It’s been a busy several weeks. To those who follow my blog, my CT scan was clear! Praise God! Now we just need to figure out why I still struggle with overwhelming fatigue.
I’m half-way through teaching my creative writing class to eleven very enthusiastic Junior High school students. My Friday afternoons with them have become the highlight of my week! We have played a variety of word games to try to build up their vocabulary, and we have focused on writing a good opening sentence, show don’t tell, characterization, and plot structure. It’s a crash course for sure, and when I get home from teaching, I do crash…literally. I am able to build up my stamina to teach but then have nothing in the tank when I get home. Thankfully, my husband understands, and generally has a plan for dinner worked out on Fridays so I can rest and recover.
I’ve been tasked with organizing files, pictures, and more in preparation for our church’s 35th Anniversary in March next year. My husband and I have attended there since 1990. I guess that makes us the “old timers”, but more importantly we have been blessed to be a part of a church for so many years, and be involved in ministry there. As our community has grown, so has our church. As I look back on its history, it brings back memories of people, events, outreach activities, youth and children who are now adults. Many of the kids I worked with when I was the Children’s Minister there, I still have connection with on social media. It warms my heart to see many in full time ministry, on the mission field or in pastoral ministry. Many are married and raising their own children, and serving in their churches.
There are also those who are the prodigals. Young adults now who were so actively involved in church as children and youth and have walked away from the faith for a variety of different reasons. I pray for them. I know God has a plan and a purpose for each of them. They are precious to Him and to me, so I do what I can to stay connected and I pray.
An ongoing prayer burden for the empty nesters who make up our weekly small group gathering is for our prodigals. Each family has children, extended family, or grandchildren who are not walking with the Lord. With tears in our eyes, we hear the stories, and feel the heart sickness in the telling. Our group shares health concerns regularly, but it is praying for our prodigals that can illicit the most emotion and heartfelt concern. It prompts me to devote more prayer time in lifting all those young people I know and have known before the Throne of Jesus.
Here are a few scripture verses I am praying over my prodigals:
Ezekiel 34:16 “I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.”
Ezekiel 18:32 “For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!”
2 Timothy 2:19-26 “Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.” In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.”
Jude 1:22-23 “ Be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.”
Matthew 18:12-13 “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off.”
2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
Luke 5:29-32 “Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
Luke 19:9-10 “Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
Luke 15:31-32 ““‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”