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Why “Prodigal Thinker”?

A “Prodigal” is someone who spends resources freely and recklessly.

I gained my inspiration for “Prodigal Thinker” from the parable found in the bible in Luke 15. One of the sons asks his father for his inheritance before his father’s death. (Almost to say that he didn’t care if his father was dead or not.) The father granted the request and the son left and spent his inheritance frivolously. The son finds himself living among pigs and thinks to himself that perhaps he could return to his father’s house as a servant but figures he would never be restored to his previous status. When the son returns, his father runs out to greet him, welcomes him home, wraps a robe around him (restoring him as his son) and throws a huge celebration. I am just like that prodigal son. I ran away from God’s arms and wasted huge portions of my life living outside of God’s plan for my life. Thankfully, I came to my “rock bottom”. A pig sty of an existence, but God welcomed be back into His Kingdom, back into His arms. Now, my hope is that I can share, give freely, of the love and grace that I have received.

Prayer Needs – Week of 11/23/2022

HELLO FRIENDS!

BELOW IS A LIST OF PRAYER NEEDS AND UPDATES IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO JOIN IN PRAYER. IF YOU HAVE PRAYER NEEDS OF YOUR OWN, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO LET ME KNOW. YOU CAN REPLY HERE OR SEND A DIRECT MESSAGE ON FACEBOOK. PLEASE KNOW YOU ARE PRAYER FOR AND LOVED, MY FRIENDS.

ONGOING PRAYERS

THOSE WHO NEED SALVATION (LOVE/HOPE OF GOD)
THOSE NEEDING HELP WITH MENTAL HEALTH
THOSE SERVING AS FIRST RESPONDERS
STUDENTS/TEACHERS/STAFF ALL SCHOOLS AGAINST VIOLENT ATTACKS
THOSE WHO SERVE OUR COUNTRY (GOVERNMENT / POLITICAL PARTIES) FOR GOD’S WISDOM AND DIREC-TION TO LEAD
THE CHURCH (WORLDWIDE) THAT WE WOULD RETURN TO THE HEART OF THE FATHER IN WORD AND DEED

PROGIDAL POST – Fruits of the Spirit Series

Blessings and greetings to you, legends of the Faith!

I know it has been some time since I’ve posted regularly whether you are receiving this as an email or reading on the ProdigalThinker website. I’ve already begun putting together a series of posts on the topic of the Fruits of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23. Each week, the posts will focus on one “fruit” or attribute with hopes that we will all have a broader view of how our Heavenly Father can grow these fruits in our daily lives.

So stay tuned!!!

If you ever need prayer, you can reply to this email or catch the Prayer Requests – Prodigals group on Facebook. You are loved and prayed for, my friends.

Photo Credit: Luis M. Santos

Prayer Needs – Week of 11/02/2022

Hello friends!

Below is a list of prayer needs and updates if you would like to join in prayer. If you have prayer needs of your own, please feel free to let me know. You can reply here or send a direct message on Facebook. You are prayed for and loved, my friends.

ONGOING PRAYERS

Those battling or recovering from COVID

Those who need salvation (love/hope of God)

Those who serve our country (all first responders, government, and political parties for God’s guidance and direction to lead)

The Church (worldwide) – that we would return to the heart of the Father in word and deed.

Prayer Needs as of 10/25/2022

Hello, champions of the faith!

I’m trying a little bit of a different method of delivery for the prayer needs. This way if you should feel led to print this out as a reminder of the prayer needs, that is now an option.

As always, if you or anyone should need prayer, feel free to let me know. You can reply here or, if you’re on facebook, you can join the Prayer Requests – Prodigals group or just message me directly.

Please know that you are loved, accepted, and have been covered in prayer.

Blessings!

~M

PRAYER NEEDS 10.25.2022.pdf

Prayer Needs for this week

Hello friends!

Below is a list of prayer needs and updates if you would like to join in prayer. If you have prayer needs of your own, please feel free to let me know. You can reply here or send an email to michael.catoe931 . You are prayed for and loved, my friends.

HEALTH ISSUES

Charles B

Dennis B

James B

Ricky S

Steve O

LIFE SITUATIONS

Kyle C

Ted G

UPDATES

More to come

UNSPOKEN REQUESTS

Tony C

ONGOING PRAYERS

Those battling or recovering from COVID

Those who need salvation (love/hope of God)

Those who serve our country (all first responders, government, and political parties for God’s guidance and direction to lead)

The Church (worldwide) – that we would return to the heart of the Father in word and deed.

Prodigal Post – Vending Machine Mentality

"Ask and you shall receive!" Matthew 7:7

That’s what the Bible says, right?

How often do we pray and pray and expect God to answer on our timeline? Even if what we are praying about is a need and not a want, should we pray with the expectation that our Father will answer immediately? I think if we do, we will most often be disappointed.

Should we pray and bring our requests and needs to God? ABSOLUTELY!! We are instructed to do so.

A couple of weeks ago, I overheard a part of a conversation where someone was getting frustrated at God because their prayer had not been answered. If memory serves, they had been praying for a couple of days. I don’t say this to make fun at all. I have been guilty of the same thing in years past. I write this because I remember a conversation about the same topic. What is the condition of our heart when we are praying? Are we approaching God like we approach a vending machine? We drop some coinage, push a button, and our request is delivered? Or are we approaching with reverence that God can see a MUCH bigger picture in the grand scheme of things? What if the very things we are praying for, if answered, would lead to a worsening of the situation or could lead us away from the path that our heavenly Father desires for us? I am sure that I’ve missed the path MANY times in the past, but all I can do now is to pray and rely on our Daddy to show me how all of this will play out.

