The Prayers and Tears of St. Augustine’s Mother

One of my daughters was reading Confessions by St. Augustine about the time I was grieving in tears every day for my prodigal son. I found this story about his mother very consoling because St. Augustine was a prodigal himself who came to be a saint. I’m just going to quote some helpful passages out of the book:

“But you ‘sent down your help from above’ Psalms 144:7, and rescued my soul from the depths of this darkness because my mother, your faithful servant, wept to you for me, shedding more tears for my spiritual death than other mothers shed for the bodily death of a son. For in her faith and in the spirit which she had from you she looked on me as dead. You heard her and did not despise the tears which streamed down and watered the earth in every place where she bowed her head in prayer.” (Page 68)

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Continue reading this reblogged post here.

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31 Days ~ How Long?

Day 31 ~ How Long? 
This  is the last day of the 31 Days of blogging with all the incredible bloggers out there. I’m going to leave you readers some links to older posts that have been really helpful to me and hopefully will encourage you. A special thanks to James Banks who wrote the wonderful book of prayers, “Prayers for Prodigals” that I have been reading through day by day, and that has inspired so much of this writing…
How long, O Lord, how long?” Psalms 6:3Some of you are just starting out on this journey. I think that is the hardest of all. When it all comes crashing down on you and the pain is excruciating and the nightmare you never dreamed would happen to you is now your life…It’s as if someone has died and you will experience the same stages of grief. I found this very helpful during that time…
As time goes by in our loneliness we hear of others who have perhaps suffered a greater loss than our own and we realize that in order to heal we need to reach out and help others…
After a while we think, “I don’t want this to last for years and years…how can I bear this…how long, Father, how long?”We may even be tempted to take the battle into our own hands…The Temptation to Take the Battle into Our Own Hands

How long, O Lord, how long? Is a phrase we will utter many times no matter how long it takes, but in the meantime God is not only working in our prodigal but also in us…

“Only God knows the end of the story for our prodigal. Every once in awhile we get a glimmer of hope that our son will fully return to God. Many times I’ve wished I could just read the final chapter; then perhaps I’d sleep better at night. But we are learning to walk by faith, one day at a time. God is sovereign, and we have learned much about His grace, His patience, and His love that we probably would not have learned otherwise.”

Praying today that we might comfort one another no matter where we are in this journey. We as parents are learning to TRUST and have FAITH in a way that transcends human understanding. Reach out and encourage someone today with the comfort you have received from the Lord. It is His way of bringing us closer to Him and giving us healing and peace.
Praying for our prodigals that no matter where they are in their journey that they will see Jesus. Father, take the blinders off their eyes that they might see You today. And we thank you and praise you for the work You alone can do in their lives.

What To Pray When You Don’t Know What To Pray by Sylvia Gunter

I found this very helpful article by Sylvia Gunter posted on PrayerForProdigals GCX Community :

Pray The Basics Of God’s Sovereignty

God is sovereign. All authority and all power are His. Matthew 28:18. Nothing takes Him by surprise. All circumstances are His servants. He knows the end from the beginning. Psalms 119:91, Isaiah 46:9-10. His word is forever settled in heaven. Psalms 119:89.

Romans 8:28-29 is still in our Bible. He does all things for our good and His glory is to conform us to the likeness of Jesus. There is no circumstance, person, place, or time that the blood of Jesus does not cover. The one who spared not His own Son will freely give us all His best things. Rom 8:31-32. He promises that He is for us and nothing can separate us from His love. That was settled on the cross. Rom 8:35-39.

God’s lovingkindness never ceases. His compassions and great faithfulness never fail. They are new every morning. Lamentations 3:22-23. He supplies all our needs by His riches in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19. He knows and cares. The very hairs of our head are numbered. Matthew 10:30.

He promises that He is God of all comfort, Father of mercies. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4. He is able to supply His abundant grace to us in any situation, so that in all things, at all times, we have all of His sufficient grace we need for encouragement and hope. 2 Corinthians 9:8. He is able to show His perfect power in our weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.

We can know with certainty that He is able to guard what we have entrusted to Him. 2 Timothy 1:12. He promises that He is our strength, our shield, our strong tower, our refuge, our hope, our joy, our peace, our everything, our all. Psalms 18:1-3, Colossians 3:11.

He promises to renew our strength as we wait on Him. Isaiah 40:31. He promises that He never leaves us nor forsakes us. He is with us, a very present help. Hebrews 13:5-6. He never goes back on a promise. Joshua 21:45.

He has a heart that tears can touch and invites us to climb up in the Father’s lap and just cry. Hebrews 4:15, Psalms 56:8. He gives gladness instead of mourning and praise instead of fainting. Weeping endures for a night, but He gives the joy that comes in the morning. Isaiah 61:3, Psalms 30:5.

He is enthroned on the praises of His children. Psalms 22:3. When we lift Him up continually in a sacrifice of praise, we glorify Him in this situation in the here-and-now. John 12:28.

We pray all these things for ourselves and our children.
We choose to glorify Him in this situation now and always.

