Welcome! Let’s Gather to Praise our God!

Welcome to Beloved Prodigal! I (Anna Smit) am so excited and honored to be opening this blog as a place for family and friends of God’s Beloved Prodigal children to gather, pray and build each other up in Christ.

My prayer is that every time you visit, you will leave here refreshed and strengthened.

Read some more about:

– the story behind Beloved Prodigal
– the vision and prayer for this gathering place
– the weekly posts you can expect here

the Beloved Prodigal Team.

For today, I’d like to begin with our very first –

Friday’s Praise

Preserved in the Wilderness 

By Bettie (http://raseasons.blogspot.com)

Blazing sun
Glaring sand
Baking heat
The Wilderness prevailed.

Burning pain
Stumbling gait
Weary heart
The Wilderness consumed.

Wandering warriors
Hiding caves
David’s men
The Wilderness protected.

When the curse fell on me
When the evil one shouted
I saw the shadows of defeated soldiers
Huddled in the back of the cave
I joined them, longing to be free.

Thru the night a voice fell
A lover was set loose
With a scent of life in the air
North wind awakened
Perfume too fair to tell

And I looked from the height
Where the cave opened
Onto the cliffs
Acacia trees small but strong
Pointed to a glimmering light

En Gedi with Henna blossoms
Singing a Lover’s melody
Drawing me out of the cave
Lifting me out of the desert
Into my lover’s bosom

Only in the wilderness heat
Will the cave protect
Will the Acacia grow
Will the Oasis rise
Will the healing stream
Will the Lover meet.

Oh Glorious Lover so sweet
So far above the schemers curse
You brought me here
To find your choicest gifts
And to search the caves calling
Other weary soldiers, “Come and eat.”

“My lover is to me a sachet of myrhh resting between my breasts, my lover is to me a cluster of henna blossoms from the vineyards of En Gedi.”  (Song of Songs 1: 13 – 14 NIV)

“Then Saul broke off his pursuit of David and went to meet the Philistines. That is why they call this place Sela Hammahlekoth (the Rock of Parting.) And David went up from there and lived in the strongholds of En Gedi.”  (1 Samuel 23: 28-29 NIV)    

My dear friend Bettie (http://raseasons.blogspot.com) wrote this poem and the prayer below in response to the Lord’s touch, as she yet again walked through another desert fire in her journey through chronic illness. And yet, when I read her words, I saw the Lord also speaking to us who are praying for our Prodigals to return Home. I saw Him reminding us that His priceless treasures are often hidden in the least likely places:

Daniel 2: 22 NIV
He reveals deep and hidden things;
he knows what lies in darkness,
and light dwells with him.

My wilderness experience was one on the other side of the one I am now walking with you all. You see, for more than twenty years I hid out in the caves of fear, shame and grief as a Prodigal child, who believed she was irredeemable and unlovable.

When I returned to the Lord’s arms, I at first believed that those years in the wasteland were lost years. But our Master Restorer has been revealing something quite different. He has been showing me that He in fact never removed His hand from me. That His desire is for me to open my eyes and palms to the incredible gifts He – Strong Love – has hidden in my wilderness experience and to share these with others.

You see, I am discovering His fingerprints all over my journey, from the very beginning, starting with a yearning He placed within me many years earlier.

As a preteen so in love with her Savior, I listened to my older friend tell me she wished she had grown up in the safe Christian home I had. And yet rather than agree with her, my heart inwardly yearned for what I saw burn within her – a much deeper experience and understanding of God’s love and grace. I wanted what she had. And amazingly our Lord fulfilled this deep longing. But it took me a while to realize it because He had packaged it in the most unlikely of experiences – a Prodigal wasteland of more than twenty years.

He always knew I would turn away blindfolded by the enemy, but the Loving Father He is, He had already put everything in place to grow something so incredibly deep and beautiful from such heartbreaking circumstances. Oh how my heart now sings with a song that will never end, a song that I long to see Christ unveil in the hearts of His remaining beloved Prodigals:

So, it’s now, like Bettie, I am hearing the Lord say:

You brought me here
To find your choicest gifts
And to search the caves calling
Other weary soldiers, “Come and eat.”

