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April 2, 2024

Come Home, Part 1


My brother, Tim, and his daughter, Rachel Shafer, have just released a new and powerful book on praying for prodigals, Come Home. As they point out, prodigals aren’t found only in the ranks of our children; a prodigal in your world could be a spouse, brother or sister, mom or dad, perhaps even a friend. That being the case, we all know some.


A revival is coming that will bring millions of these wayward prodigals home to the Father. Come Home will help generate this, inspiring and encouraging your faith, as well as arming you with an understanding of how to pray for these individuals whom Jesus so loves. It also provides us with biblical decrees to declare over them daily, releasing the power of Holy Spirit and God’s Word.


Though I am going to share a few excerpts with which to encourage you, my intent is to accomplish more than that. As you listen to these short portions of the book, you will see its value. I hope you order one and use its powerful and moving insights. If you do, it will prove to be one of the best investments you ever make.


Today’s portion of Come Home is the honest, heartfelt testimony of a mom who, like many of you, knows the pain and heartbreak of watching one you love turn away from Jesus. But she is now contending for her prodigal child, confident that she will come home. I’m beginning with this story because I want you to know you’re not alone, and that you can arise from your pain into overcoming faith.


A Testimony

“I never thought I would find myself writing something like this. 


“My husband and I raised our children in church. We were there for every service. They attended Sunday school, Bible clubs, VBS, youth meetings, camps, and any other activity the church offered. We started them out in Christian preschool and elementary school. At home, I planned fun activities that often included Christian or moral lessons. At a very young age, both children accepted Jesus as their Savior. We were thrilled. Life was good. We had succeeded as Christian parents. Our kids were saved; they were going to Heaven. We did it! 


“Until... my world fell apart. 


“One of my children (married now, with children of her own) dropped a bombshell into our lives. She no longer considered herself a Christian. At this writing, she and her husband are no longer serving the Lord or raising their kids in the church. Even typing this, I am feeling all the emotions this revelation caused when she first told me this: sadness, disappointment, anger, fear, embarrassment. I find myself cycling in and out of these emotions on a regular basis. I also cycle in and out of hope that they’ll come to their senses and return to the God of their childhood (both she and her husband were raised in church).


“I’ve had the sleepless nights, the tear-stained pillow, the muffled sobbing as I’ve prayed and pleaded with God to somehow miraculously turn this around. I’ve been angry at God, as if it’s His fault. After all, I did everything right, didn’t I? I raised them right! How did this happen?! 


“Now, I’m watching from afar as they live a life clearly not centered on God or the church. We’re not estranged; we’re still a close family. But it’s awkward now. They don’t want to hear about God. I’m finding myself censoring my comments, suppressing my true feelings, withholding comments such as, ‘I’ll be praying for you,’ or ‘God’s got this.’ 


“I would have to say that fear is one of the biggest emotions I’m experiencing. Fear that they’ll never turn back to God. Fear that my grandchildren will never be saved. Fear that I’ll die before it ever happens. I’m always wondering if I should leave a note for after my death, pleading with them to accept Jesus so we’ll meet again in Heaven. Thoughts like these can cause one to go down a dangerous path, because I KNOW that I shouldn’t be fearful. I remind myself that God pursued me when I was a teenager, and He’s still in the pursuing business. 


“I know the Scriptures. I know that God died for my daughter. I know I did my due diligence in raising her. I know God has a plan and a purpose for her and her family. I know I’m not the Savior; He is. I know God hasn’t given me a spirit of fear; I know that’s from the enemy. But when in a desperate situation, when deep in the battle, when you find yourself weary and growing faint, losing hope, you need help!


“That’s where this book comes in. I don’t need to be sobbing into my pillow and losing hope. I need to stand up and face the enemy. I need the words to decree that my daughter WILL return to the Lord! That the devil is a LIAR! That no weapon formed against my daughter and her family will prosper! I remind myself of these words in Ephesians 3:20-21 (MSG): 


‘God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, His Spirit deeply and gently within us.’


“I remind myself that this is exactly how I came to know the Lord as a teenager, while attending a revival in a small storefront church. Holy Spirit began gently speaking into my heart during one of the services, and I couldn’t run to the altar fast enough to give my heart to Jesus. I have to believe that He is working in my daughter's and her family’s hearts, as well. It is not up to me to save them, but it IS up to me to pray and decree! 


“Our words matter. The Bible is full of good promises for us and for our prodigals. I’m ready to face the enemy and take back what has been stolen from me, and what he has stolen from my daughter and her family. The devil CANNOT and WILL NOT have my family. Even though my daughter is grown and no longer living in our household, I have always quoted and dwelled upon this verse: 


‘As for me and my family, we’ll worship God,’ (Joshua 24:15 MSG). 


“I also think about what the apostle Paul wrote to Timothy concerning Timothy’s faith: 


‘That precious memory triggers another: your honest faith—and what a rich faith it is, handed down from your grandmother Lois to your mother Eunice, and now to you!’ (2 Timothy 1:5 MSG) 


“I remind myself that my husband and I dedicated our children to the Lord; we raised them in the fear and knowledge of Him, and we (all of us!) WILL worship the Lord. We have passed down our faith, and we refuse to let the enemy steal our children and grandchildren. They belong to God!”(1)


You, too, can rise up in faith and authority, and see your prodigal/s return to the Father. This book will help you do so.


Pray with me:


Father, we and the prodigals we love are not at the mercy of demons, sin, deception, or the pigpens these things generate. We and those we love are at YOUR mercy, which is always now (“new every morning”), inexhaustible, never-ending, and something You delight in releasing. Our faith is anchored in this and cannot be dislodged. Your word is true and forever settled.


We agree now that discouragement will be broken off of our brothers and sisters, condemnation will be wiped away, and faith will arise. Grant favor to this book and use it to replace fear and wavering with unyielding faith. Use the truth it contains to set many free, and the principles and decrees it provides to bring untold numbers of prodigals home. 


And we pray even now for tomorrow’s pastors who are today in pigpens. We pray for the future worship leaders who are currently singing of perversion and sin, and for the next generation of righteous moms and dads who are still doing drugs and living in perversion. Your power can and will break satan’s deception and influence, Father, and since You desire to do so, we will accept nothing less. We pray all this in Yeshua’s name. Amen.


Our decree:


We decree that millions of prodigals are going to come home.



Portions of today’s post were taken from Tim and Rachel’s book Come Home. You can find this book here or at TimSheets.org.


Click on the link below to watch the full video.


 

  1. Tim Sheets and Rachel Shafer, Come Home (Destiny Image Publishers: Shippensburg, PA, 2024) pp. 61-64. 

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