I remember when my children were small, and I would hear older parents ask for prayer for their children not walking with the Lord. And I could see this would grieve them greatly. I would hear them in the peripheral of conversations. In my immaturity, I would think they must have done something wrong. In my immaturity I could not understand the pain that they were going through. I had not experienced this pain. Yet. My children were small, and my thoughts would never go to that place that would consider that my child would someday be a prodigal child. I was raising my children right. I thought. My thoughts were immature and ignorant. I couldn’t think that my child that would turn away from a faith that they had claimed and would quickly abandon, at the beckoning of the world.
I did not consider it. I did not pray in such a way to guard against it. Even in my ignorance, the Lord was and is fully aware. But I can tell you that this mother was caught very much by surprise, and how much pain that this would cause me. To see my child, reject the gospel and live in all manner that showed they clearly rejected the things of God, displaying they were clearly on the broad road that leads to destruction. And as I know the Lord and trust Him on this road, I know along with other parents, we grieve, and we weep for our wayward child.
This is the road that many Christian parents are on, and up until this point, I could not have imagined, the pain. The pain that provokes urgency in your prayers, through out every day. The pain that grieves your heart to weep and plead with the Lord. That upon waking, you begin praying for them.
I have come to understand that my pain has grown me in my faith. It has been and continues to grow me.Teaching me that I am helpless. That with God all things are possible, and He changes the hearts of men and women. My hands are tied.
As parents of prodigals, we become as the widow that pestered the King in Luke 18. Our hearts, especially as a Mother who loves the Lord, and trusts Him and fears Him, we fear for our children’s eternity. We are finite and so weak in our understanding that our feelings so many times rule our practices. We may become anxious and grow impatient. Seeing the life that our children are leading. Having brought this child through in the womb to the day they turned their back on the faith, this is so grievous to Christian parents. As it should be.This does not leave us. I fully expect this grievous, continuous prayer for our prodigals will continue as such that time that the Lord brings them home. That day their eyes and ears are opened, and fear the Lord, and serve him.
Young mothers and even Christian Grandmothers (who are raising your grandchildren) I can’t emphasize enough to raise your children and up in the fear and instruction of the Lord and pray for them, and with them. To know and understand that your little one is a wretched sinner, and in need of a Savior. That the little feet and hands that you held may one day run away from the Lord and not to Him. That they may put their hands to the darkest of deeds. That your heart will hurt and your stomach wrench as you struggle with the alienation you feel from this child. This is not an easy road and this is a road so many Christian parents are on today.
But we are not without hope, we must remember we are not on this road alone, never alone. Our Savior is a man of Sorrows and He is acquainted with the deepest of grief. He knows our suffering, so much better than we do. He understands us and cares for us and calls us to cast ALL of our anxiety (cares) on Him.
Yes, He understands our grieving and sorrow even to the point of using it to work His purposes in us. He works all things to His glory and our good. Is then our weeping and petitioning not necessary? In doing so are we lacking faith? Of course not! Our weeping in grieving is manifest in our faith and fear of our Lord, petitioning our Lord to bring our child home. Home to us and home to our Savior. They, as we once were, are dead in their trespasses and we humbly ask, no, we beg the King for a miracle. Just as He made us alive. Dead in our sins, sins that we loved as we shook our fist at Him. He took our dirty, filthy rags and the Lord put them on Himself, and with His very blood that He shed for a people that did not deserve it. And put on our shoulders his Robe of righteousness. Spotless and White. This is Grace. We didn’t deserve His Grace, and neither do our children. But we pray that they would receive this free Gift.
We can at times get so discouraged and downtrodden, and we can be hard on ourselves that our faith is failing and that we are not trusting as we should. Our faith will always fail us, but He who is faithful will never fail us. This is a trap that the evil one surely uses against us. We are weak and fragile. Our strength is found in the Lord, we cannot claim any on our own. In Matthew Henry’s Bible commentaries on 2 Corinthians 2:7-12 he says that “Troubles are sent to teach us to pray; and are continued, to teach us to continue instant in prayer”
That our troubles would cause us to pray? Yes, and in doing so we more and more learn to depend on the Lord. And continue to depend on Him, in His strength.
2 Corinthians 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong
How can this be? How can our weakness’s make us strong? Matthew Henry “Thus his grace is manifested and magnified. When we are weak in ourselves, then we are strong in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ; when we feel that we are weak in ourselves, then we go to Christ, receive strength from him, and enjoy most the supplies of Divine strength and grace.”
The Lord allows us to be made strong in our dependence of Him. The more we grieve and weep calling on our Lord for our child, the stronger the Lord is making us. In Him.
If you are dealing with a prodigal, then you know this pain very well. You may not have contact with them, they may have shut you out of their lives. Or your contact is very minimal and when they do see you, the relationship is strained and difficult. Wherever you are with your prodigal child, God is walking this hard road with you. You are not walking this alone. The pain, grief and tears. He is faithful.
Our hope is not found in our circumstances or what we see in this temporal world. Our hope must only be rooted in our God of Whom we know loves and cares for His children. Much more than we could love our earthy children. Go to Him. Petition Him in prayer every day for your child. Trust Him.
Cast your burden on the LORD, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.