The Lord your God will change your heart and the hearts
of all your descendants, so that you will love him with
all your heart and soul and so you may live!
Deuteronomy 30:6 (NLT)
Moses is about to die and he is reviewing the covenant with the Israelites. They had been rescued from slavery in Egypt and spent the last forty years wandering through the desert because of their disobedience. Joshua has been chosen by God to lead them into the promised land. Moses reminds them of God’s faithfulness to them throughout their wandering. Even though they had not obtained the land promised to them when they were supposed to, God had not abandoned them. At one point Moses points out to them that in the forty years, their clothes or sandals had never worn out and they had never been without food (Deut. 29:5-6 NLT ). He had shown Himself faithful over and over again. He had never stopped loving them.
Moses says, “But to this day the Lord has not given you minds that understand, not eyes that see, not ears that hear!” (Deut. 29:4 NLT). God had given them a covenant to follow. It wasn’t easy and since we know that they had free choice, they were free to not follow it. But it had consequences. Today, we know how easy it is to make the wrong choice and we have the Holy Spirit living inside us. Suppose you had to live under the covenant. How do you think you would do? So many rules and regulations! I don’t know…it would be difficult (and I am a person who likes to obey rules). The Israelites may have found this type of living restrictive or they may have compared themselves to other nations and seen the supposed freedom they had to do what they wanted. For whatever reason, the Israelites didn’t live the way God called them to live. But God continued to love them and to call them to live His way.
Today, God continues to call us to do the same. He is calling our prodigals. He gave a promise to the Israelites before they entered the promised land that the He would change their heart so that they would love Him. I don’t know how this works or why at times, God waits so long to do it, but I do see this is a way that God worked in the past. We too can pray that God will do for our prodigals what He did for the Israelites.
Father, just as you told the Israelites that you would change their heart and the hearts of their descendants so that they would love You with all their heart and soul so that they would live (and You always keep Your promises), I ask that you would do that for our prodigals, for _________, and for his/her descendants. When I see a way that You worked in the past, I know it is something I can pray for. I thank You for Your faithfulness to _________ and that You have never stopped loving him/her. You showed Yourself through miracles of provision over and over to the Israelites, but they didn’t get it. You had not given them a mind to understand yet, or eyes to see, or ears to hear. It looks like this is a key. So Father, I come to You in the name of Jesus and ask that you give _________ a mind to understand You, eyes to see You and ears to hear You. Thank You that You hear my prayer and answer me; that You incline Your ear towards me and hear my words (Ps. 17:6). Thank You that You are still calling _________, that You are saying to him/her, “Hear me calling. Just leave it to me, I’ll lead you home.”