Everlasting Father, as You call children to Yourself today, we pray that all the glory will go to You as You work through their parents and other believers in seeing them become “oaks of righteousness” (Isaiah 61:3). In Isaiah 61, the prophet foresees the good news being brought to the afflicted. He foresees the brokenhearted having their hearts bound up (restored). He foresees those held captive being released into liberty, and prisoners set free. There is a promise in the third verse that all of those mourning in Zion would have their fortunes reversed. Where once there had been ashes, a garland. Where once there had been mourning, oil of gladness instead. Where once their situation had been so dire they might faint and shrink back in weary fear – a mantle of praise. When Jesus came, he began the process foreseen by the prophet. Jesus reverses the situation of sinner after sinner. He did it for this man; he can do it again for the prodigals. Let the name of the Lord be glorified as he works to bring our prodigals to Him.
Heavenly Father, in the process of bringing the prodigal children of America back into their homes, please reveal to them that they can experience genuine change in their lives and do all things through Your power and strength (Philippians 4:13). Many who wander away from Christ do not feel they have the ability to endure what it would take to come back. Paul’s statement to the contrary in Philippians is encouraging. The apostle had experienced a variety of life’s struggles brought on by his ministry. Because of his commitment to serve the Lord Jesus, he had suffered hunger and he had also experienced plenty. The spectrum of life experiences could have discouraged or derailed his faith. But he had learned the art of trusting in Christ at all times, as a result – he had learned to be content in Jesus (Phil 4:10-12). Today let us pray for our prodigals to look ultimately to Jesus to provide all that they need whether it be much or little. May it be that God sustains them as they turn fully to Him.
Father, please deliver the prodigal individuals living within my community from the fleshly desires that have led them into wasteful and immoral lifestyles (Luke 15:13). “And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living.” (Luke 15:13, NASB95) Notice that the prayer above includes more than those whom you know. Every community has individuals who have been led astray from wisdom because they follow after their fleshly desires. Today as you pray for the prodigals in your community think in an outwardly radiating pattern from closest to farthest away. Pray first for those in your family, your church, your work or school, and out to the larger community you live in. Be specific and ask the Lord to do his work of restoration. While you’re at it consider the log in your own eye (Matthew 7:3-5) be aware of your own shortcomings and lead off your prayers with personal repentance. And let us walk not in the flesh, but in the Spirit of God. “Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” (Galatians 5:24, NASB95)