Josh took us on a 12-year journey into this world of prodigaldom. He was the founder of WWDOPP, though he didn’t know it at the time. This day of prayer began as a day to pray for him. He has come a long way and is making many good choices now. But Satan always lurks, hoping to trip him up, draw him back, recapture him.
Though the spirit is willing, the flesh is weak, so I keep him on the list. I want as many people as possible to pray for him and the future God has for him.
Over the past couple of years I have had several conversations with Josh about his wayward journey. These have helped me understand him, and helped me encourage others who love prodigals.
Here are some of the thoughts Josh has shared:
What kinds of things were you involved in, and why?
Alcohol, drugs, girls, fights, lying, stealing… Why? Because it was fun and because my friends were doing it.
What helped you begin to turn from that lifestyle and seek God?
I was tired of getting in trouble. Fear of going to jail. Seeing how stupid the things I was doing were. Growing up. Good people who loved me and spoke truth to me.
What has been most helpful in encouraging you on the path you are now pursuing?
Time in the Word. Talking to God. The people I surround myself with— and the ones I don’t hang out with. People who have prayed for me and loved me.
What would you say to these people praying for prodigal loved ones?
Remember that God is in control. He works it all in His plan.
Keep affirming your prodigals as well as being firm with them. Look for good things to say, not just pointing out all the things they do wrong. Be encouraging. Try to introduce them to people who will be good influences. Live and love consistently.
What do you still need prayer for?
That I will keep walking straight. There are so many ways to step off the path. For freedom from past choices—there are still consequences. Pray for my family to keep growing together.
Every prodigal is on a journey, as are those who love and pray for them. My part of this journey is touched on in my Kindling post “Is Unconditional Love Possible?”, but there is much more God has done in my life.
This I know: God loves our prodigals more than we do, He will continue to love and pursue them, and He knows the best way to capture their hearts.
What has been your journey with a prodigal?
c2011 Judy Douglass