Is there a wrong way to pray for my prodigal?

Is there a wrong way to pray for my prodigal?

A Story by Precious Prodigal
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August 23, 2013: Please “Share” this link to a new Precious Prodigal Blog Post: http://www.preciousprodigal.com/blog/13-08-23.html

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Is there a wrong way to pray for my prodigal?

 

Romans 7:18 “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me…

 

I was reading about King Hezekiah this morning in 2 Kings 20. His is an interesting story because when he was still very young, probably less than 40 years old, God sent Isaiah to tell him to “get his house in order” because he was going to die. Hezekiah was devastated by the news, perhaps because of his youth but also, no doubt, because he didn’t yet have an heir to take over the kingdom when he died.

 

Hezekiah didn’t call the doctors or the wise men of his kingdom. He went straight to the source and, turning his face to the wall, wept bitterly before the Lord. He also reminded the Lord that he had lived a godly life and asked God to spare his life. God heard Hezekiah’s prayer and sent Isaiah back to tell him he would live for another 15 years. On the surface, this seems to be a simple story of Hezekiah’s broken heart, his desperate prayer to God, and God’s answering that prayer by giving Hezekiah the desire of his heart. But is that all? Not even close.

 

Although Hezekiah did some foolish things in those years, the most significant thing that happened was the birth of his son. Three years or so into that fifteen years, Hezekiah had a son and named him Mannaseh. It’s not hard to imagine how thrilled he must have been that he had a son and an heir to the throne. However, that son turned out to be one of the most evil kings who ever sat on the throne. Mannaseh reinstituted idol worship and child sacrifice, even setting up altars in the courts of the house of God. His wickedness was so great that it brought judgment on all of Judah.

 

Those of us who love a prodigal are not strangers to devastating news. While that “news” probably isn’t about our impending death, it can certainly be equally as heartbreaking. We also know about desperate prayers where we ask God to spare our children or other loved ones from the terrible consequences that go along with the choices they are making. If you’re like me, you may have prayed for a specific outcome from the crisis you were or are facing. What in the world could be wrong with that?

 

The short answer is that there’s nothing wrong with asking God to intervene in our prodigal’s life. In fact, God tells us we are to take our broken hearts and our petitions to Him. However, our prayers must always include a willingness to want God’s will more than we want our way.

 

No matter how pure I think my motives are, I know that my stubborn will too often trips me up. I see what I think is the obvious answer or solution, and my limited vision can’t see beyond that. Why? Because “to will is present with me.” (Rom 7:18) That stubborn will is part of my fallen sin nature, not part of my inherent wisdom. A better plan for me…for you…is to surrender our will to God’s will each morning and ask Him to take charge of everything that happens in our life and in the life of our prodigal. There is great freedom in letting God be God.

 

Challenge for Today: Can you, just for today, choose to want God’s will rather than your way? Can you trust Him even when you don’t understand what’s happening?

© 2013 Precious Prodigal


Author's Note

Precious Prodigal
August 23, 2013:
Is there a wrong way to pray for my prodigal?
Please “Share” this link to a new Precious Prodigal Blog Post:
http://www.preciousprodigal.com/blog/13-08-23.html

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