Reaching the Prodigals

Dear Friends:

On January 5, 1967, Governor Ronald Reagan gave an inaugural address. In this speech there was a paragraph that remains true today, “Freedom is a fragile thing and it’s never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by way of inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people.” When you think about it, this applies to our spiritual lives as well.

As much as we do, and did, in our homes to teach our children to follow Jesus Christ, some of them walked away from their faith. Some rebelled openly. Others moved away slowly from their faith like the story of the frog in a pot of hot water. Some deviated from their spiritual heritage in the name of blending in with their environment and living by the rules of their culture. Others are not “anti” anything but their spiritual pilot light is diminished almost to the point of extinction.

Yet, we still love our prodigals. Our hearts cry out for them and our hearts break for them. Like the father in Jesus’ parable in Luke 15, we are “filled with compassion” and long for the day that they will return.

There are two action responses we should take in this situation. First, we must remember that as much as we love our prodigals, Jesus loves them more! Though they walked away from Him, Jesus is seeking constantly to be reunited with them, reignite their spiritual passions, and pour His love upon them in abundance. I was reminded of this amazing truth just a few days ago. A man from India discovered our Network211 site and prayed the salvation prayer. We wrote us and then we understood why he prayed:

          “I am a Hindu but recently I’ve been getting dreams about Jesus Christ and I’m so glad that Jesus showed me the right path. I never knew anything about Jesus before but through my dreams he made me clear that he loves me and wants me to follow him to an eternal life. I want to devote myself completely to Christ and become a Christian. Please enlighten me on how can I convert to Christian and accept Christianity.”

Jesus never gives up on anyone! You can never be too far from Him! This is a powerful truth that encourages us as we pray daily for our prodigals!

Second, while we are praying for a miraculous return of our prodigals we must do all we can to impact and influence the prodigals who belong to someone else. Actually, everyone who walked away from the Lord is God’s prodigal son and daughter. In the Luke 15 parable, the prodigal son “longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything” (Luke 15:16). In the same way, people today have a longing in their hearts to be filled with love, acceptance, belonging, and purpose. They scour the Internet seeking hope and help as they believe others are doing. Yet, they remain unfulfilled as their hearts yearn for something better. Here are some comments that people write to us to illustrate their frustrations and needs:

• A man from Ivory Coast wrote, “I want to repent and change my life I need help I am guilt free and I feel dirty I just want to get closer to God.”
• A man from India wrote, “I have done many sins…I faked to people .. I played with feelings of others.. How can I be forgiven?”
• A man from Haiti wrote, “Can Jesus help me with this guilt I feel inside of me?”
• A man from Nigeria wrote, “Can Jesus delivered me from this state of confusion I am in?”

Like the prodigal son, they came to their senses (Luke 15:17) and sought help online. I thank the Lord that with your partnership, we are online in that “pig pen” if you will. We are there to connect with the prodigals and share the love of Christ! The Holy Spirit moves and breaks through their facades and brings hope and life transformation!

How would you respond if you knew that your prodigal “came to his senses” but there was no one there to bring him or her home to Jesus? How tragic! In fact, that would make me angry! We pray that this will never happen online for we will do all we can to present Jesus Christ to “everyone, everywhere!” So, your partnership with Network211 matters. Your faithful prayer and financial support is meeting the prodigals of the world at their point of inquiry and bringing hope and spiritual rescue.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9). The lives of our loved ones are in the balance. May God find us faithful!


Dr. Mark Flattery
Network211 President