Something Parents in Pain Hate to Do

Something I hate to do is wait, especially when I’m waiting for something I want to have happen. I can wait for a long time with no problem at all  for something I’mfrozen dreading:  A doctor’s appointment; results of a medical test; getting my teeth cleaned; a meeting to resolve some conflict or inter-personal problem – anything unpleasant. I don’t really want these things to happen. They can take a long time to occur as far as I’m concerned. That’s just fine with me. But waiting for something I want to have happen, that I’m hoping for a good outcome – well, that’s quite different. I don’t like to wait for those things, do you?

For me, that kind of waiting feels like a barren, frozen wasteland. And waiting for  my child to change when they’re making life-threatening choices, suffering from cutting and mental illness and has made suicide attempts, is pure agony. During a time in my life when I was having a particularly difficult time waiting for changes in my daughter, I came across a book I found to be quite helpful. It had a powerful impact on me when all I could do was cry out to God saying, “Help!” I decided to share part of it with you in today’s post. It is written by two moms who have been there and understand what we go through every day.  I hope their writing will encourage you as it did me. You may decide to purchase one for yourself. The book is called Praying Prodigals Home by Quin Sherrer and Ruthanne Garlock. I have included a portion from pages 58 – 60.

“Of all the strategies we could suggest, waiting is perhaps the hardest. Somehow we feel better about dealing with our prodigals if we can take action – it gives us the false illusion that we are in control of things. The truth is, we’re not in control.  We have to hand over the situation to God, remain prayerful and take action only as He directs us…….

For the believer, waiting for the prodigal’s return need not be a passive, “in limbo” state.  The Hebrew word for “wait” comes from a root word meaning “to bind together” and figuratively means “to expect”.  We don’t wait in fear and despair.  If our hope is in God, we wait expectantly for Him to intervene.  And in the process, we ourselves are drawn closer to Him with bonds of love.

Father, please give me Your wisdom to know how to pray for my prodigal. I lift his (her) specific needs to You now:  (name the needs).  Lord, I confess that I’ve felt hurt and angry at _________because of (mention the specifics).  I forgive my prodigal for hurting me and disappointing me; please help me to love him (her) with Your love and to walk in continual forgiveness.  Thank you for forgiving me and enabling me to forgive those who wrong me.

Lord, I’m grateful for the power of Your Word to give comfort and guidance. Please show me appropriate Scriptures to pray for my prodigal. I release __________ into Your hands and ask You to work in his (her) life according to Your plan and purpose. I commit this person into Your care and trust You to draw him (her) to Yourself by the power of the Holy Spirit. Thank You in Jesus’ name for doing a work of grace in _________’s life.  Amen.”

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