Page 30 of 34

Calling the Prodigals Home

As I've traveled around the world, I've noticed the same battle taking place everywhere: Satan is warring against the saints, and he's doing it through their children.

Leaders' children, in particular, seem to be under heavy attack. And those young people who have the highest callings on their lives are the ones the enemy is targeting with greatest ferocity.

Time and time again I've prayed with Christians who have said through tears, "Johnny (or Susie) had a heart after God when he was young. So many prophetic words were spoken over him about his destiny in Christ! But now, it's as if he's rejecting everything he ever believed in."

If your own heart is breaking because your child has turned his back on the Lord, I have good news for you: The situation is temporary. There will be a day when he returns from the land of the enemy. Fear not!

How can I say that with such assurance? Because my husband, Mike, and I had a prodigal too.

I'm just like you. I love my kids, Mary and Daniel. I have tried very hard to be a good mother. I've spent hours and hours with them as they've grown up, praying for them and teaching them the Word. I've tried my best to live a godly example before them, even though I have not always succeeded.

Still, for a time, Mary turned away from the Lord. What happened? For one thing, the kids suffered from having a mother who was a minister when women in ministry were really unpopular.

The unkind things people said about me hurt my daughter especially. Her Christian kindergarten teacher told her I was a witch because I was praying for the sick; her first-grade teacher told her I didn't love her because I was traveling. The pain from such comments mounted until, as a teen-ager, Mary could no longer stand the church. She thought all Christians were hypocrites.

It was a long, up-and-down battle. At times Mary would look as if she were coming to her senses, only to surprise us a few days later with a comment such as, "Mom, I've been reading a book about aliens, and I think that maybe Jesus was a alien." She would usually say something outrageous like that just as I was going out the door to preach. I'd cry all the way to the airport and struggle with deep feelings of shame.

"Who do you think you are to preach the gospel? You can't even deal with your own daughter!" the enemy would whisper. "You are a failure, Cindy Jacobs—a big failure!"

It's a good thing that when we are weak, God is strong. At those times I had to minister out of sheer obedience because inside I was crushed. Yet somehow God always worked through my grief and pain, and great breakthroughs would take place at those meetings.

Having a Battle Plan

In the heat of our battle over Mary, I discovered how important it is to have a strategy—a solid battle plan that helps you go into war fully equipped. The enemy of our souls wants to discourage us from believing our prodigals will ever turn around. He wants to use our own precious children to send fiery darts designed to erode our faith. But with a plan steadfastly in place, we can stand firm no matter what our kids do or say.

Having a plan does not eliminate the inevitable pain that comes when your son sneers, "I don't believe in your God!" or your daughter cries, "I don't want to have anything to do with those hypocrites in church!" It hurts—terribly. But if we are firm in our resolve that no matter what happens we are going to stand and keep standing in the gap for them, we may plummet temporarily—but then we will get back up on our feet and start praying again.

Prayer Strategies That Work

The insights I'm about to share with you are tried and tested, and they work! I know, because Mike and I have seen God do a miracle in Mary's life through prayer.

1. Find God's promises in His Word concerning your child and stand firmly on them. Here are two for starters:

* "All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children" (Is. 54:13, NKJV).

* "Thus says the Lord: 'Refrain your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears; for your work shall be rewarded, says the Lord, and they shall come back from the land of the enemy. There is hope in your future, says the Lord, that your children shall come back to their own border'" (Jer. 31:16-17).

God gave me a specific verse for Mary: "'Therefore, behold, I will allure her, will bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfort to her. I will give her her vineyards from there, and the Valley of Achor as a door of hope; she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, as in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt'" (Hos. 2:14-15). This passage was special to me because Mary is a musician. I clung to this verse and others, believing that God was going to completely restore her.

2. Get others to stand in agreement with you (see Matt. 18:19). There is nothing like a believing prayer partner to stand with you during your child's rebellion! This is especially true for single moms and those whose husbands are not Christians.

I have several close friends who were always there for me when I would call and ask for prayer. They would constantly remind me, "Cindy, you know this is just temporary. God has His hand on Mary's life." Of course I knew that—but somehow just hearing it again and again brought comfort to my heart.

