The Fayette Citizen-Religion Page
Wednesday, November 10, 1999
Prayer can bring the prodigals home

The Rev. Dr. John Hatcher
Religion Columnist

Do you know a prodigal? A son? A daughter? A spouse?

A prodigal has abandoned his upbringing. He may have left his family physically. He may have left his parent's teaching and standard of conduct while still living at home. Your house may be just a shower and dressing room for him.

You've tried to reason with him or her. You've asked other family members to say something to him. You have tried the strong arm approach. You've tried backing off. You've accused yourself countless times. You've tried acting like it doesn't bother you and yet it's eating your heart out.

I don't have any problem believing that prodigals are the devil's treasure. Not only does the evil jerk have his claws on our precious loved ones, but he's also stolen the joy and peace of the prodigal's parents.

All that to give you good news: Fayette/Clayton area churches have called a Prayer Meeting for Prodigals. Thursday, Dec. 2, 7 p.m. at the Fayetteville Church of God, indeed one of the most conveniently located churches on the south side (at intersection of Georgia 85 and 92 South—across from the new south side Eckerd's and Kroger in Fayetteville).

Please help us get the word out that there is another approach to bringing prodigals home—physically, emotionally, spiritually. It's prayer.

But, what I know about prayer says that prayer's power emerges from faith. Jesus would instruct his disciples that without faith they could not pray for big results. Without faith, the Bible says it's impossible to please God. Ask any parents if bringing their prodigal home is not a big thing!

So, planning to attend and actually attending the Prayer Meeting for Prodigals constitutes a step of faith. In addition, there's sacramental power in a large assembly of God's people. No telling what God will do in the hearts of Prodigals when parents come to pray (and not even out loud if uncomfortable with that way).

The Prayer Meeting for Prodigals will be simple: little singing, no preaching. But a lot of God's promises and a lot of believing prayer for you and your prodigal.

Please spread the news about this prayer meeting as we move into the Christmas Season. The pain of children not walking with parents becomes particularly painful at Christmas. There is home. There is prayer.

Tell your friends about the prayer meeting. I really believe God wants to give many parents the best gift ever: “My son, my daughter has come to his senses, to her senses and has come home with a new attitude, new obedience, and new joy.”

The Rev. Dr. John Hatcher is pastor of River's Edge Community Church in Fayetteville.


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