This one was a little easier for me since I have spent years of fear, frustration and despair being driven to my knees asking God for help, protection, ideas, money, release from panic, and often with clear instructions on how best God could do that! But slowly the conversation changed. The heart-felt "How"s (as in how did this happen, how can I save the day, how can I stop the descent, etc.) finally opened my stubborn ears to hear a gentle voice saying..."I know the how and it is already established, but you must trust without details of processes you can never fully understand."
Oh. God might know better than I do what my child needs and how my child's journey will unfold. Imagine that. And God knows what I need better than I do. Hum. And God is willing to provide me with direction, wisdom, patience, love, hope, faith, purpose, resources and a bunch of other stuff I am definitely short on?
This verse is from Colossians 1:9: "Pray without ceasing." It has been pivotal in my life for this reason: when I pray the biggest change I see is in me! This, more than any other place or way, is how my relationship with God was born and nurtured. So I am very strong on encouraging folks to keep talking to God. Mad at him? Keep talking! Not getting the answer you want? Keep talking! Not sure God is there or would listen to us if God is there? Keep talking! Want your loved ones to act differently, be different, regard you differently, value what you value? Keep talking to God about it. If it has worked for millions of other folks over thousands of years, isn't it worth giving it a try?
And where you find comfort, direction, relationship in prayer, share that gently with your incarcerated loved one. Some powerful prayer warriors live behind bars and live lives of purpose, kindness and hope, ministering to others both inside and outside.
Ask your loved ones to pray for you too! If they are praying but their faith is shaken by all that has gone on, the praying for you will be a special blessing to you all.