Author James Banks On What We Can Do When Our Children Leave the Faith

James Banks

James Banks and Our Daily Bread Publishing have released a new updated and expanded edition of Prayers for Prodigals: 90 Days of Prayer for Your Child. Originally released in 2011, the new version includes new content and much-requested group study material with weekly questions and prayer guides.

One of the most devastating experiences for a Christian parent is when a child walks away from faith in Jesus. James Banks has had that experience not once but twice, and he has also experienced the joy of answered prayer, of a prodigal restored. 

In this updated and expanded Prayers for Prodigals, parents will be directed to the source of peace in painful circumstances. They will find weekly encouragement from a father who understands their heartbreak. And they will find daily scriptural prayers and prayer tips to help them come to the heavenly Father with gut-wrenching honesty and hope-filled persistence. 

Q: James, thanks for doing this interview with us. Let's start with yourself: share with us a little of who you are and your current ministries.

I'm a husband and father, an author and writer for Our Daily Bread and the founding pastor of Peace Church in Durham, NC

Q: Tell us briefly what is your book "Prayers for Prodigals" about?

It's a book of Scripture-based prayers to help those who love prodigals and are praying for them. It has been translated into Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese and Japanese, and God has used it to encourage people around the world.

Q: You have updated it recently, how's the new version different than the original?

The new version contains prayer helps for each day and discussion questions for each week for small groups who are using the book together. It also uses several versions of Scripture, not just the NIV.

Q: Many Christian parents are concerned that their children may leave the faith, what can parents do to lessen that possibility?

PRAY, PRAY, PRAY, and do your best to involve them in a genuinely loving community of believers who will help them make good choices. In the end, our children make their own decisions and we cannot force the-yet God can move through our prayers to touch their hearts in ways beyond imagining.

Q: What words of advice do you have parents who have children who have become prodigals?

PRAY, PRAY, PRAY (again!), and love them regardless of the choices they make. Get your love from God, and keep the lines of communication open no matter what. Never "cut them off"-God doesn't do that with us, and He calls us to follow. Love that is tough isn't just tough on our kids-it's tough on us as well, because it calls us to follow Jesus and love like He does.

Q: Share with us your own experience with your children.

My son Geoff struggled with substance abuse. Addicted to heroin and opiates for 7 years, in and out of jail and the court, in rehab 11 times.... Geoff is a youth pastor today and was set free over 9 years ago. We wrote about our experience together in our book, Hope Lies Ahead.

Q: How can this book minister to parents and those who do not have children?

For parents, it gives them help when they feel "prayed out" and don't know what to say to God. For those who do not have children, so many still have prodigals in their lives that they love and pray for. This book will show them how.

To purchase the book, click HERE. 

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