand the 10th anniversary edition of your book, Prayers for Prodigals, is coming out this month. And as a matter of fact, I got a notification from Amazon along those lines.

I'm so excited about this, Robbie. We've updated the book with prayer helps for the reader, additional ways they can each day, and it has an updated list of resources to help parent goals. And it even has questions and helps for group discussion for each week, you know, instructions for how groups can pray together. So, you know, I think it's just great improvements on the book.

How exciting, really. Really, God has so blessed this book, and it's really kind of just taken over all over the world. So let's talk about, you know, really why this is so important. The main reason why this is important is we want what only God can do in our prodigals' lives. And if you have someone in your life that you love who is a prodigal, you know how many times you've tried to make a difference for them. With my own prodigals, I tried persuading them and disciplining them and doing whatever I could, you know, trying to be bad.

But what I discovered in the end was that my own strength just wasn't enough. What we're after is what, again, as I said, only God can do. God can reach in and touch our prodigal's hearts when all of our efforts have failed. You know, He loves to help us and give us comfort and wisdom along the way. And the point is that God knows the way into your prodigal's life and has resources for going there that we never even thought of. That's so true. And, you know, what is one of the main things you would say He's done for you personally as you've prayed for prodigals?

That's an awesome question because, of course, you know, we've seen one prodigal come home, my son, Jeffrey, who at one point in his life was caught up in drug abuse and is a youth pastor today, you know. Right. Both of you wrote a book about that. Hope lies ahead.

Yes, yes. But many don't know that we have another prodigal that we're still praying for to come home to Jesus. And if I were to look at the things God has done for me along the way, as I prayed, I think one of the main things is He's helped me learn how to love because there have been times when I wasn't praying, when I'd react in anger or just handle things humanly, you know, the way I thought parenting should be. And so often it didn't help or it just made things worse. And that's one reason why prayer is so important because it helps us get our love from God and God changes our hearts and He can bring this whole new perspective in. Yeah, and He can also give us the patience, really, to go the distance.

Absolutely. Let's talk about that because parents of prodigals can be heartbroken. They had such they had such different dreams for their child and they see the one they love hurting themselves and suffering because they're far from God. You know, life is tough, but it's tougher without God. And what we really need in those moments is the heart work that God does.

We need to go into our room and close the door and talk it out and cry and question and do whatever we need to do so that we can be absolutely real with God about whatever is going on. And what I found God does as I do that is He meets me. I begin to sense His presence in unexpected places. And what that feels like can be many things.

I mean, He may comfort me or quietly direct me or convict me about something, but it always feels like love and peace because that's who He is, the God of peace. And just a moment with Him like that can give us, you know, the patience that we need to go the distance. It's like this oasis in the desert where suddenly you get the strength you need to go on. But it's better than that because no matter how long the journey may be, you can keep coming back to the well.

Wow. I mean, you know, James, this is such a matter of the heart, really, isn't it? And it helps to know that God's heart for those of us who have prodigals in our lives really is a heart of love. He's not going to whack us when we come to Him or say something like, have you seen that other kid who has all the honors? And, you know, like those bumper stickers you see, it's like, man, He's going to meet us. He's going to meet us with love every time.

And, you know, I really see what you mean. If we get our love from Him, that's going to make a difference in our prodigal's lives. It really will. And if we just get with Him and keep going there, again, that's why it's so important. He'll give us encouragement and wisdom. And that's really only the beginning of what He can do. Just the beginning?

What does that mean? Well, I mean, what we really want is to see Him move in power in our prodigal's lives. And one of the things He does as we come to Him is He increases our faith. And really just a little faith, the size of a mustard seed, really makes such a difference?

Yeah, that's it. I mean, even if it takes years, and sometimes we may not see our prodigal come home in our lifetime, but when God gives us faith about something, He gives us assurance as well. It's like He who exists outside of time is able to reach into the future and touch us at the same time, you know, one hand on each moment, so that we know, even though we haven't seen it happen yet, but it's just, you know, some of the amazing things He can do with His power. Wow, I love that, James.

Really. So before we wrap up, let's talk about the importance of praying with others for a prodigal as well. Well, it may be just one or two people or a whole group, but we need this. I mean, that's why we added this whole new section to the book, because when we pray for our prodigals together, it's like an illustration I used in the book, carrying them on stretchers of faith to Jesus. Think about the man that was lowered through the roof to Jesus. The Bible says Jesus saw their faith and healed him, so our collective faith together makes a difference, and we encourage each other, and our faith grows as we believe together. I think God has a lot of unexpected gifts for us along this way. So that's a neat picture, and it helps so much to know we're not alone, right, and that others are praying for us. James, would you conclude our time today by praying for those who are praying for prodigals?

Absolutely. Let's pray. Father, thank you that we can come to you. Thank you that we can come to you together and individually, but Lord, thank you that most of all, you love our prodigals more than we do, and Father, oh, we long to see you move, and I pray for strength in those parents' lives, and Lord, just for a new heart in our prodigal's lives, that they may know you and love you, and we affirm, Lord, that you are faithful, and we look to you, and we know you know how to give good gifts to your children, and so, Father, we look forward to what you will do. In Jesus' name, amen. You can hear more from Pastor James by visiting his website, jamesbanks.org, or by visiting Peace Church in Durham, North Carolina. May God bless you and encourage you as you pray.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-02 23:21:22 / 2023-06-02 23:25:10 / 4

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