Have you ever felt like you didn’t know how to pray for your child? Have you experienced sleepless nights and tortuous days that left you at a loss to know what to ask God for? If your son or daughter has rejected your faith, strayed away from God, struggles with an addiction, self-injury or an eating disorder, mental illness, same sex identity issues, suicidal thoughts, or is incarcerated, this probably describes how you feel.
Today’s post is another book review: Prayers for Prodigals by James Banks, available at Amazon. I’ve found this book to be a huge help. Prayers for Prodigals: 90 Days of Prayer for Your Child, is a real treasure for the parent who believes in the power of God to change lives.
Franklin Graham, Billy Graham’s son, gave an endorsement saying, James “reveals the truth for effective prayer – God’s Word”. He states that this book can provide guidance and comfort to help parents trust the Lord with their children.
What I like about Prayers for Prodigals is how Banks takes Scripture verses and forms them into prayers along with his honest struggle as a father who struggles like we do. They’re beautiful. Moving.
The book is divided into 13 weeks. Each week begins with a mediation, followed by six prayers for that week. My copy is full of underlining, starred sentences, highlighted sections and turned down pages. I’ve used it over and over again. When I make these prayers my own, I feel like I have truly met with God.
Some of the sections are:
- Don’t Cry
- The Stretcher of Faith
- Coming to Our Senses
- Waiting for an Answer
- Everything Is Possible
- God’s Timing
The first sentence of the introduction reads:
“When you have a prodigal child, prayer doesn’t always come easily. You know you need to pray, but you don’t know where to begin. That’s why this book was written.” (p.13)
Here is a taste from one of Banks’ prayers, “River of Delights” (p.215):
How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights. (Psalm 36:8)
“A ‘river of delights’.
What a beautiful thought.
Show my son the way to that river, Lord.
Let him dive in headfirst and discover ‘how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ’ (Ephesians 3:18). . .
Let him drink of its sweet, refreshing water and ‘never thirst’ again (John 4:14).
I pray that you will satisfy every longing of his soul. You are the true source of every delight, ‘the spring of living water’ (Jeremiah 17:13).”