One day at a very low ebb I received a note from my good friend Dick Eastman. He reminded me that he had prayed for Mary every day the year before, and he said he was committing to pray for her every day for the coming year. He said our family was on his "till death do us part" prayer list. What a priceless gift!

3. Pray for God to send laborers across your child's path (see Luke 10:2). Believe God to send other Christians to your child to say those things they will not hear from you. Even after giving her heart back to the Lord, Mary had a hard time returning to church. I knew she needed to be restored to fellowship, but every time she went to a church service she was reminded of all the negative stuff she had experienced growing up. There seemed to be nothing I could do or say to help.

I kept praying that God would send someone she would listen to. Then one day a prophetic friend she trusted got hold of her and prophesied that she needed to go to church. From that day she began going to church more and more.

4. Start a fasting chain. For four years now, Mike and I and Luis and Doris Bush have fasted and prayed for each other's children almost every Wednesday morning. It is a special covenant gift we have given each other, and we are all strengthened by it.

Several times Mike and I fasted for 21 days straight, praying for Mary to turn around. Our prayer partners undertook two 40-day fasts for her. (She was a tough case—strong-willed like her mother!) I'm convinced these times helped facilitate Mary's breakthrough.

5. Pray with snapping turtle faith. Those of you who are from Texas may know about snapping turtles. They have long necks and strong jaws that strike out and latch onto you. You can kill those turtles, and they won't let go!

That's a picture of "snapping turtle faith." Biblically you could call it persevering prayer. You pray and don't stop praying until you see a change.

When Mary first became a prodigal, I thought it would be only a matter of weeks before she came back to the Lord. But weeks turned into months, and months turned into years before we finally saw a complete breakthrough. It took snapping turtle faith to hang in there.

6. Do spiritual warfare for your child's destiny. This involves the principle of "binding and loosing" found in Matthew 18:18. Bind Satan from blinding your child's eyes to the glorious light of the gospel (see 2 Cor. 4:4). Forbid the enemy from bringing evil companions and wrong relationships into his life. Stand at the gates of hell, and tell Satan that he cannot and will not have your child!

What finally turned Mary all the way around? Old Slue-foot overplayed his hand! One day my son, Mary's fiancé, Thomas, and I were praying for one of Mary's friends. Suddenly the friend started manifesting demonically. We weren't actually trying to do deliverance on him, but he was so full of evil spirits that he just leaked them!

When Mary heard her friend screaming and cursing, she ran into the room. A spirit spoke out of him, "Madison (her nickname), make them let me go."

Mary knew her friend's voice, and she knew that whatever was speaking to her was not him. She pointed her finger at the demon and said, "I do believe in Jesus Christ, and you're coming out!"

Then she proceeded to go after that spirit, speaking the Word and commanding it to leave her friend. From that day forward she started turning her life back to the Lord.

Listen, my friend. God has His hand on your child even when you can't see it. Don't rely on what you see with your eyes and hear with your ears; that's all subject to change. Rely on God and His Word!

Claim God's promise that says, "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it" (Prov. 22:6). Clamp on with snapping turtle faith, and the day will come when your prodigal, like mine, will come running home to the Father's house.

Cindy Jacobs is co-founder with her husband, Mike, of Generals of Intercession, an organization that builds prayer ministries throughout the world. She is also the author of The Voice of God, Possessing the Gates of the Enemy and Women of Destiny. read more

Faith That Sings

My husband and I had just returned from a long stay in Mexico. With us we brought a special treasure: a beautiful poster of a rocky riverbed. Its Spanish caption read, "Si no hubiera rocas en su lecho, el río no cantaría."

I hung the poster above my desk—not really understanding its meaning, but enjoying its exotic charm nonetheless.

Then, during one really bad week, the computer hard drive crashed; a furious friend called with words of anger and disappointment; I received the crushing news that two very dear friends suddenly found themselves in the throes of cancer; and another faced a long prison term.

I started complaining to God, but He stopped me with the sweet words of an old hymn. Its soul-piercing truth and comforting refrain came to mind as quickly as each new challenge arose, and I would sing the words softly to myself and smile. "Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him. How I've proved Him o'er and o'er. Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus. O for grace to trust Him more."

E. Stanley Jones, a great missionary, tells of a king who once stretched wires between the towers of his castle, hoping to create harp-like music when the wind blew.

