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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.

Judy

c 2011 Judy Douglass

c 2010 Judy Douglass

If you would like to be part of such a prayer community, write me at prayerforprodigals@gmail.com and I will invite you to join us.

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Probation.

One of the best things that happened to our son was to be put on probation for two years for a minor incident.  The consequences were much greater than the offense.
But it was an answer to prayer that we could never have anticipated.  We had prayed that he would receive some real-life accountability for some of his poor choices in his late teens.  Two years of probation put the fear of jail in him.  Every time he was tempted to make another bad choice, he stopped to think about the possibility of getting caught.

That was one of many answers to prayers prayed on a June 2 Worldwide Day of Prayer for Prodigals.  For the past five years, every June 2, hundreds of people from around the world have joined together in a day of prayer for those who are walking away from God.

The objective of this day is to come together before God to petition Him for the redemption, restoration, deliverance of those we love. Most often these prodigals are our children, but they might also be grandchildren, a spouse, parents, relatives, friends, coworkers or anyone we care about.
Our theme this year is By the Spirit.  In the weeks leading up to June 2, we are looking at the many ministries Jesus foretold for the Holy Spirit in chapters 14-16 of John.  His role as comforter, encourager, truth and many others all strengthen us in our difficult journeys as well as help us pray for our wanderers.

You can join us.  We are compiling a list of first names for whom prayer has been requested, which will be posted on our Prayer for Prodigals site.  You can submit as many names for prayer as you desire.  Feel free to tell many others about this special day. In just five years this has grown to include thousands of pray-ers around the world.
You don’t have to join our prayer community to pray, or to submit names.  But to access the list, to post specific requests or to browse through our many resources, you will need to join PrayerforProdigals.com.
For June 2, you can download and print out the list of hundreds of first names. Specific requests will be available at the Prayer Center, but we will use this list on this day. You can pray by yourself or gather with others in your church or neighborhood. You can pray for all the list or a few of the list. You can pray for an hour, several hours or all day. You can choose to fast or not.
Whether or not you have a prodigal in your life, I hope you will join us in praying for the return of those on a destructive path.  And if you do love a prodigal, you will find encouragement and help and hope in our community.
Come to www.PrayerforProdigals.com or write us at prayerforprodigals@gmail.com.

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