Your daughter is an addict. Your son struggles with a mental health issue. They can’t stop cutting themselves. They’re in bondage to destructive behavior. Join the parents-in-pain club. We all struggle with so many feelings. At times it’s overwhelming. There’s nowhere to turn. You’re desperate to help your son or daughter, but you realize you’re powerless.
The core of this blog is from Moments for Families with Prodigals (moment eighty-one), a devotional book for parents in pain by Robert J. Morgan. He says we have three powerful weapons in the fight for our children’s souls – they are code named PTL. God wants us to be hopeful. Here’s how.
P = PRAYER
We can pray. Anytime, anywhere, without ceasing, while we go about our daily routine. As Archbishop Trench puts it, “We must not conceive of prayer as overcoming God’s reluctance, but as laying hold of His highest willingness.” His will is that none should perish. Jesus taught us to pray and not give up; that we should believe and ask for the impossible; that anything was possible for him who believes. Prayer is the most important and powerful thing we can do for our child.
T = TIME
It takes time for many prodigals to come to their senses. “Maturity, recovery, and rehabilitation are processes.” Time is on our side and our times are in God’s hands. After all, it’s taken a long time for Him to work on us, hasn’t it? We can be confident of the promise in Philippians 1:6, “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Morgan says we need to learn to tell time on God’s clock and to trust His timing. He knows when to work, when to wait, when the right time is. He’s never too early, never too late, always right on time. We know this in our heads, but we’re not so good at waiting. When you begin to doubt God’s timing it’s hard to keep trusting His calendar of events. Father, help us trust that time is on our side, because You are.
L = LOVE
“We may not think of love as a weapon, but it sends a radioactive blanket over its target. There is no known antidote. Paul said, “Love never fails” (I Corinthians 13:8)” and Psalms says over and over again says that God’s love is unfailing. The Holy Spirit can empower us to love our child unconditionally no matter what they’ve done or how much they’ve hurt us. This kind of love can win them back – to change lives. It isn’t easy. It might mean telling your child they can’t live with you if they persist living a lifestyle that consistently disrupts your home or is against your values. Often the hardest thing is the most loving thing we can do. “Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” (I Corinthians 13:7 NLT)
Banks concludes,“So the next time you wake up in the middle of the night feeling helpless, just remind yourself that you have an arsenal of weapons: Prayer, time, and love. Together they have broken down many a stronghold and reclaimed many a life. They are God’s weapons that have been put at your disposal. You are not powerless after all! PTL! Praise the Lord!”