But even the strongest gusts produced only weak metallic groans—until the night an enormous storm blew through the kingdom, awakening the whole court.

It was so violent that it sent everyone scurrying for cover—everyone except the king, whose attention was caught not by the threats of the wind, but by the beautiful, angelic notes that emerged from the dancing wires. It had taken a storm to reveal their hidden music.

It is the same for most of us. In character-testing trials we approach our real potential and learn to lean on God more.

A few days later, I sat admiring my beautiful poster again. This time its meaning made sense. You see, in English the caption reads: "If there were no rocks in its bed, the river would not sing."

It seems that only in life's storms is our faith stretched far enough to play the music of God's everlasting love and abiding truth.

Sue Dunigan is co-founder of Leadership Ministries. Her husband, Jack, pastors the Word of Grace Church in Sedona, Arizona. They have served in ministry together for more than 26 years. read more

Are You Sabotaging Yourself?

Do you have a desire to pursue a passion or calling, but every time you make a move in that direction you talk yourself out of it? Maybe you’ve wanted to start your own business or launch out into ministry, but soon the idea overwhelms you and you give up before you get started.

The Holy Spirit has placed in you a love for children, shown you a vacant building, given you favor with the property owner, and you still won’t open your own Christian school.

Or maybe you have a beautiful voice and lead worship at your church, but the Lord is telling you to take it a step further and make a CD, but the moment you run into a problem you say, “That wasn’t God.”

It’s cyclical. God prompts you to do something. You get excited and go to work on your new venture. The enemy plants doubt in your mind, and you come up with excuses why this or that won’t work. Finally, you lose your joy and do absolutely nothing. Three or four months later, you go through the cycle all over again.

I’m sure you know the enemy doesn’t want you to pursue God’s leading, but let’s not give him all the credit. When fear rules your life, you sabotage your own future. But to be successful, it takes faith, personal commitment and confidence that the Father will finish what He has begun in you.

Scripture says He has not given us the spirit of fear (that comes from Satan), but power (the ability to do) love, and a sound (well-disciplined) mind. So stop starting and stopping. Get busy and start that new business, join the mission field, or audition for American Idol if that’s what you want to do. But by all means, get to work! You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.

Valerie G. Lowe is the editor of SpiritLed Woman eMagazine and associate editor of Charisma. read more

Gathering the Harvest in Unity

Many men and women of God are prophesying a coming harvest of unprecedented proportions impacting every expression of the body of Christ. Unity and fervent, effective intercession will characterize this next wave. Lines of division are fading as many share their anointed gifts across denominational and cultural lines. God's people are discovering that it is indeed "good and pleasant for brethren to dwell together in unity."

Read Ps. 133, Rom. 16:17-20, 1 Cor. 1:10-17, 1 Cor. 1:26-31, 1 Cor. 3:1-11, 1 Cor. 12:12-31;14:26

Heart Issue

Experiencing the presence of the Lord with believers of diverse worship styles and customs enhances our understanding of the vastness of God's kingdom. Ask the Lord to help you overcome the uneasiness that prevents your participation with those whose experiences differ from your own.

Prayer Focus

Father, we recognize that the most prominent mark identifying Your church is love among all the brethren. Cleanse us of wrong attitudes and grant us courage to follow Your will in this hour. Amen.

Brenda J. Davis is the acquisitions editor of Creation House and former editor of SpiritLed Woman magazine. read more

Declaring War on the Enemies of Joy

The book of Nehemiah says that "the joy of the Lord is your strength" (Neh. 8:10, NIV). Do you wonder how that can be true when you find it hard to maintain your joy for five full minutes? Do you think this is a biblical truth that applies to everyone but you? Think again.

The joy of the Lord is our strength. It is God's will for our lives. And what He wills, He is able to accomplish in us—even in the midst of a bustling holiday season when we feel pulled in every direction.

If the joy of the Lord is our strength, then it stands to reason that joy would be a major focus of attack by the enemy. He wants to weaken us in whatever way he can. In order to fend off his attack, we have to be aware of the joybusters and strength-zappers he uses against us. Here are seven of them: read more

Marriage Without Regret

Do you look forward to spending the rest of your life with your husband, or do you regret the day you ever said, "I do"? Marriage can be challenging, but God never intended for you to go at it alone. If you invite Him into your home, He will help restore your marriage. Click below to watch the video. read more

Garbage In, Garbage Out

"The computer made a mistake!" Have you ever said that? Most of the time, you eventually had to admit the truth: The computer didn't make the mistake—you did.

