Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
David was willing to have God not only explore his heart but even check his thoughts. He was also willing to be put to the test regarding his love for and obedience to God.
test – to prove, examine, scrutinize, put on trial
I have to ask myself, “Would I want my thoughts and intentions to be put on trial? Am I willing for God to look intently into my heart and mind, and point out what’s hidden there?” It sounds like spiritual open-heart surgery to me.
I pray the prodigal would be willing to submit themselves to the skillful hands of the Father for some exploratory surgery; that they wouldn’t fear God’s “testing” their thoughts and intentions. May they prove to harbor nothing that would offend the Lord.
Search __________, O God, and know his/her heart; test him/her and know his/her anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in him/her, and lead ________ in the way everlasting.
For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose.
It takes submission on our part, but if we take that step, God is able to work in us propelling us forward with a will and actions that are clearly for His glory.
I would love to see the prodigal living with a God-focused will. Let’s pray they’ll submit to the Father allowing Him to work in and through them for His good purpose.
For it is God who works in _________ to will and to act according to His good purpose.
Isaiah 65:24 NLT
I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers!
I love this promise. God knows what we are about to pray, even a whisper in desperation, and He has already acted upon it and is working out the answer. Our answer may not actually appear until later, but that doesn’t mean He hasn’t been actively working on that answer as we wait.
This should be an encouragement to your heart regarding the prodigal. I pray we come to find He indeed has been working on our answer in the days ahead.
Isaiah 65:24 NLT
I will answer ________ before he/she even calls to me. While ________ is still talking about his/her needs, I will go ahead and answer his/her prayers!
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
This verse is a visual of severe circumstances. When our world seems to be falling apart, and we find ourselves being engulfed, God will be our refuge and strength.
I pray that the prodigal won’t let fear over take them even though they may feel engulfed by roaring waters or the ground may seem to quake beneath them. I pray they find His ever-present peace and answers are within reach.
God is __________’s refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore __________ will not fear, though the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.
Envision your prodigal as a strong tree with deep roots. I love the thought that those whose confidence doesn’t lie in man or material goods but in the Lord will be like this tree. When hard times come they don’t fear and they will continue to bear fruit no matter what.
I pray the prodigal will put down strong roots that are fed by the stream of pure water from the Holy Spirit. Intense times will test where their confidence is rooted.
But blessed is ________ who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. ________ will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.
1 Corinthians 16:13-14
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love.
For decades we (American) Christians have blended into a society that has increasingly become more self-focused instead of God-focused. In my sphere of influence, I’m not regularly challenged in my beliefs and actions. Would I have the courage to speak out if I were? When God is questioned, when injustices are being done, would I take a stand on anything? Is everything I do laced with God’s love? These are tough questions to ask ourselves…
Our prodigals need to understand that the world will be watching their response in many situations. I pray the prodigal will take to heart these words of Paul. May they come to be so God-focused they find themselves in conversations that will take faith and courage! I pray they learn what it means to stand firm in the face of persecution, yet be kind and loving in every way.
1 Corinthians 16:13-14
Be on your guard, ________; stand firm in the faith; be a man/woman of courage; be strong. Do everything in love.
The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; your love, O Lord, endures forever—do not abandon the works of your hands.
All of us have dreamed and made plans for the future. We shouldn’t discount God’s plan for us though, and we are foolish to plan without considering Him. He alone knows how He wants to use us to impact the Kingdom. I am thankful He doesn’t abandon me in my stubbornness regarding His plans for me.
I know He has a purpose for each prodigal. They may have strayed off the path for now, but we can trust He will, in time, fulfill His purpose for them. My prayer is that they recognize Him at work in their lives.
The Lord will fulfill His purpose for _________; your love, O Lord, endures forever—do not abandon the works of your hands.
What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave Him up for us all—how will he not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?
It is true, with God on our side we need not worry — who could ever come against us and win? God gave His son on our behalf and because of that tremendous sacrifice won’t refuse anything we who love Him and believe in Him would ask?
May our prodigals discover a God who loves to give… the God who is for them. I pray they will recognize the sacrifice made on their behalf and walk confidently in the promises of the cross.
What shall ________ say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for him/her, who can ever be against him/her? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave Him up for _________ —how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give _________ all things?
Micah 7:7-8 NLT
As for me, I look to the Lord for help. I wait confidently for God to save me, and my God will certainly hear me. Do not gloat over me, my enemies! For though I fall, I will rise again. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light.
Micah couldn’t find an honest person in the whole land… sound familiar? Today, we find even Christians compromising the truth and commands of scripture for selfish desires.
We won’t always be able to trust others to be faithful, but God will always be faithful. If the prodigal falls, they may sit in darkness for a while, but God will help them find their way out if they trust Him to do so.
My prayer for the prodigal is that during those times of darkness they are learning invaluable lessons of His faithfulness. Even though it may be but a flicker in the dark, I pray it grows ever brighter as they confidently trust in Him. Picture your prodigal rising again to be a stronger person than when they walked into the darkness because God is now their light!
Micah 7:7-8 NLT
As for __________ , he/she looks to the Lord for help. ________ waits confidently for God to save him/her, and ________’s God will certainly hear him/her. Do not gloat over him/her, ________’s enemies! For though he/she falls, he/she will rise again. Though ________ sit in darkness, the Lord will be his/her light.
Taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.
This is a warm invitation, much like when you offer something delicious to a loved one to try. God is inviting us to trust Him, to see that He is good and kind; the kindest person you will ever know.
Prayers today are for the prodigal to put aside what the enemy would have them believe about God and try Him for themselves. May they find that He is indeed good and kind and loves them dearly. Blessings are theirs for making Him their refuge.
Taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is ________ who takes refuge in Him.