I have the privilege of being in a prayer community of people who love prodigals. They have or have had loved ones who wandered far from God–and them, usually–and they pray for each other. Periodically I get to write a letter to encourage all of us. Perhaps you or someone you know needs such encouragement. So here is last year’s Christmas Letter to Lovers of Prodigals.
Dear Lover of Prodigals,
All I want for Christmas…
…is the return of my prodigal.
Lord, please, for Christmas could my child come home. Would you set him free from his addictions. Cause her to choose not to live with her boyfriend. May they see the emptiness and destructiveness of their choices. And, Lord, may we have peace in our family for Christmas.
I have asked for just such gifts—for many Chritmases. Probably you have as well.
A couple of helpful thoughts:
1. God knows the yearnings of your heart. He knows exactly what you want for Christmas. And He is so willing for you to ask, to be honest, to cry out. So don’t be afraid to tell Him how your heart aches, about your fears for your loved ones, about your concerns for your other children, about how overwhelmed you feel at this time meant for celebration.
2. At the same time, remember that His answers almost always look so different, and have such later timing, than our requests. We can’t understand what He is doing—He tells us His ways are above ours. Yet Scripture tells us repeatedly that He knows and understands and is filled with compassion for our pain.
He has given us many wonderful promises that enable us to express our love for and trust in Him—and see His faithful responses. Just read and meditate on these words from God:
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.“ (Matt. 6:33)
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:6-7)
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)
“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will gi ve him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:9-11)
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matt 11:28-29)
So for this Christmas, I join you in asking God for miracles in the lives of our prodigals. But I also ask that He will help you to seek Him first and enable you to experience His peace and freedom from fear and deep rest in Him.
May His blessings overflow you this Christmas season.
c 2011 Judy Douglass
c 2010 Judy Douglass
If you would like to be part of such a prayer community, write me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will invite you to join us.