Trust: The Spirit of God
This is the seventh post in a weekly series of mini-devotionals on TRUST, which is the theme of the 2015 June 2 Worldwide Prodigal Prayer Day. This letter goes to the members of the Prayer for Prodigals community, but it is true for all of us.
Dear Lover of Prodigals,
We just had another suicide. It makes me angry. This kid wasn’t on our list—we didn’t know we needed to be praying for him. Our enemy is truly a roaring lion seeking to devour our loved ones—and us. He comes to steal and kill and destroy.
We know that God has promised to never leave us or forsake us. Jesus says He will be with us always. But they seem so far away, and the pain is very present.I am grateful that God the Holy Spirit actually lives in us. He is means by which we are never abandoned, never left alone, never forsaken. And He does many tangible things for us, including these that carry us through our wilderness journeys:
He Is our Comforter
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may be with you forever... (John 14:16)
To comfort us in our pain, our loss, our confusion, our desperation—that's the Spirit’s first assignment. That’s the meaning of his name—paraclete—to come alongside, to be right there with us.
Sometimes He is beside us through friends and loved ones who stand with us. Sometimes through prayers, encouraging words, hugs. And sometimes with a still small voice speaking love and grace and comfort to us.
He Is our Peace-giver
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid (John 14:26-27).
I know many people are looking for peace in the loss of this child. Perhaps peace seems elusive for you right now too.
We have a place to go for that peace: the Spirit of God. He will remind us of all the names and promises from the Father and the Son—names and promises that give peace. He says don’t be troubled or afraid—He offers a peace beyond anything the world can give, more than any peace we can comprehend.
He Is our Liberator
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom (2 Corinthians 3:17)
We know prodigals have often been imprisoned by their desires and choices, their addictions, their anxieties, their anguish—so many captors. And we who love them are also often held captive—by our fears, our desires, our need to control, even by our hopes.
But the Spirit of God has come to set them and us free. We read it in Isaiah 61:1-3, and Jesus reiterates it in Luke 4:18:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,”
He Is our Advocate
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will (Romans 8:26-27, NIV).
I am so grateful for this praying community—that we take each other and our loved prodigals to the Lord. What a gift we give each other.But sometimes, in our desperation, we want more.What an amazing “more” we have: The Spirit of God who indwells us also goes to the Father on our behalf. He intercedes, He represents, He beseeches—He prays when we have no idea how or what to pray. He is our advocate at the throne of grace. Thank You, Lord.
He Is Our Power
“Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit," says the Lord Almighty (Zechariah 4:6).
How many times have we said, “Oh God, I can’t do this. I am weak. I am exhausted. I can’t go on.”
His response: “That is so true, my son, my daughter. You cannot do this. But I can. By my Spirit I live in you. And by my Spirit, anything is possible. He is your strength, your power. He will give you all you need to keep on loving, waiting, persevering—to keep on trusting.
Trusting in Him,
What about you? Do you know how to walk in the Spirit?
c2015 Judy Douglass
If you would be interested in requesting prayer for a prodigal loved one, or being a part of our wonderful praying community, respond in comments or write to me at PrayerforProdigals at gmaildotcom.