Offering hope for parents of wayward children

By December 26, 2023

USA (MNN) – In a culture that is increasingly hostile to traditional Christian beliefs, many parents have seen children walk away from the Church.

A Pew Research Center poll published in September of 2022, reveals that 34% of people aged 30-39 raised in Christian households now identify as religiously unaffiliated or another religion. Experientially, many resonate with this statistic, having watched friends or loved ones reject the faith.

Ron Hutchcraft from Ron Hutchcraft Ministries shares that he has met many parents, even in church leadership who are mourning for children that no longer follow Christ. He has begun to talk to families about ways to pray for prodigal children, opportunities for connection, and ways to center Christ in your household when children are young.

He says, “This is not a theoretical problem across an ocean somewhere. This is the legacy of our own faith. This is our next generation and whether the hope that changed our lives has a future in our family. What could go deeper in our heart than that?”

5 Prayer Points for Parents

Hutchcraft offers parents some prayer points and practical tips to help them intercede for and love their children in a winsome way.

  1. Pray that their sin will fail them. Hutchcraft recalls that in the book of Hosea, God tells Hosea that he will place thorns in the way of Hosea’s wife’s sin. Wherever she turns to do evil, she will run into problems. Hutchraft encourages this sort of prayer for children. “One thing is to pray that their sin will fail them, that it will turn out to not deliver. So, I pray frustrate their sin.” When sin doesn’t deliver, it can drive people back to the only One who can make good on every promise.
  2. Pray for blinders to be removed. Hutchcraft says, “It’s interesting that in 2 Corinthians chapter four, it says, ‘The god of this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers.’ So they cannot see the glory, the gospel of the glory of Christ. How does the enemy keep people away from Jesus? He put something between them and Jesus.” One roadblock often cited by people who have rejected the faith is Christians who have acted in an ungodly way. However, Hutchcraft explains that Jesus did not say to follow his leaders or his followers. He said to follow Him. Pray that whatever obstacles stand in the way of a wayward child, they might be removed and the truth of God’s word seen for what it is.

    (Image courtesy of kalhh on Pixabay)

  3. Pray for blocked exits. “In other words,” Hutchcraft says, “when there’s something going on in their life that’s bigger than they can handle. They can’t fix it. They can’t control it. They can’t change it, whatever exits they would normally use to escape it – block them. So, there’s only one – and Jesus is standing in that doorway.” This prayer can be scary for parents. You are praying that God will do whatever is necessary to bring someone to Himself. It might be a difficult road, but a soul hangs in the balance. God is all wise and we can trust that He will use the best means to bring people to Himself both for his glory and their good.
  4. Pray that God opens your eyes to your contributions to the brokenness. If you have hurt your child, repent before God and ask your child for forgiveness. Hutchcraft says, “Perhaps your vulnerability would be part of what God would use to soften their heart. For a parent to go to a child and say, ‘I was wrong. I missed it. I owe you an apology. I need to ask your forgiveness.’ It is a pretty disarming and heart opening thing. So God might use your own vulnerability to be part of the answer to that all those other prayers you were praying.”
  5. Pray that God would help you see your child through His eyes. Parents need to love their kids like Christ does. Love is not conditional on your child getting their life together.

Appealing to the God of Hope

For new parents, the stories of wayward children and cold statistics can feel daunting. However, there are things you can do even while children are young to help bring them up in the Lord.  Hutchcraft’s biggest suggestion is to make Jesus real to your children, just as if He was another person in your home. When Jesus is seen as a real person that we can interact with and trust, many roadblocks that the devil may use to blind a child seem smaller.

However, no person can predict the future or guarantee what decisions children will make as they grow older. So most of all Hutchcraft counsels that there is hope for those who have walked away. In Luke 7, a widow’s son had died, yet with one touch, Jesus brought him back to life. “The words of Luke are simple,” he says. “And Jesus gave him back to his mother. Jesus is still doing miracles like that. Giving a son or a daughter who seems like they’re lost back to their mother or father. He still does those miracles.”

To learn more or get involved with Ron Hutchcraft Ministries, click here.


Header image Courtesy of Sasin Tipchai on Pixabay.

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