Entering bad data into a computer produces bad output. Faulty assumptions deliver flawed conclusions. Our minds work exactly like computers do. The quality of what we feed our minds produces the quality of the results we achieve.

Input controls choice. Choice drives actions. Actions determine results. Garbage in, garbage out. read more

Restoring Your Passion for God

I will never forget the words spoken one night by the pastor of the church in which I was saved. He said, "A person may take 20 years to backslide" (referring to a complete apostasy from the Lord). This is a sobering thought.

You grow old gradually. Your hair turns gray gradually. You can backslide just as gradually. Before you know it, you have wasted your whole life.

Where is the present course of your life taking you? Are you moving toward the Lord or away from Him? If you continued forever on this path, would you wind up in heaven or in hell? read more

God Can Satisfy

Several years ago I regularly struggled with discontentment. I was so disheartened by my problems and life in general that I spent hours seeking God for answers. I would pray in my car, in the office, everywhere. But nothing changed.

The uneasiness I sensed was the last thing on my mind when I went to bed at night and the first thing to flood my thoughts when I awoke the next day. I started to concede defeat and remain unhappy when God spoke to me through His Word. read more

Are Your Words Loaded With the Spirit?

There is an indescribable quality about words, even when they are printed, but more so when they are spoken. Words are chariots in which the quality of the heart and mind ride forth to other souls.

The dominant heart-quality of a person will possess and accompany his words with absolute precision. If the spirit of a man is superficial, or narrow, or timeserving, or selfish, or trifling, these qualities will pervade his words, in spite of all the seriousness or sanctity he may try to put into them. read more

Lord, I Want to See You

To catch a glimpse of the eternal God so impacts us that we are lifted from the mundane affairs of this temporal life and transported into the reality of the kingdom of God. We must ask God to heighten our ability to see into the heavenly realm. We desire this, first of all, because we have a desperate need for Him. Secondly, we need revelation, in order to see with our hearts the conditions of people to whom we are called as His servants.

Read 2 Kings 6:15-17, Is. 6:1-13, Matt. 5:8, Luke 10:21-24, Luke 17:20-24, 2 Cor. 4:17-18 read more

Be Healed in Jesus' Name!

For many women like yourself, sickness, disease or physical pain is a reality you live with every day. You want to be a good wife and mother or fulfill your divine calling, but your health hinders you. God sees your struggle and He wants to touch you now. To receive prayer from a woman who has experienced God’s power, click below to watch video. read more

Single & Satisfied

The world has said that you must have a mate in order to be complete, and if you don't, there must be something terribly wrong with you. There were times I believed that lie. I'll never forget the woman in church who said to me, "Helen, you'd better hurry up and get married, or you are just going to dry up like an old raisin, and nobody is going to want you."

Another woman said, "You better get married soon, the biological clock is ticking. Tick, tick, tick. You'd better get busy and find a man." For years those words would vex my soul.

We are often led to believe that if we are alone, we are half a person. That is a lie! You are a whole person, and you are already complete—in God! A husband will complement your life, but he will not complete you. read more

When Must a Child Reap What He Sows?

In the Garden of Eden, everything was beautiful, lovely and tranquil. All was in order—except for God's children, Adam and Eve. After the snake in the grass convinced them that an apple a day would be good for their health, God dismissed them from the Garden. This was the first historical example of "sowing and reaping."

God held the first man and woman accountable for their actions. They were told to pack up their fig leaves and hit the road. The Lord gave them some instructions that they were to carry out "east of Eden."

"Be fruitful and multiply," he told them, and this time they obeyed. I've often wondered if that commandment was a blessing or part of the curse! read more

Prayer Can Turn It Around

Have you ever read Frank Peritti’s This Present Darkness? I read it maybe 15 years ago and it changed my prayer life forever. The book is about spiritual warfare and what happens when Christians pray—or don’t pray. I held on to every word, comma and semicolon in the book because it taught me the value of seeking God.

