March 14, 2023
Holding onto Hope for Your Prodigal
You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry (Psalm 10:17 NIV).
Friend to Friend
When we met, she had been involved at church for years and knew the Bible’s teaching. She watched God answer prayers for help in remarkable ways. Other believers showed her Christ’s love through kindness and loyal friendship. She witnessed the generosity, compassion, and courage that true faith brings. And yet, after a difficult season of suffering and doubt, she chose to walk away from Jesus and go her own way.
Those of us who love this young wife and mom were devastated. We wondered, what went wrong? How could we have set a better example of faith? How can she be so blind to God’s love in her life? Why was she so easily tempted and deceived by the world? Will she ever put her trust in Jesus, or will she reject Him forever?
Perhaps you, too, are weeping for a prodigal whose spiritual sickness of unbelief shows no signs of healing. Your questions, like ours, have no clear answers. Your faith is shaken as grief and worry consume your emotions. You feel like you’ve been dropped into Luke chapter 8 in the Bible, where a cherished child was deathly ill and slipping away before her parents’ eyes.
In verse 41, we meet Jairus as “he fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house.” His status as a synagogue leader was of no use in saving his only daughter’s life. No amount of money or medical expertise could restore her to health. Desperate for a miracle, Jairus ran to find Jesus.
Jesus’ response to this scared and sorrowful dad can help us in our own journey of grief for those whose life of faith seems over. First, we learn that He hears our cries and knows what we need.
He’s never too busy to listen.
We don’t have to compete with others’ needs to find help.
He doesn’t grow tired of hearing our voices, even after weeks, months, or years of praying for the lost.
Instead, we can pray with confidence, always sure that “You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry” (Psalm 10:17). Keep running to God for those who need His help and salvation. Be a prayer warrior who refuses to give up the fight for the lost. In Him, you’ll find a listening ear, comfort, and encouragement to keep trusting Him through it all.
Next, we can break free from fear and despair. Jesus told Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe…” (vs. 50). He urged the mourning crowd outside his door to “stop wailing” even when all seemed lost (v. 52). Each time we’re tempted to give up hope, He stands ready to dry our tears and refresh our faith in Him. He knows the end of the story. He holds the power “to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in [Him]” (Acts 26:18). With God, all things are possible. His love will never let us go.
Finally, we can grow in awe of our great and awesome God. After Jairus’s precious girl was raised to life, her parents were “astonished” (v. 56) and ready to tell everyone what Jesus had done. What about us? Is our personal salvation still the greatest gift we’ve ever known? Do you and I continue to say, “My heart leaps for joy” when we remember His protection, help, and mercy in our lives? (Psalm 28:7). Are we filled with anticipation for what God will do, believing He “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20)? Today, let’s choose to worship and celebrate as we trust God to keep holding our loved ones in His hands.
Dear Lord, my heart is broken as I see others turn their back on You. With no anchor of truth to hold them secure, they are drifting into sin, confusion, and fear. I pray You will heal their souls from unbelief so they may know You are real, You are good, and You are life. Draw my dear ones close to Yourself. Keep me strong in hope and faith until that beautiful day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
What might cause you to feel discouraged as you wait and pray for your loved one’s salvation?
What steps can you take to refresh your hope and faith in God’s power to save the lost?
More from the Girlfriends
The greatest gift a couple can give their marriage and family is prayer. Together, a husband and wife can invite God’s power into their lives. They can seek His peace during times of trouble and stress. As parents, they can place their children in His hands for help and protection.
Joanna and her husband Rob have created 101 Prayers for Mr. & Mrs. to help couples carry their joys, hopes, and struggles to God in prayer. This faux leather, gold-foiled book is a beautiful and uplifting gift to share with your spouse or the couple in your life who wants to grow closer to God and each other.
© 2023 by Joanna Teigen