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Prodigal And Prayer

Encouraging Prayer / James Banks
The Truth Network Radio
May 13, 2023 12:00 pm

Prodigal And Prayer

Encouraging Prayer / James Banks

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May 13, 2023 12:00 pm

In this episode of Encouraging Prayer James Banks and Robby Dilmore discuss prodigals and prayer.

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And now, here's James. Can you tell us a little bit more about that aspect of your ministry? Sure, yeah. One of the things that we decided to do after Prayers for Prodigals came out was to put up a prodigal prayer wall on my website,, where people can anonymously post prayer requests and also answers for their loved ones and pray for others who are going through the same thing. Because it's so important for those who are praying for prodigals to know that they are not alone. And we also have a prayer team that lifts up the needs behind the scenes, and we also pray for the prayer needs that come in at our prayer meetings at Peace Church. And really, we get requests from all around the world.

Oh, I know. That's right. And how many languages has Prayers for Prodigals been translated into? Well, at least four that I know of. Of course, it's in five.

Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, and again, of course, English. So you were telling me before that we went on the air about a letter that came in on your site from one of your readers. Yeah. A reader named Annette raises a great question about praying God's promises for your prodigals. And let me just read her note right here.

Just a simple question, she writes, with probably no real answers, but I wondered if you might tell me your thoughts. I'm going through your book, Prayers for Prodigals, for the second time. I intend to keep going through it throughout the year. I'm feeling particularly discouraged right now as I've been praying fervently for my college-age girls, and I'm not seeing any real change in their lives. I know that I must be persistent in prayer, and it might take my whole life and more, but at times it just feels like a hard slog.

And this is one of those times. I'm reading Day 26 today. You promised, and I'm longing to be able to grasp hold of promises like, I will do whatever you ask in my name so that the Father may be glorified in the Son as I pray for my eldest daughter's salvation. My husband and I did our best to teach her about Jesus as she grew up, but she got to college and decided to live for herself, saying she only pretended to be a good Christian girl and that she is not a Christian. I pray fervently for her, but how can I claim, quote unquote, that promise when her own free will comes into it? I long to be able to internalize that promise as it would encourage me and keep me going, but doubt settles in when I feel I cannot apply that to me in our situation. Do you have any thoughts on this?

Thank you for your book. Many times I find it written, in written form exactly what is on my heart, but I've had difficulty in verbalizing, and I'm so grateful. Wow, what a great letter, really, and a great question to go with it. So, you know, what is the relationship between praying God's promises and freedom of the will? You know, again, what a great question, and the direct answer is that God is able to work on a level that goes so far deeper than our wills. You know, Ezekiel talks about God giving his people, well, this is not Ezekiel, this is God telling his people that he'll give them a new heart, you know, a softer heart, a heart of flesh instead of a heart of stone. So that shows you the level on which God is able to operate, and, you know, I believe we can pray any number of promises from God's word, including that one, as we look at, you know, God changing the hearts of our prodigals. Wow, but what about those who say that certain promises are limited to certain contexts, that is, like certain points in history or for God's people? Yeah, yeah, I wouldn't argue with that. I agree with it most of the time, but because God's Spirit moves through his word unlike any other place, it may also be that as you're reading his word, God underscores a certain promise as also being for you, and I wouldn't want to take that away.

I think it's perfectly operated. Just be sure that you really have heard from God, and God will make that clear, but we don't want to limit his Spirit, you know. So what are some of those promises that parents of prodigals can pray? Well, there are general promises about prayer that Jesus makes, like the one that Annette mentioned, John 14, 13 and 14, about Jesus, you know, doing anything in his name, you know, asking anything in his name, and he'll do it. Or Mark 9, 23, about everything is possible for the one who believes, which was a promise made to a man who came to Jesus about a son, but again, those may seem so general that we can discount them, because we think about times we've prayed and believed about something, and it hasn't happened, but still, I would encourage people to hang tightly to those promises, even when you struggle, and ask for help as you pray them, you know, because Jesus meant them. He wasn't just speaking them into thin air, and you know, he will help you with that. He'll help you believe as you ask him to. Yeah, so those really are some great promises, and well, what about the more specific ones?

This is where I think it gets especially interesting, Robbie, and several come to mind. One is 1 Corinthians 7, 14, which tells us that the children of believers are holy. What does that mean?

It means that they are set apart. So I believe we can take that and plead it before God, you know, saying, my children are special to you, you know, you've said that in your word. Another one is Psalm 103, 17, which says that from everlasting to everlasting, the Lord's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children. So the next verse, verse 18, speaks of those who remember his commandments, you know, and perhaps it's contextual upon that, but really, it shows you the heart of God being for the children of those who believe in him.

That's where he wants to go. So you can pray that. Or you can take Jesus' words, let the children come to me and do not hinder them. Well, you know, these are our dear ones. These are the ones we've held in our arms and given to him. And so, you know, I think, again, that's in praying with God's will, or the promises in 2 Peter 3-9 that God is not willing that any should perish. That's a great promise to bring before him. Our prayers are really one of the best gifts we can give our children, aren't they?

Yeah, yeah. And that's so important for us to remember as Mother's Day approaches. So let me conclude with a prayer about that. Father, I just pray for those of us who have prodigals, that you will encourage us, keep us going.

I pray for moms, especially right now. Lord, your help for them, your encouragement and your blessing, that they would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living, as your word says. But even if we must wait, Lord, we thank you, we praise you. You are a faithful God, and you answer prayer. So we look forward to you in faith and ask that you increase our faith as we pray. In Jesus' name. Amen. Amen. You can hear more from Pastor James by visiting his website,, or by visiting Peace Church in Durham, North Carolina. May God bless you and encourage you as you pray. This is the Truth Network.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-13 14:13:26 / 2023-05-13 14:17:17 / 4

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