 

Peace That Passeth All Understanding

We have given our lives to Christ and we are walking along life’s path, sometimes not knowing where that path will take us…

Has your path come to a rocky precipice? How, Father, can I keep going? This looks too painful…I don’t think I can make it…

But we know nothing is impossible with God and He will never leave us or forsake us, and the beautiful thing is that He works all things out for good. So press on…He will lead you by the still waters and restore your soul…He will give you that peace that passeth all understanding

Here is an example of a hurting parent of a prodigal and what she learned through her journey…and how she found peace…

Excerpts from the book, Boundaries with Adult Children by Allison Bottke.

What I learned from being a parent in pain:

1. I must remind myself every day that God is in control.

2. God has allowed by circumstances, heartbreaking as they are, to change me.

3. We are not alone. God is well aware what it’s like having prodigals. Look at Adam and Eve. They had it all, and God was a perfect Father. So much for all the theories.

4. The prodigal son had no reason to leave home and rebel. His dad loved him, he had a wonderful home life, plenty of money, and purpose for living. He rebelled because there is pleasure in sin for a season. The father never chased after his son or filled his pockets with money or financed his sin. He stayed put and gave his son to God.

5. God is the only One who can change our kids. Out of the kindness of His will, He alone brings us to repentance. We must pray for God to bring our adult children to the end of themselves and to deal with their problems.

6. The Enemy is at work, but he is not more powerful than God. Satan must ask God’s permission to test us (see the book of Job).

7. I can’t put a timetable on my prayers. Some may be answered on the other side of eternity. God is faithful, and we must pray with great faith. He is working.

8. God has changed me greatly. The heartache of living with a prodigal threw me into God’s Word-big time. In the last 15 years I have devoured God’s Word on a daily basis and developed a prayer life. All this to say, this experience has been a good thing for me spiritually. Whereas I once spent that time in anxiety and depression, I have now taken that time to become anchored in God.

9. God has supernaturally changed me through His Word and changed my perspective on the whole trial.

10. Yielding everything to God is the only way to peace. The day we came to our wit’s end and gave our son 100 percent to the Lord and was the day a miracle occurred. We were flooded with His peace, the kind that cannot be explained. We knew then why Jesus came; not only to save our souls but to give us His power to live through anything. Since that time, we have had to do that again and surrender our grandchildren. His grace is sufficient for all things. He is all we need.

To purchase this book click here.

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:26-27

Photos by Sarah

There Shall Be A Performance

Wonderful encouragement for today…

There shall be a performance” (Luke 1:45).

My words shall be fulfilled in their season(their fixed appointed time)
(Greek, Luke 1:20).

There shall be a performance of those things
That loving heart hath waited long to see;
Those words shall be fulfilled to which she clings,
Because her God hath promised faithfully;
And, knowing Him, she ne’er can doubt His Word;
“He speaks and it is done.” The mighty Lord!
There shall be a performance of those things,
O burdened heart, rest ever in His care;
In quietness beneath His shadowing wings
Await the answer to thy longing prayer.
When thou hast “cast thy care,” the heart then sings,

There shall be a performance of those things.

There shall be a performance of those things,
O tired heart, believe and wait and pray;
At eventide the peaceful vesper rings,
Though cloud and rain and storm have filled the day.

Faith pierces through the mist of doubt that bars
The coming night sometimes, and finds the stars.

There shall be a performance of those things,
O trusting heart, the Lord to thee hath told;
Let Faith and Hope arise, and plume their wings,
And soar towards the sunrise clouds of gold;
The portals of the rosy dawn swing wide,
Revealing joys the darkening night did hide.

–Bessie Porter

From Streams In The Desert By Mrs. Charles E Cowman

You Shall Be Comforted

You Shall Be Comforted
The Lord Is My Shepherd ~ Simon Dewey

Lately, since learning more about how artists paint true masterpieces, I have been much more observant of light and darkness…how highlights and shadows can make or break a piece of art… how whites are much brighter against a dark background.

In the garden the other day I was weeding and mulching around some variegated hostas. I’ve never used black mulch before, but my son had some leftover from a landscaping job last year, so I used it. The dark mulch around the hostas brought out the vibrant light green and white colors. The contrast made the plants look even more beautiful and defined.

I think there is a profound lesson to learn here, one that I can’t possibly cover in this one post, but one that will hopefully spur some deep introspection. Begin to notice the contrast all around you…

Not until each loom is silent,
And the shuttles cease to fly,
Will God unroll the pattern
And explain the reason why
The dark threads are so needful
In the Weaver’s skillful hand,
As the threads of gold and silver
For the pattern which He planned
.
~Streams in the Desert

We know that in the beginning it was dark and God said, “Let there be light!” Yet we still have night and day,sunshine and rain, laughter and mourning, love and hate, and when you think about it what is one without the other. Would we have mountains if there were no valleys? Would we really know what it is to be happy if there was no sadness?

To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace
.
~ Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Praise God for these things, for now we my have sorrow and suffering, but be assured that peace and rejoicing will follow. It is the way our Father made it.

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4


photo of weaver~Jim Bastardo