Can I Come In?

Little five year old boys don’t usually want to play with girls putting on makeup – unless it is boring because there are no other boys around. That changes everything. At least it did for Jude, my grandson. My four granddaughters had locked themselves in the... read more

My Mother’s Christmas Wish

Devotion: When I was a little girl, the number one question I asked all my family before December 25th was “What do you want for Christmas?” I asked my sisters and my brother, my mother and my father. It was a huge question for me because my funds were limited to a small... read more

Coming Home

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”  Joshua 1:9 (NIV)

“I’m leavin’ and I’m neber comin’ back!” my three year old grandson told his mother. She glanced up while doing dishes. “Why would you leave, Honey?” His little hand reached up to grab the doorknob as he gave her his best angry look. “You make me have jobs. I don’t like jobs. And you’s always tellin’ me what to do!”
She turned to look at him. “Jude, everyone has jobs, including Noah and Ella. We all have chores to do. And, Jude, all of our lives, there will always be someone who has the right to tell us what to do.”
That did not make a bit of difference to Jude. He opened the door and, with one last look at his mother, said “Well, I don’t care. I’m gonna leave and do whatever I want and…and… (searching for the worst thing he could think of)…and I’m NOT gonna eat healthy!”
With that declaration of independence, he turned to leave as his mother gave him one parting bit of wisdom: “Well, okay, if you think you need to go. I love you, Jude. Just be careful and watch out for the big black dog.” His dramatic departure was frozen in mid-air. “What big black dog?” “Oh, didn’t I tell you? There’s a big black mean dog running around the neighborhood. I wouldn’t want you to get bitten.”
Huge brown eyes peeked outside and a quiet voice replied “Well, maybe I won’t go today.” as Jude  closed the door and jumped on the sofa to watch “Tom and Jerry” with his brother and sister.
I can’t think of a single friend of mine who has not had at least one prodigal in her family declare “I’m gonna leave and do whatever I want.” If only it were that easy to persuade them to come back home and avoid the “big black mean dog.”
I want to encourage those of you who are parents of a prodigal to not become discouraged and lose hope as you pray for your child for months and perhaps years.
 Look at today’s Scripture from the first chapter of Joshua. He was a fighter, a warrior and a man’s man and yet God reminded Joshua – not once but four times – to be strong and courageous and not give up. He wanted Joshua to know that he was not alone as he faced the battles in his life because He, the God of the Universe, the God of Hope, was with him.
Oh my friends, that promise is for each of us today! We are in a spiritual battle for the very souls of our children. And the same God Who encouraged Joshua to not become discouraged or give up is with us – and our prodigal – every step of the way.

Father, Sometimes I get so discouraged as I pray for my prodigal child. Thank you for giving me hope and peace as I trust You to bring my prodigal home. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Do you have a prodigal in your family that you have bathed in prayer for months or years? Have you gotten discouraged because they still have not returned to the Lord?

Contact a friend who also has a prodigal child and meet together to pray for your children.

Journal your daily prayers for your prodigal. Sunday, pray that someone would invite them to church; Monday, pray for their safety; Tuesday, pray for an open heart; Wednesday, ask the Lord to place a Christian in their path; Thursday, pray that they will long for Jesus; Friday, pray they will begin to question their prodigal life; Saturday, ask the Lord to give you strength, courage and hope as another week begins and praise Him for His faithfulness.

Joshua 1:9 (NIV) “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Jeremiah 31:16-17 (NIV) “This is what the Lord says: ‘Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for your work will be rewarded,’ declares the Lord. ‘They will return from the land of the enemy. So there is hope for your future,’ declares the Lord. ‘Your children will return to their own land.”

Romans 15:13 (NIV) “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

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Copyright 2013  Nancy E. Hughes