There is a prodigal in your life. It may be a son, a daughter, an adult grandchild, a brother, a sister, a husband, a wife or even your parent. It may be another significant relationship. You love this person tremendously. This person knows wrong from right, or at least you thought they did at one time. This person has chosen through a long series of decisions to move away from their former way of life which included things that you once admired about this person. You worry about this person. You have pleaded with him or her. Nothing you have said seems to have had an impact. You have prayed for this person daily. It is very possible that this person once acknowledged a relationship with God and may have even accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior. However, at this time, talk of spiritual things make your prodigal bristle. And one more thing about your prodigal. They have broken your heart.
Author Jeff Lucas in Will Your Prodigal Come Home? relates,
“A prodigal – someone who walks away from intimacy with God – doesn’t always become a drug or alcohol abuser, or a star player on the party circuit. But probably every Christian on earth knows and grieves for someone whose life choices make a bleak declaration: the good news of the gospel has not been good enough for them.”
The string of events in the life of your prodigal which have impacted you can become a personal litany of pain. However, chances are that the life choices your prodigal has made has little to do with you. There are things one cannot change in another person that one has to accept. Forgiveness toward your prodigal is part of the journey of your healing. A significant roadmark in forgiving is to develop compassion for that person who is so utterly lost. They may not be lost eternally, but they most certainly have lost their way here on planet earth. If we can feel a tenderheartedness towards that person, while they are yet still in their state of rebellion, we have begun to experience how God feels toward us.
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
Ways to pray for your prodigal:
- Find a Bible verse that exemplifies your prodigal. Repeat and pray that verse inserting your prodigal’s name into the verse.
- Consider the potential in your prodigal if he or she surrendered their life to Christ. What could that person be like and what kind of impact could they have on other people? Pray toward that end. Pray for what you know would please the heart of God.
- Pray for yourself. As God has allowed this painful chapter in your life, pray that God would mould your heart into someone that loves others as He does, and that He would give you both strength and sensitivity to the Holy Spirit in dealing with your prodigal.