Here’s an example. A couple of weeks before September 10, 2002, my grandmother was lying in a hospital bed and not doing very well at all. All of the family and friends were praying diligently that God would heal her body so she could return to life as normal. I was living/working about an hour or so away, so I was not able to visit as I had hoped. But one night, I was able to get away for a visit. The visitation times were very limited, so I met my granddad at the hospital and we went in to visit. I was somewhat taken aback as she didn’t look much like the quirky, eccentric grandmother I had last seen, but I knew I was in the correct room. I went over to the bedside and pulled up a chair. I leaned in and asked her if she knew who I was. She blinked, as that was about all she had the strength to do. So, I held her hand and prayed quietly. After some time, I felt a deep sadness in my chest. A sadness I haven’t felt since. I knew what I had to say, but I felt like a traitor to my family. I leaned in and told her that I loved her, and that if she needed to go and be with Jesus, if He was calling her home, we would be sad, but we would be okay. When I went to sit back in the chair, I saw one single tear rolling down her cheek. Within a week or so, she was welcomed into her eternal home with Jesus.

While I was praying, I felt it selfish to pray that she be healed, especially if she needed to rest and not suffer anymore. I can honestly say that I’ve carried a lot of guilt over the years with letting her know it was okay to go Home. I’m at peace with it now though.

What if we prayed in a way where we make room for our Father to do what He desires with our prayers? I mean, in a way, that’s how followers of Jesus start out praying when they confess that they can’t do life on their own and that they ask Jesus to fill their hearts and lives, right? They pray with a broad expectation rather than "this is what I need and I need it soon/now."

I encourage us all to pray with open expectations without a timeline, if at all possible. The Father knows the hearts of His children. He knows what we need even before we even speak a word, right? Along with those open expectations, I encourage us to pray that Daddy will show us His plan and how all of life’s troubles will draw us closer to Him.

I think that’s all for today, my friends. If you ever need prayer, you can reply to this email or catch the Prayer Requests – Prodigals group on Facebook. You are loved and prayed for, my friends.

Until the next post…

Photo credit: Jenna Hamra

~Prodigal Mike

Greetings from Prodigal Thinker

Hello my friends and followers!

Question: Have you heard the song from the movie ‘Annie’ that says, "The sun will come out tomorrow. Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow, there’ll be sun…" Well, that’s sort of how I feel as of late. Sort of like I’ve been in an emotional/mental hibernation. Slowly, each day is a little brighter. Why do I share this? Well, the foremost reason I share is for transparency. Secondly, maybe someone will read these words at some point and it might bring them some hope.

Some people truly understand the obstacles and difficulties that mental health struggles entail, but most do not, if I’m being honest (and I am trying to be honest). I’m sure most people have good intentions while trying to encourage someone or giving advice to "beat the blues," but when facing the depth/dark recesses that mental health can take a person, I haven’t received a lot of advice that provided much change in direction. So far, in my experience, the most helpful folks have been those who are just there and available.

Over the last week or two, there was a TikTok channel that I was watching and the individual said something to the effect of: "While it is true that it is okay to not be okay, we might need to be cautious when telling people that ‘It’s okay to not be okay.’ Long story short, his point was that telling someone that they don’t have to be okay could be misconstrued into "you don’t need to seek any help." It would be like telling someone that had a complex break in their arm that having a broken arm is normal and they don’t really need to have the injury evaluated. Of course they would need to get the help they need!!

So what can we do? Well, I’m no doctor (but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express one time), but maybe we can be both empathetic towards those having difficulty, then offer to follow up to see if they need any resources or a ride to an appointment. Anything of sort. Hopefully that makes sense.

So, I’ve nearly gone this whole time and not mentioned God yet. That’s not to say going to God should be our last resort. In fact, God is the only way that I’ve been able to get through life for as long as I have so far. There are dozens of scriptures in both the Old and New Testament that can bring comfort and hope. Exodus 14:14, Psalm 34:18, Matthew 28:20 and many more. Keep in mind that the Word of God says that there is nothing we could ever face that God/Jesus has not experienced. I find a great deal of comfort in that.

If you need prayer, encouragement, or just someone to listen… I’ll be here for you.

Photo credit: Tahir Shaw

Anybody out there?!?

I know it has been a while since I have sent any updates or posts or communication. I assure you that I’m still very much alive and well. I hope that you are too and that God is continuing to keep His mighty hand of protection over you and your families.

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been spending time asking God if this is a platform that He desires for me to continue or if there is something else (either to add on or to migrate towards). You see, I want to be as effective for the kingdom of God as I possibly can. At the same time, life seems to have gotten increasingly more busy and a bit more complex. Nothing bad, just… busy and complex.

If there is any way I can encourage you or pray for you, please let me know. If you have a prayer need, you can text it to (931)444-PRAY and it will come straight to me. You can also reply to this post/email.

God’s blessings on you, my friends.

Photo credit: Kristi Evans

Updates on Prodigal Thinker

So, I’ve been out of touch as of late. I’m sure that comes as no surprise for those who usually follow my website or read the email posts. In my time of "interweb silence", I’ve really been praying through the long-term purpose and mission of the Prodigal Thinker "ministry". (I’m not sure it would be called a ministry…) I would love to say that I have all of the details, but that would not be truthful. I’m just having to remain surrendered to what God is saying.

While my thoughts on particular verses or passages are quite fun to share, there are people who are hurting and need prayer. I have created a FB Prayer Group that is open to all where you can share your prayer requests and/or you can pray for others who need prayers. For those who are not keen on social media or if a prayer request is more of a confidential matter, anyone can send a text to (931)444-PRAY or (931)444-7729 and I will pray for the needs listed there.

If you will, please pray for God’s direction for this outreach. I would be most grateful.

God’s blessings on you all…

Photo credit: Samer Daboul