May you too feel Him cup your downcast and weary face and lift it up to His. May you too see the fulfilment of His beautiful Promises in your and your beloved Prodigal’s life. For I truly believe that (Isaiah 51: 3 NIV):

The LORD will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the LORD. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing.

Will you join us in prayer?

Dear Lord,

May You open our and our beloved Prodigals’ eyes to see Your strong and sturdy Acacia Trees growing in the midst of the wilderness place. Show us and them how they point the way to the springs of life set up in the midst of the caves of hiding there. For You are strong and incorruptible like those Acacia Trees. You are the Sign given by Your Father to point us to Life Everlasting. You are the choicest of gifts, the blossoms of the Henna Plant with fragrance of life not death. Thank You for the healing water that flows from Your throne in Heaven, reaching even unto us and our beloved Prodigals.

Amen                                              

Come share in the comments how the Lord has been or could be leading you to His “bosom”, even in the midst of the desert experience of loving and praying for your Prodigal to return Home. In what ways can you, even now, see His fingerprints on your and your Prodigal’s journey? Do you have a prayer request? Share it in the comments or send it to us here: Contact Beloved Prodigal.

21 thoughts on “Welcome! Let’s Gather to Praise our God!

Add yours

  1. Dear Anna,
    Thank you so much for letting me share here with you, praying and praising for the great Love of our Lord for His prodigals! I am truly excited to see how Jesus is going to move through your words and the vision and He has given. May you be blessed as you continue to walk with Him! Hugs and Love!!

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    1. Oh Bettie, I will forever be thankful to the Lord for bringing you into my life. Thank you for carrying this in your heart together with me all this time and for all your prayers along the way. So blessed by your friendship, encouragement and numerous prayers. So excited to share your God-given words here today and in the days to come. Hugs and much love.

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  2. Anna, I have been so blessed this evening as I read through this blog’s beginnings. I was lifting my arms in praise as I read the prayer in the “Vision and Prayer” section. Hallelujah! He is an Mighty God and we are blessed to serve Him. Anna, your words of “tethering love” have presented such a fine picture for my heart and mind. I remember playing tetherball and can see that long tether upon me when I did not know it. I returned because He never let me go. Thank You, LORD.
    Bettie, this is such a powerful poem, touching my heart so deeply. I wandered for years yet the LORD kept me under His hand even though I did not know it. I keep thinking about the Acacia and Henna and Oasis and healing and the Lover…all needs the wilderness in order to fulfill God’s purposes. Both of you precious women have given me a new angle from which to look upon my prodigal years. I have much pondering to do.
    I love you both, ~ linda

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    1. Oh Linda, I’m so glad this blessed you. I love that it made you think of the tetherball. No, He never let’s us go, does He? Bettie’s poem is filled with richness, isn’t it? God’s richness. So blessed by how God weaves His people together, even across the oceans. Hope you are settling into your new home.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Anna, so excited about this blog! Reading your comments, I just want to say that God doesn’t waste a sorrow , much less a tear. No , He has a purpose for everything. Sometimes He reveals His purpose to us like He did to you about your 20 years as a prodigal,n how you can use that experience to help others. I found this to be true many times in many people’s situations n trials. In fact I’ve seen God use our trials,sorrows , n wanderings most times to teach us humility, compassion, selflessness,n love towards others. If it wasn’t for the hurts,suffering n sorrows would we ever really know the love of our Father? Praise God ,He never gives up on us n always pursues us in whatever way He must to get us to come to Him!

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    1. Dear Cindy, so true. And I think I saw that as a little girl – being given God’s own yearning to love Him even more. Suffering does press us more deeply into His arms and filled with His love we can’t but help share it with those around us. So thankful for your prayers behind the scenes.

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  4. Dear Linda, I’m sure that Anna will reply here also, but I just wanted to say that I am so blessed to know that the Lord is bringing you precious encouragement tonight! Yes, He sees our wandering so differently than we do, doesn’t He? He woos us, and He watches us, and keeps the way open before us, even when we don’t realize it. What a beautiful picture when I think about that tetherball–I played it as a child also! He never lets us out of His sight! Much Love and Hugs to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Anna, it is so wonderful to see this blog come to life and watch you obey God’s calling to reach out to prodigals and give hope to them and their families as they pray for God to touch them and lead them back home. God promises to never let us go and that nothing we do can keep His love from us. God can breathe new life into any person’s situation. We suffer sometimes in order to realize that we need our Father in heaven and a savior in these troubled times. May God bless you Anna as you lead our prodigals home.

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    1. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement, Vicki. It won’t ever be me leading them home though. It truly is only by God’s Spirit that hearts are opened up again and blindfolds removed. Praying with you for that to happen. May God bless you too.

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  6. What a blessing this is! There is much encouragement for prodigals and for those of us who have prodigal children. Bettie, your poem is lovely and so poignant. Anna, your story of how God was working even during your time away and has brought you to such a loving relationship with Him. That gives me hope for my youngest daughter who no longer calls herself a Christian. My prayer is that God will work in her circumstances and bring her back. And He has given me a peace that what I need to do is trust Him and love her.

    Blessings to you both! Love and hugs! xoxo

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    1. Praying with you, Gayl. She is loved so very much by her Heavenly Father. He will never ever let her go. For Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres, HE never fails. It truly is a battle against spiritual powers of darkness- looking back it is as if a blindfold was put over me and everything to do with God and faith caused incredible fear i n me. A fear I never expressed to anyone all that time.

      Sending you hugs from afar. I’m so glad God has gifted you His incredible peace. He is so faithful.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Dear Gayl,
      I will continue to pray with you for your daughter to be drawn back to the Love of Jesus. I know that your prayers are so important–they are so precious in the eyes of the Lord! I am so thankful that you found encouragement here. Hugs and Love to you too, my friend! xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Such an encouraging story. I am married prodigal that God had to lay down with a massive heart attack at age 27 to get his attention. Because the Holy Spirit lived in my husband he knew exactly why the heart attack happened. It took a few years of walking back to the Father before all was right in my husband, it was right as with the FAther as soon as the walk back started. Long story short, we have served with New Tribes, new name Etnos360 for 30 some years, served in two foreign countries, now serving as Member Care reps for our mission in the southwest of the states. Amazing that God would use a prodigal so greatly after such a dirty pig pen he slopped in. But when God cleans a person up, they are fit for the Masters use again. GREat post.

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    1. Dear Betty, thank you for visiting and sharing a piece of your husband’s story. Each Prodigal story is beautifully unique, but shares one common thing- the incredible richness of God’s grace. I am so thankful that He is a God who pursues us in His kindness, peeling off the blindfold Satan covers us in. I love how God often reveals His kindness in the midst of such awful circumstances.

      When my Mum got sick and then died of cancer I blamed myself – in the beginning, it felt like another piece of evidence revealing God’s desire to punish and hurt me because I – even with the Holy Spirit in me – was unworthy of grace (the lie that caused me to flee the Lord in the very beginning). I was terrified as it unfolded. And yet – precisely in all of this, He revealed who He truly was – gentle, kind and compassionate. To this day it brings me to tears remembering how He showered me in His love in the midst of such deep grief, fear and pain. I am reminded of
      Romans 3:

      21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

      27 Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.

      Christ is truly ALL we need. All He asks is that we embrace Him- His truth, His love and His grace. And it sounds like your husband has done that. I think such humbling just increases our passion to serve the Lord- just as it did for Peter.

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  8. One day, my prodigals will lay their trophies of GRACE at the feet of Jesus. ANNA, so happy to be here today and BettieG is my wonderful online friend. Going to lurk here for a big. xoxo

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    1. Amen!! Bettie is such a gift from God, isn’t she? Oh what a blessing she has been to me this past year. Thanks for visiting, Susan. May you be blessed and encouraged in our LORD as you visit.

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