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'The Prodigal Prayer Guide' Fulfills Deep Desires

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Wednesday, September 28, 2022 @ 08:48 AM 'The Prodigal Prayer Guide' Fulfills Deep Desires ATTENTION: Major social media outlets are finding ways to block the conservative/evangelical viewpoint. Click here for daily electronic delivery of The Stand's Daily Digest - the day's top blogs from AFA.

Dr. Robert Youngblood Assistant Digital Media Editor MORE

The parable of the prodigal son has held deep meaning ever since Jesus spoke the words. Deeper and stronger still are the feelings men and women have for their own prodigals – the ones they hope will either come to or return to God.

Many pray for the day like the father had when he ran out to meet his returning son. Many may wonder if that day will ever come. A new prayer guide offers hope and prayers anyone can use in their situation. The Prodigal Prayer Guide: Scripture-Based Prayers for the Prodigal in Your Life is written by those who have lived or are still living this parable – Francine Perry, Laura Perry Smalts, and Carolyn  Morgan.

This guide provides theologically sound, faith-based prayers in a short 66-page book available in two ways. You can download a free digital copy HERE or purchase a print copy HERE.

“God specializes in impossible situations, and He loves to prove that hopeless cases aren’t hopeless after all. Never give up. Pray, pray, and keep on praying,” writes Francine Perry. “Your prayers accomplish more than you have ever dreamed.”

Laura Perry Smalts, Francine’s daughter, was immersed in the world of transgenderism for nearly nine years while taking hormones and having surgeries. She even asked her mom to call her Jake – the name she legally acquired during this time. Francine didn’t.

Instead, Francine prayed. During this time, Carolyn Morgan joined Francine’s Bible study. Morgan began writing out Scripture prayers. Together they started a Prodigal Prayer Basket with the names of prodigals that a team prayed over regularly. Though Morgan is still waiting for her prodigal prayer to be answered, the team has witnessed twenty-two returning home and others on the verge.

God’s process isn’t always fast, isn’t always visible, and isn’t on our timeline. In fact, He wants us to desire Him first.

“It really had a major impact on my life after years of her trying to fix me when she really surrendered and let go [of chasing me] and let the Lord work on me. And she really began pursuing the Lord,” Smalts said. When her mother pursued God, what Laura saw increased her curiosity.

What created that change in her mother?

Smalts replied how her mom shared on In His Image that the Lord impressed on her either she could work on changing Laura or He could. But if she chose to do so, He would sit down while she tried.

In an interview with Smalts on The Core, the host Walker Wildmon reminded listeners that only God can truly transform a life. He said it seems, particularly in these prodigal situations, as if the assumption of control or responsibility must be released to move forward.

Since nothing equals God, those who love and are attached to something other than God, or together with Him, offend Him exceedingly (John of the Cross, Selected Writings).

Gary Thomas, who authored The Glorious Pursuit:  Becoming Who God Created Us to Be, writes how the most famous verse on detachment is probably Matthew 6:33 about seeking first God’s kingdom and His righteousness. He writes we too often focus on the last half of the verse. In the chapter on detachment, he compares surrender and detachment:

It is one thing to be surrendered. It is another thing entirely to be detached. Surrender is an act of the will, accepting physical circumstances of situations God has ordained and looking for His good purpose in them. Detachment means we stop finding our meaning and security in people, things, positions, money, and power so they no longer lure us into actions we know are unwise or unprofitable. Surrender is about what we submit to; detachment is about what we yearn for.

To yearn is to seek, and Psalm 37 reminds us to trust God, do good, befriend faithfulness, delight in the Lord AND He will give you the desires of your heart. He gives not to any part of the heart attached to the world, but the heart seeking Him and His righteousness first – the soul.

The power of God in prayers and this prayer guide is Him who desires none to perish, Him who desires repentance, and Him who desires people to be saved, to come to the knowledge of the way, the truth, and the life – Jesus (2 Peter 3:9, 1 Timothy 2:3-4; John 14:16).

Smalts even shared about how when she was reading one of the prayers for a prodigal in her life that God used it to make her focus on Him. How is that possible? God’s ways are mysterious and His Word is living and active, so let’s look at one of the prayers directly from the guide to see how He might do this: 

Peace for the Anxious

(Philippians 4:6-8)

Lord, help ______________ (name) to no longer be anxious and fearful but instead to turn to You. Take his/her heart of selfish ingratitude and replace it with a desire to be content and satisfied in You show him/her that the things of this world have not brought peace but torment.

Help him/her to pray about everything and to present personal petitions to You with thanksgiving. Convict his/her heart of sin because we know that You hear the prayers of the righteous, not the rebellious. Give him/her a heart that desires Your peace, which passes all understanding. Please help __________ (name) to no longer focus on evil things but to set his/her heart and mind on the things of You that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous and worthy of praise.

As Smalts said in the interview with Wildmon, it’s easy to focus on someone else’s sin. But as I read and prayed through those words, I sensed the prompting of the Holy Spirit using the powerful references to Scripture to challenge me to obey better too.

Is it through delighting in the Lord with thanksgiving (Psalm 37:4) that He somehow brings to me – even as I pray for another – the desires my soul truly needs and longs for? Is it that He uses His Word to awaken my soul further and refresh it even though I may have unintentionally suppressed them with my sin (Romans 1:18)?

Hmmm.

Why don’t you get the guide and start praying for that person or those people in your life in order to see how God will bless your soul beyond what you currently can imagine (Ephesians 3:20)? He is faithful.

Again, the guide can be found HERE.

Lord, draw each of us closer to you in trust and obedience. Work on and in us even as we pray for others in our lives. Amen.

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