Are you a parent or grandparent who lives with a broken heart due to the behaviors and choices of one or several of your children or grandchildren? They may be under eighteen and still in your home or thirty-five and married with children. The feelings of loss, embarrassment and shame often keep us from reaching out to others for prayer and support.
You need to know that June 2nd is the Annual Day of Prayer for Prodigals, sponsored by Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ). This was designed for you!
When my husband and I found ourselves grieving the choices of our daughter, we suffered deeply when she moved out to pursue a life of substance abuse. We isolated ourselves. Heavily involved in our church and full-time ministry our whole adult lives, we didn’t want anyone to know what was going on. There would be too many questions, too much judgement, and too few people who could understand. Have you ever felt this way?
What was our greatest need? Prayer – for ourselves as well as for our daughter. Slowly, we began to open up and ask for help from others we felt we could trust. After several years, we didn’t know how to pray any more. We were losing hope under the pressure and weight of it all. It was during this time we made a wonderful discovery that would make a huge difference.
We discovered a website specifically designed for parents like us – Prayer for Prodigals – but it’s not just for parents, it’s for anyone who has a family member who’s gone “prodigal” from God. I define prodigal as someone who’s not living according to God’s Word, to the gospel of Jesus Christ, and to His will. They may have received Christ as a young child or teen, then chose to walk away – or developed issues that have caused them to drift away as they grew older. Some lost their faith in college, others lost it in their adult years for a variety of reasons.
Prayer for Prodigals was developed by Cru about ten years ago by their president’s wife, Judy Douglass. On the site if you click on “History” (in the menu on the left) you can read the story behind it. Because of Judy’s experience with one of her children, God gave her a heart to reach out to other hurting Christian parents to provide a resource for what may be the most painful journey of their lives. The result is this website: A prayer community for hurting families. I’m also involved with this ministry, adding input and materials that God leads me to.
Please join us on June 2nd by submitting your loved one’s name so we can pray with you for them. And we encourage you to bring others together who will pray on that day. Our prayers have great power to change lives! I could tell you story after story.
Here are some things I like about the Prayer for Prodigals website:
It’s for anyone who is interested. (you don’t even have to be a parent!)
It’s a safe place. You have to request an email invitation to use it and it’s password protected. This prevents someone from being able to stumble upon it and compromise it in any way.
It’s global. People use it from all over the world where there is no other support available. What a gift in a time of great need.
Here’s how it works:
When you post a prayer request, it immediately shows up in the email inbox of everyone who is part of the community. You can go to the website and send a prayer response back to the person who posted the request. If you’d like, you can choose to personally receive responses that are posted to your request. Simply check the appropriate box under your post. Once a day you receive an email that lists the requests from the previous day.
In addition to prayer support there are many other resources:
Books and Websites, Scriptures, Sample Prayers, Inspirational Devotionals, Lessons Learned (post your insights) and Help Center (treatment centers, rehabs, boarding schools, websites, and more). We invite you to share what you’ve found that’s helping you in any of these areas. In each category there are numerous items to read, then when you click on “add your own” there are many more that others have posted. Any one is welcome to share.
This site was a great help to me during my darkest days. Judy’s and my prayer is that it will be a blessing in your time of need, too.
If you want to check it out, mention my name (Dena Yohe) when you send an email requesting an invitation to: email@example.com
You will receive an email inviting to join GCX. Simply follow the instructions, create your password and you can get into the site. No one will send you mass emails or try to sell you anything, so no need to worry.
Let me know if you have any problems or questions about using Prayer for Prodigals and if you like what you see, please pass it on! I’ll explain more about the Day of Prayer for Prodigals in the future.