Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish. In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back.
God will allow us to reap the consequences of our rebellious nature, yet He can also protect His own from destruction because of bad choices. Our Father knows there is benefit in walking through difficult circumstances.
God delights in the prodigal and He is pleased to deliver them. In His love, He will allow anguish to be a teacher. I pray the prodigal will learn from each difficult circumstance. May they feel God’s love through the struggle and out the other side, praising Him for His deliverance.
Surely it was for his/her benefit that _________ suffered such anguish. In your love you kept _________ from the pit of destruction; you have put all his/her sins behind your back.
1 Peter 5:8-9
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
Those of us who have lived long at all know the truth of this verse. As long as he is allowed, the mission of the enemy is to destroy lives, especially those who claim Christ as their Savior. Being alert to his schemes and self-controlled in our thoughts and actions is the only way to come through this life victorious against him.
We are seeing also, in this day and time, how believers around the world are suffering at his hand. It’s hard to watch and yet makes me rejoice at the faithfulness of our brothers in Christ despite their circumstances. I could only hope I would stand firm and resist the temptation to give up and give in, were I under the same persecution.
No doubt, we realize the enemy is looking to devour our prodigals. Pray for protection, but even more for the prodigal to stand firm in their faith, be alert and live with self-control where their greatest temptations are concerned.
1 Peter 5:8-9
Be self-controlled and alert ________. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, ________, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
2 Timothy 1:12
Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him for that day.
When we come to know Christ and take Him as Savior, we have entrusted to Him our very lives and eternal future. Confidently we believe, when the day comes to leave this life and enter the next, what He says about Himself is true. We have boldness in sharing the Good News with others because nothing we do, or don’t do, can change our eternity.
Our prodigals are something that we very much entrust to God’s faithful guarding. Lets pray that the prodigal will come to know, without wavering, whose they are and that whatever they entrust to Him, He will be faithful to guard until that day.
2 Timothy 1:12
Yet _________ is not ashamed, because he/she knows whom he/she has believed, and is convinced that He is able to guard what he/she has entrusted to Him for that day.
How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
God’s dwelling place was in the tabernacle, which was moved from place to place, until the temple was built and divided into different “courts”. I imagine David yearned to be there because God himself was there, a living presence.
To see the prodigal cry out for the living God, desiring to be in His presence would be such a wondrous, encouraging thing. I am believing today that one day soon, we’ll see it.
How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty! ________’s soul yearns, even faints for the courts of the Lord; ________’s heart and ________’s flesh cries out for the living God.
And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
Paul, who is in prison, shares in this chapter of Philippians how he has learned to live with plenty and lack; that he could do all things through Christ. It was even through Christ and the Spirit’s prompting that the church was meeting his needs.
We may not always have all we want, but through Christ, we have everything we need! We are rich by most standards with plenty to give away. I hope I will always be quick to respond to the prompting of the Holy Spirit in this area. We, the church, are the hands and feet of God and should always be ready to share with someone in need.
I pray as the prodigal struggles, possibly with legitimate physical needs, someone will step out in response to the prompting of the Holy Spirit to help them. It would be a wonderful picture of God’s faithfulness to them as well as bring glory to Christ.
And my God will meet all ________’s needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help and he will say; Here am I.
For all of us there have been times when it seems a thick cloud is hovering over us spiritually (and possibly physically). The light of Christ enables us to break though these times of darkness just as the dawn breaking forth on a clear day.
When Christ brings breakthrough, along with it comes refreshing and healing. The Father promises to come behind us as an encourager and protector – our rear guard – lest we slip back into that darkness. When we call for help, He is right there.
Prayers today are for the prodigal to feel like they are breaking through the darkness to a new dawn with a strong presence guarding them from behind. When they call out to the Lord, I pray they hear His immediate response…”Here I am”.
Then ________’s light will break forth like the dawn, and his/her healing will quickly appear; then _________’s righteousness will go before him/her, and the glory of the Lord will be his/her rear guard. Then _________ will call and the Lord will answer; _________ will cry for help and He will say; Here am I.
Psalm 18: 29-30
With your help I can advance against a troop, with my God I can scale a wall. As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in Him.
David had no military training. He was merely a shepherd boy with a big God. A God who would teach him all he needed to know to have success.
My son’s in the military have depended heavily on their training. It can make the difference between life and death. Spiritual training is no different. The Father delights in teaching us new skills that will help us as we move offensively. Being able to advance in confidence and depend on God for strength comes through training yourself to do so.
Each of us has enemies we are advancing against all the time. I have to believe as I press on against huge obstacles in life, God is right there with me helping me take more and more ground on His behalf. His Word is our greatest weapon in advancing against our enemy…it’s perfect and flawless.
I love the immediate reference to taking refuge in the Lord. There are times of moving forward and taking ground and times to take refuge and rest; both are important.
Pray today that the prodigal will take action against their enemy, advancing in God’s strength. I pray they will know when to move forward, sword drawn, and when to take refuge behind their great shield, the Lord himself.
Psalm 18: 29-30
With your help ________ can advance against a troop, with his/her God ________ can scale a wall. As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for _________ who takes refuge in Him.
“As soon as you began to pray, an answer was given”…
Daniel’s prayer in Chapter 9 is a cry to the Lord for the forgiveness of His people. Daniel is pleading and fasting on their behalf, asking that the Lord would look with favor on them once again. He calls on God to be merciful. While he was still speaking, Gabriel shows up and delivers this message. I envision all of heaven poised, just waiting to spring into action.
What a wonderful thought — when we pray a prayer that invoke’s God’s mercy, the instant we start praying, the answer is given. It may take some time for all the details to work out but we can be sure that He hears and is acting on our behalf.
I pray the prodigal will come to see their prayers being answered as they confess sin. They may not have a visit from Gabriel, but I pray they sense the Lord springing into action on their behalf.
“As soon as ________ began to pray, an answer was given”…
1 Peter 1:5-6
…who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.
The word “shielded” is a Greek word translated — “garrisoned” – a military post that is permanently established.
I can rejoice because, as a believer, I am permanently established and secure in the Father until the day my salvation is revealed. As a country, we have no idea what the next years may bring for those of us who are believers in Christ. For now, I may have to suffer all kinds of trials, but it will all be worth it when the day comes to receive my salvation. I will take it from the hands of Jesus, himself, and step into eternity.
No matter what our prodigals may go through, they are established by the Father and at the appointed time will also receive their salvation. Let’s pray that in the midst of a stormy sea, they can rejoice at what lies ahead.
1 Peter 1:5-6
________, through faith is shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this ________ greatly rejoices, though now for a little while he/she may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.
Joshua 3:4a, 5b
Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before…. Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you….
I love the story of Joshua. He and Caleb were the only spies who believed, with God’s help, that they could conquer the inhabitants of their promised land. Now after 40 years, Joshua is back doing what he felt sure they could do all those years earlier.
God promised never to leave him and commanded him to be strong and courageous. When the ark moved, they were to move with it and take the land; it was the presence of God going before them.
Consecrate — to dedicate to a divine purpose.
As Israel stepped out, believing in God’s purpose and dedicating themselves to the task, what awesome things they would see Him do.
I pray that the prodigal would see divine purpose in their present situation, though it may be new territory for them. I pray they would keep their eyes on Him as they confidently and courageously move forward.
Joshua 3:4a, 5b
Then ________ will know which way to go, since he/she has never been this way before…. Consecrate yourself ________, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things….