Loving a Prodigal: Love As High as the Heavens
This is the second post in a weekly series of mini-devotionals on LOVE, which is the theme of the 2014 June 2 Worldwide Day of Prayer for Prodigals. This letter goes to the members of the Prayer for Prodigals community, but it is true for all of us.
Dear Lover of Prodigals,
“For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him.” (Psalm 103:11)
This morning I was reading and praying Psalm 103, which I do often. As I read the verse above, I heard the Lord say, “This is what my love for you and for your prodigal looks like.”
This was not one of the passages I thought we would consider in our “love” theme, but a word from God seems to indicate it should be.
In this brief space we don’t have time to dig in together to all God might want to say to us—about His love for us and His love for our prodigals. So I’m just going to get us started, and encourage you to go further with the Lord in this Psalm, asking what He wants to say to you.
As you read through this portion of Psalm 103, be reminded of what God’s love has done for you. Pause to remember that He says the same thing to Your prodigal—I prayed this morning that mine would grasp the reality and depth of God’s love expressed here.
But don’t stop there. Ask God how you might demonstrate this kind of love to your very loved prodigal.
So here is a portion of Psalm 103, with a few comments from what God said to me this morning:
1Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—(He has done so much for us, given so much to us, yet it is easy to forget. I don’t want to forget, especially in the hard times.)
3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, (This morning I went through this for myself, thanking Him for forgiving my many, many sins. And then, as I had no trouble recounting my prodigal’s many sins, I was grateful for God’s mercy. And the healing—I have plenty of areas of my life that need healing, but he has more parts of him that need healing than I can name. God is doing that.)
4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, (Most of us have some acquaintance with the pit, but our prodigals seem to live there. He redeems our lives and theirs!!)
5 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. (Too often it is our prodigals’ desires for definitely not good things that send them spiraling down. May they grow to desire the good things God freely gives.)
6 The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel:
8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. (Every day I am grateful that God is compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. I pray that I can act like Him toward my loved one.)
9 He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever;(perhaps an application for us here?)
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. (On my face with gratitude that this is true. May I pay it forward with grace and mercy.)
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him; (There’s that amazing love of God again!)
12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; (Sometimes I think we need a greater measure of the Father’s compassion for our prodigals.)
14 for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. (This is a verse I claim for myself over and over—He knows I am dust. May I remember the same is true for my prodigal.)
17 But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children— (Can you claim this? The Lord’s love is with us as we fear Him, His righteousness is with our children’s children!)
18 with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.
19 The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all. (I find I must recall every day that God is on His throne in Heaven—and He rules. He will do what He says, what He wants.)
May God speak love and truth into your heart and mind from this Psalm. May you rest in His love and live it out with your prodigal.
In His Love,
What about you? Can you recount some of the benefits of His love?
c2014 Judy Douglass
If you would like more information, to request prayer for a prodigal, or to join our full-of-grace community, please write to prayerforprodigalsatgmaildotcom with your questions or names, or for an invitation.