Prayers for Prodigals–a Review by Patsy Ledbetter

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Prayers for Prodigals: 90 Days of Prayer for Your Child, written by James Banks and published by Our Daily Bread Publishing: New Edition, Updated and Expanded (2022) will encourage your heart. It was written by a pastor and church planter, and it is very helpful for parents whose children have gone astray. It will help you to know that God is at work, even in difficult times.

Having two adult children, James Banks knows the pain of children who have not always followed the Lord. He offers a solution and that is to pray and trust in God. I myself know there are many times with grown children when you feel completely helpless and unable to fix a certain situation. I pray often for my grown children, and it definitely offers a peace that passes all understanding.

A verse at the beginning of this book expresses one particular reason why we pray for our kids. It is 3 John 1:4, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” (NIV) It gives us tremendous joy to see our children following the Lord and His plans for their lives. 

The 90 prayers, one for each day, are organized into weeks. Each week has a theme/title. Some of the titles are, Don’t Cry, The Power of a Parent’s Prayers, Wanting what God Wants, The Running Father, The Stretcher of Faith, Just Say the Word, Coming to Our Senses, Treasured in Our Hearts, and Waiting for an Answer. Each day of this book will encourage you and make you think of how greatly the Lord loves your children.

The introduction to this book is very helpful. The first quote comes from Ruth Bell Graham, “Prodigals are not limited in gender, race, age or color. They do have one thing in common: they have left home and they are missed.”

Next come some thought-provoking comments from the author, “When you have a prodigal child, prayer doesn’t always come easily. You know you need to pray, but you don’t know where to begin. That’s why this book was written. God blessed me with two prodigals. I use the word blessed because they are a gift, just like every child. Prodigals are an especially precious gift because they teach us much, including patience, the depth of our own need for forgiveness, and continual dependence on God in prayer. When our children bring us to our knees, we’re in the best position for God to help us.

I was greatly encouraged by this book, and I know you will be as well. It will help you to realize that you are not alone in your experience and that God is always with you and your child.

Patsy Ledbetter has written poetry, short stories, devotionals, and book reviews for many years. She has also been a drama instructor, special needs teacher and substitute teacher. She and Kevin have been married for 41 years. They recently lost their oldest son Craig, age 33. They now have three children, Vanessa, Bethany and David. They also have four grandchildren, Elyse, Aurora, Hayden, and Molly. Kevin has been a music pastor most of his life and together they serve the Lord in a local church. Patsy loves to read, pray, and spend time outdoors and with family and friends. Her main desire is to bring glory to God through all the talents He has given her.

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