After watching Gloria Copeland’s powerful healing prayer in Say It, Sister!, I thought I would invite you to join me in prayer right here on SpiritLed Woman eMagazine. Let’s pray for the lost, our loved ones, broken marriages, our nation, and whatever else in need of God’s intervention.

I believe this world will soon get what it deserves if the church does not repent of its slothfullness and pray more. Second Chronicles 7:14 says: "If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land" (NKJV). read more

Why We Must Embrace the Cross

Do you wonder why God has to make it so hard on you? Why doesn't He make you good without making you miserable in the meantime? Of course He could, but He does not choose to do so.

He wants you to grow a little at a time and not burst into instant maturity. This is what He has decided, and you can only adore His wisdom—even when you don't understand it.

I am awed by what suffering can produce. You and I are nothing without the cross. I agonize and cry when the cross is working within me, but when it is over I look back in admiration for what God has accomplished. read more

Private Lessons With God

On a Sunday morning, several years ago, I walked into the sanctuary at my local church during the praise and worship portion of our service. As I made my way to the balcony, I noticed the worshipers all around me up on their feet leaping, shouting in acclamation, and clapping their hands in seemingly sincere celebration.

But as others stood around me in exuberant corporate participation, I took my seat.

Consumed with the frustration I had brought to church with me that day, I sat and observed while pondering the questions that ran rapidly through my mind. "God, why am I here? What is all the hoopla about? How long is all this going to take? How much of this is really necessary anyway?" read more

Whose Nature Is in You?

After Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, God confronted Adam with an important question: "Who told you that you were naked?" (Gen. 3:11, NKJV). He was really asking Adam, "Who have you been listening to—other than Me?"

God wanted Adam to realize that he had allowed something other than God's word to influence him—and as a result, something other than God's nature had entered his heart.

Adam learned an important principle: Whatever you give your attention to determines the nature that lives in and rules you. Eve gave her attention to the serpent by opening the gates of her hearing, her sight and her taste. She allowed the words of the enemy to entice and deceive her to act out of his nature—one characterized by pride, lust and disobedience. read more

A Woman's Prayer Life

Is God your refuge? Is He your strength? According to Bible teacher Beth Moore, the key to an intimate relationship with the Father is total abandonment to Him. To reap the lasting benefits of His unconditional love, we must draw near to Him and His Word. To be encouraged and inspired, click below to watch the video. read more

It's Time to Cast Out Your Nets

"Does anybody really care?" Do you hear it? That's the cry of the lost soul—and it's all around us. "Will someone please help me?" "Can anyone tell me that life is worth living?" "Please love me and accept me just the way I am!"

Rarely do we hear the cry spoken. But we see it in the depths of the eyes of the mother living next door who is wondering if her husband will come home tonight. It is painted across the face of the child who woke up this morning not knowing if there will be food on the table. It echoes in the silence of the young 17-year-old on her way to the clinic to abort her second child. read more


  • Donald Trump certainly needs your prayers.

    Why You Must Pray for Donald Trump

    Here are eight ways I plan to intercede for President Trump regularly.

  • Here's a prophetic word for Washington, D.C.

    Prophecy: The Lord Is Raising Up Daniels in DC

    I believe we're on the precipice of a Third Great Awakening the Lord spoke to my heart about in ...

  • Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    I have been puzzled about the subject of inner healing for some time.

  • 2017 is the year that swords will clash.

    Prophetic Word: 2017 Will Bring a Clashing of Heaven and Hell

    "This is a time to cross over and not pull back."

  • Roadblock

    6 Roadblocks That Will Stop Your Spiritual Growth

    God wants you to grow in your faith, but many of us get stuck along the way.

  • Cindy Jacobs

    2017: Year of the Breakthrough

    "There will be a significant increase in miracles and signs and wonders."

  • The devil will try to silence you in any way he can. Don't give him the satisfaction.

    Satan's 2 Most Potent Lies to Render You Ineffective

    There's something in you so powerful that Satan doesn't want it out. Kyle Winkler reveals ...

  • Foot washing

    Shaking the Gates of Hell With a Basin of Water and a Towel

    "When I saw His foot, I knew He had come to take back territory the enemy had stolen from His ...

  • Are you willing to volunteer for God's offensive army?

    Prophetic Word: Preparing for God's World War 3

    God is searching for soldiers of the cross who are willing to volunteer for His offensive army.

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit