By Golda Kay Barrilleaux
Focus Verse: For this son was dead and is alive again, he was lost, and is found and they began to be merry (Luke 15:24).
Have you ever had something in your life that meant the world to you? You would do whatever it takes to see that it was protected, returned, and restored to you. This is how the Prodigal’s father felt. He knew sin touches every aspect of mans nature; whether physically or mentally, or spiritually. The Father knew His son was dead because of the sins in his life. He knew if he could get his son home The Healer would be in the house. Healing by its very definition takes into account the purpose, the process, the prior condition, the end result and the motive of the healers or the healing agent. The healing of the soul is the central mission of God himself.
Thus, those reaching out to prodigals must become spiritual paramedics and breathe the Life of God back into the prodigal and those who are hurting from the sins of their lives. Jesus showed us that we could judge the sin while we love and care for the individual placed in our care: For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities (Hebrews 4:14). The following guidelines are paraphrased from those in Healing Evangelism (Benjamin 80:85):
How do we revive a prodigal?
1. Remove stumbling blocks, which can include:
*Needing to be in control.
*Fear: rational fear, which results
from an actual experience in which a
person has been injured; irrational
fear, which is met on the level of
*Physical needs: shelter, food,
monetary assistance, etc.
*Distrust of others.
2. The stumbling blocks are removed in the following ways:
By understanding where the individual is at and directing them to the Word of God for completeness.
Through prayer, fasting, and being a friend.
3. The Paramedic’s attitude:
*Meet the prodigal on their level.
*Gently and lovingly show the prodigal an accurate picture of his condition.
*Pray with intent that the gifts of the Spirit operate in you. Spiritual weapons must be used to combat spiritual destitution:
Ephesians 6:12, For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wicked ness in high places.
II Corinthians 10:3-5, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalted itself against the know ledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”
4. The paramedics actions:
*Carry the prodigals when they are too weak to carry themselves.
*Pray for them but, more importantly, pray with them because prayer is the most powerful weapon we have and we are able to bind the power of Satan. We must pray that they will have the courage and strength to withstand the tests they will face. And we must pray that prodigals will receive Godly wisdom and understanding. And, most importantly, we must pray persistently!
*Direct the prodigals in their situations by standing on the Word of God and teach them to stand on His word also.
*Keep their confidences.
*Exhort them, focusing on their special qualities.
*Listen to them.
*Keep open communication with them.
*Spend time with them. Consider involving them in your family or leisure activities.
*Face their problems with them, rio matter what they are, by taking them to the word of God.
*Legitimize their feelings. We must learn to affirm their feelings, even when we disagree. Be careful in your reaction, being very careful not to judge.
*Do not merely offer words. Offer actions.
*Bind their wounds, whether they are accidental wounds (i.e. job loss, a broken relationship, financial difficulties, etc.), intentional wounds (i.e. rape, abuse, rejection, gossip, etc.), or self-inflicted wounds.
*We must use any and all resources to continue caring for these individuals after their restoration.
*Give them shelter and protection and any basic comfort necessary.
*And support them spiritually through prayer and fasting.
*Show love and compassion. Show commitment.
*Love them with God’s love.
As spiritual paramedics we must be able to feel their pain and understand their guilt and loneliness. But we must be careful not to condone their sins. We must follow God’s example of love and compassion and minister to their hurting souls. Assure them that the love of God is unselfish and His eternal love includes them and emphasize:
1. God is Love.
2. God created each person to be unique
3. God loves them, whatever their sins.
4. Love made God find a way to redeem mankind.
5. God provides for each individual.
6. Every good gift comes from God.
7. God’s love is unsolicited and voluntary.
8. God’s love is unconditional.
9. God’s love is everlasting.
Note to Prodigals
The doors to your Father’s Haven are open, ready and waiting for you. Jesus Christ is your Spiritual Paramedic. Allow Jesus to breathe his life-giving breath into the needed areas of your life. Watch the miraculous power of God do a work that will bring Him glory. Your life will become a life changing testimony for others to read. You will become A SPIRITUAL PARAMEDIC for Jesus.
Excerpted from ‘Returning To The Fathers House A Bible Study’ by Golda Kay Barrilleaux
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.