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.
Glorious Father, please bring the prodigal sons and daughters of my church family to the place of not fearing the wicked or wealthy living around them. Help them learn to rest in You and wait patiently for Your guidance in their lives (Psalm 37:7). Fear can carry both the meaning of fright, or of respect. This is a prayer that our prodigals will not give undue respect to the wicked – and in particular those whose wealth is the wealth of wickedness. The challenge of Psalm 37 is to trust in the Lord, no matter what comes you way. After all even the extravagant wealth of the wicked is short lived in the grand scheme of things. Lord, help our prodigals not to look with awe, respect, or fear upon those who are currently experiencing the only heaven they will ever know. “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.” (Psalm 37:7, NASB95)
Almighty God, in protecting children from the paths followed by prodigal souls, please work in their lives, helping them dwell on the things of Your kingdom that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute, and worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8). This is a prayer to keep them from straying away. We’re called upon to fill our minds with things that are true. The constant cry of the world, the flesh, and the devil tries to draw our children away. Pray that God will protect our children from the path of the prodigal. “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” (Philippians 4:8, NASB95PARA)