Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Watching and Waiting

So he got up and went to his father.

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.  Luke 15:20 (NIV)

Watchmen held an extremely important job during Old Testament times. They stood in towers or upon city walls looking out across the land. For the Israelites, it meant standing guard over the walls of Jerusalem and leaning forward to peer off into the distance. The Hebrew guards kept watch and waited out their allotted time on the wall, observing everything and everyone around them. An approaching enemy or advancing army was spotted first by the watchmen on the walls. 

Several years ago, God gave me the broad vision of a military policeman standing guard, wearing an armband with the letters MP on it. Military police lead the charge for protecting the lives and property of those in service to one’s country. Reflecting on that image gave me insight into the endeavor of mothers praying for their prodigals. I envisioned our job as prayerfully waiting and watching, waiting for God’s work to be accepted into the lives of our children and watching for their return to God and family. 

To do this kind of work—this watching with purpose based on the promises of God—requires faith and trust in the God who loves us! It demands constant watchfulness (with wailing, if necessary) in humble prayer, giving up any personal dictates and whims, and placing our children in the very capable hands of God. This hopeful waiting requires us to daily give our doubts to God and peacefully watch what He is doing, even if it looks messy!

The story of the prodigal son in Luke tells us of the actions taken by some of the family members. One verse in particular (verse 20 above) explains the turning back of the prodigal and the father’s observation of his son in the distance returning home. What joy for this watchman who daily had waited patiently at his border for any sign of an answer to his many prayers. Can you feel the jubilation in this reunion? 

You may be in a situation right now that feels nothing like triumph. Misery surrounds you as you wait and watch. I understand such feelings and so does God. He sees your hurting heart and hears your agonizing cries. Don’t give up your position! Stand firm on His promises and trust in His perfect timing for your loved ones. Rely on His Word to strengthen and preserve you in peace. He is a faithful God!                                                                     
If your situation has turned around like the one in the story of the prodigal son, give God the glory but don’t stop praying. There are many prodigals and families who need your prayers of intercession for protection and peace while God works within their lives. Continue the labor of watching and waiting for the return of God’s children to His loving truth. And praise Him!

Together let’s lift Scriptural battle cries up to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as we watch and wait for His fulfilled promises.

But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord,
    I wait for God my Savior;
    my God will hear me.  Micah 7:7 (NIV)

Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord;
    Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive
    to my cry for mercy.

If you, Lord, kept a record of sins,
    Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness,
    so that we can, with reverence, serve you.

I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
    and in his word I put my hope.
I wait for the Lord
    more than watchmen wait for the morning,
    more than watchmen wait for the morning.

Israel, put your hope in the Lord,
    for with the Lord is unfailing love
    and with him is full redemption.
He himself will redeem Israel
    from all their sins. 
Psalm 130 (NIV)

I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest......  Isaiah 62:6 (NIV)

Be happy in your hope, stand your ground when you’re in trouble, and devote yourselves to prayer.  Romans 12:12 (CEB)

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