[thanks to our friend, Joseph Howard, for making this available]

To parents who are praying for the salvation of older lost children

What goes on in the minds of battered [not literally, but by their children’s sin] parents when it comes time to pray? Often a sense of defeat takes over the spirit, a cloud that can descend even when the parents have forgiven the young person and have real love in their hearts. The problem is that parents often have a fixed negative image of the child. He or she is seen as unchangeable, an image that may be powerfully reinforced by the recollection of the adolescents many failings: repeated acts of rebellion, words of rebellion, and looks of rebellion.
The devil knows how to use this image to undermine effective prayer. He suggests to the unsuspecting parent that this image of cold resistance is the final vision of the child. ?This thankless child cannot be changed,? says the Master of Darkness. Listening uncritically to this voice, the praying father or mother then naturally lets the mind become fixed on the child’s stubbornness. Who can pray effectively when the mind is clouded by this picture of steely resistance?
To overcome this, simply shift the mind to the promises of divine grace found in the Scriptures. As a parent, focus your faith by meditating on a great biblical passage like Luke 15, in which you see the great images of faith. You discover the Father’s grace in action. Lost things do not remain lost; they are found. The dead come alive. The lost sheep is found by the shepherd, the lost coin by the housewife, and the lost son is welcomed home with almost scandalous warmth by a loving father. When you think about these things, you’ll realize that the Father loves even you, the parent, as a lost child that has been found. Will he not love your child the same way?

– C. John Miller
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