Prodigal Mom

Friday’s Praise

Welcome to Friday’s Praise.

If you’re new here come read about:

– the story behind Beloved Prodigal 

– our vision and prayer 

– the Beloved Prodigal Team 

– our weekly posts

Today, Bettie is sharing a piece of her journey as a Mom of two Prodigal sons, who have returned Home. May you be encouraged and strengthened by her story today.

Have you heard the call of the Heavenly Father as He asks you to join Him in prayer for the young ones?  Maybe you are a Mom of a Prodigal yourself?

I have walked that road, and I know the varying levels of pain and love that are felt inside of a Mother’s heart.  When my oldest child became a teenager, I resisted the efforts of those in our church who wanted to label him as a “perfect example” to all of the younger ones there.  I knew how the pressures of those labels create a false pedestal that we humans simply cannot attain to.  I prayed and tried to warn against those labels.  I even asked those in our church to pray for my son as he was entering his older teen years, to pray that He would be strengthened only in God.  Some of the women there told me to stop worrying, that he was a great kid, and he would do just fine.  

Moms, please don’t ignore those promptings in your spirit when God calls you to pray.  

God was preparing me for the many hard days and years ahead for both of my sons.  He was calling me to a season of deep prayer and intercession.  Thankfully, He sent a few close friends who were also walking with prodigals of their own.  He knew that we could not walk the path alone, and so HE brought us together to share the load of praying, even when the church had seemed to fail us.

“Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus,  by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God,  let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.  Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:19-23.

Even as my older son struggled with his commitment to follow the Lord, he joined a local youth ministry and was excited about the new possibilities to walk God’s path. He went on an Overseas Missions Trip with this group, and we were all so excited for this step of faith.  I committed to pray for him daily.  

But when the Lord puts a burden on a Mother’s heart, it can be deeper than we realize.

One evening as I was praying for my son and his group, with Worship music playing in the background, the “Prodigal Son Suite” by Keith Green started playing, and I began to weep.  As I lay on the floor sobbing, I heard the words at the end of the song, when the Father cries, “My son’s alive! My son’s alive!”  I could not explain why I was so deeply affected, until a call came through to us about a week later.  As I heard my son’s crackling voice over the line, he said something about the hospital, and I asked him what he meant.  The leaders had meant to call us, but because of poor phone connections, they had not been able to reach us.  We had not heard until our son told us that he had contracted “clinical malaria.” The leaders had taken him to a hospital with limited care, in the area where they were ministering.  At one point our son’s fever had gone so high that they were not sure if he was going to live! But God intervened, and he told us he was on his way home with the group.  The tears ran down my face yet again, as I remembered that night when the Lord had called me to pray for my son’s very life.  God would use that song many times throughout the years, as He would ask me to pray for both of my sons’ spiritual lives.

Those times of living with a surrendered heart were broken by intense times of walking away from God by my sons. Many times my own heart resisted the call to deeper surrender also, as I heard Him asking to me to be willing to examine myself, and to pray even more deeply.

How could I offer my heart back to God when frustration and anger was all I felt?

The world told me to just “let them go, they have to find their own way.”  Even the church counseled me to walk in “tough love.”  And while there are boundaries that have to be followed within your own family, there is also a call to love that God will bring to our hearts when we surrender our frustrations and anger to Him. He will turn our frustrations to compassion.

“How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel? How can I treat you like Admah? How can I make you like Zeboyim? My heart is changed within me; all my compassion is aroused. I will not carry out my fierce anger, nor will I devastate Ephraim again. For I am God, and not a man—the Holy One among you.” Hosea 11:8-9

As the days grew into years, the Lord gave me an invitation that I was not expecting. I had never been a morning person, so I usually found time for my personal devotions late in the day.  But He asked me to arise early, to meet with Him, and to go into my older son’s room as soon as he left for work.  God met me so beautifully in those early morning hours praying for both of my sons.  He gave me Spirit Songs from the Scriptures that He placed on my heart for them:

Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts. My soul yearns for you in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you.” Isaiah 26:8-9;  

“I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you.”Isaiah 44:22;

“But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate; slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore you did not desert them,” Nehemiah 9:17.

While both sons went through very deep waters, and many different struggles through the years, God did renew their surrenders to Him!  He heard their cries for mercy when they were a long way off. He indeed was that Father from the Scriptural story who cried “My son’s alive!”  His heart yearns for all of His children to rest in His Love.

And my heart’s desire is that God will begin stirring other mothers, throughout HIS Body, to uncover their unspoken and hidden longings.  We are meant to carry the load together to Jesus. We need the support that praying together brings. And the prodigals need to know that they are worthy of our open-hearted loving.  We ALL have strayed and sought our own way, and walked the path of a prodigal. Only the Mercy and Love of the FATHER calls us back to His home, whenever we stray.  God Bless you as you offer your Mama-heart to Jesus.

Lord Jesus, we come to You full of PRAISE for the many ways that You draw our hearts back into Your Presence. Thank You for calling our Prodigals back to Your heart.  May every Mama that is reading these words today feel Your Spirit calling her heart to be joined with Yours in sweet prayer.  May she know that she is not alone in the struggle for her Prodigal’s life.  I ask that You would let her see just a glimpse of the way that You are at work behind the scenes. Would You give her precious promises straight from Your Word directly for her?  May we all be encouraged as we lean into Your nearness, and hold onto Your hand as You guide us along the path of Your loving.  In Your Precious Name, Lord Jesus, Amen.

Here is a song Bettie asked me to add to encourage you, as you love and pray for your Prodigal(s):

 


14 thoughts on “Prodigal Mom

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  1. This is such a touching story, Bettie. I long that all my children and grandchildren may come to know Jesus personally. Sometimes I get so stressed about it, but then I have to lay them in His hands. This song brings tears to my eyes. It’s hard to surrender them all to God. I’m afraid I do get too much in a hurry and try to handle things in my own strength. God continually reminds me to surrender all to Him, to rest in Him, and to be still and listen for His voice in so many matters. Thank you for this wonderful encouragement! I’m so glad your sons returned to the Father heart of God. Love and hugs to you! To you, too, Anna!

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  2. Dear Trudy, Oh, yes, that hurry and rushing into my own strength is such an ongoing lesson for me as well. I am so grateful that our Father is such a gracious and compassionate Lord, to remind us and send us His words to keep trusting Him. As we watch those sweet grandchildren, it brings another layer to our prayers, doesn’t it? I will add your family to my prayers, also, as you have brought such encouragement to me so many times. I am so glad that Jesus is bringing hearts together to pray for those cherished children! Love and Hugs to you too!

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  3. Dear Anna, Thank you so much for pointing me in the direction of this song last week! I have been listening again and again, sitting in the Lord’s Presence. Oh may we learn to see through His eyes more and more. Love and Hugs to you dear friend!

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  4. Bettie, this is such an encouraging post! It reminds me to keep praying for my children and to heed those promptings of the Holy Spirit. I am trying to remember to pray for them each by name along with their spouses and my grandchildren. I know God hears and answers prayer. Of course, they all aren’t prodigals, but we also need to pray that God would keep them close to Him. Blessings to you, dear Bettie, and to you Anna for hosting this beautiful spot!

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  5. Dear Gayl, You are so right that we need to stay open to those promptings to pray for all of our children and grandchildren! God has joined us together, and wants to bring such blessings as we join with Him in prayer, even in the hard places. Each of us has at times turned away, and I think we will be so surprised and thankful when we get to Heaven and see how many people were praying for us to walk with Jesus. What a privilege we have to pray for each other now. Thank you for your encouraging thoughts too, dear friend! Blessings, love and hugs to you!

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  6. Dear Bettie, your story moves me in so many ways. I sense how much God desires all of us (who are prodigals at heart) to come to Him and experience His amazing Love, Forgiveness and Grace. What also strikes me is how your Holy Spirit attuned, listening ear is the means by which God called you into taking on this burden of prayer for your own family and for those who also need support. We really do benefit from developing sensitivity toward God, an obedient, surrendered heart and a great willingness to take on the privilege of co-labouring with Him in prayer.
    I am blessed to have married into a strong Christian family and to have children of my own who believe. Yet I also know there can be no smug satisfaction whatsoever in this, only deep gratitude for grace. My own life experiences have shown me how easily we can allow the temptations of this world, pain and problems to tear at our faith and push us away from God. And my heart aches for all who suffer, are lost and alone or feel far from God. Prayer is our best weapon in everything. A high calling indeed. Blessings, love and hugs to you and Anna! xo 💜

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  7. Dear Joy, Oh dear sister, thank you so much for your encouragement to keep listening and obeying the voice of the Holy Spirit! You are so right when you say that there can be no “smug satisfaction” in our own choices of obedience, because every day is a new moment for the roar of the enemy to tempt us to look away and harden our hearts to God. Just this morning, those roarings were so loud in my ears, but God is so gracious to keep reminding me that He will hold me fast, and keep me on His path. One whispered cry, and He is right here to pull me up again, just in the same way that He will pull up all those we are praying for! What a gift He lets us share through prayer! Thank you for speaking from HIS heart also my friend! Blessings, love and hugs to you! xo

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  8. Your story is beautiful. I have not thought about our kids as being prodigals in the sense that you describe. Your words made me pause to think about my own sons. I realize that I have placed some huge expectations on them because they are both such “good kids”. I have a lot to reflect on as I take your words of wisdom and begin to see them in my own life. Thank you Bettie!

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    1. Dear Mary,
      Isn’t our Lord so good to call us to pray for our children? Wherever they are walking, it is all His Grace that keeps them going! I understand what you mean about those “huge expectations,” though. I think it is so similar to what we do to ourselves, also, when we feel the weight of this life’s requirements. Oh, may the Lord open our hearts to the freedom of His Mercy towards us! Thank you for your sweet insights, my friend! Blessings to you!

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  9. I so needed to read your words today, Bettie. Thank you. I haven’t been faithful to follow the nudge of the Holy Spirit to pray and act and the cost of that has been enormous. Even so, I’m thankful that it’s not too late and I can look to Jesus and pray today.

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    1. Dear Hulda, Oh I have been so slow to respond to the Lord’s promptings so many times myself! What would we do without His Grace? He is so good to hear our prayers, whenever we cry out. And, He even tells us in Isaiah 65:24, that before we call He will answer us–He knows the true desires deep in our hearts. I am praying for the Lord’s encouragement for you today, and for His wooing and working in your loved ones’ lives. You are a precious sister, and I am so grateful for the Light of His Love within you! May He hold you close to His heart.

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  10. Even though my children have always walked with the Lord, they aren’t perfect. As each one has become an adult that’s when I stepped up my prayers. I have always prayed for, and will continue to pray for my kids, no matter how perfect they may seem.

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    1. Dear Barbie,
      Isn’t it amazing how, no matter how old our kids get, they still hold that special place in our hearts? And, you are so right, that no matter what it might seem like on the outside, there are still struggles that happen inside. I am so thankful that Jesus helps us to pray for them, and to pray for each other as we walk beside them! Blessings to you!

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