(This is an excerpt from a great book, Praying Prodigals Home, by Quin Sherrer and Ruthanne Garlock.)
Of all the strategies we could suggest, waiting is perhaps the hardest. Somehow we feel better about dealing with our prodigals if we can take action – it gives us the false illusion that we are in control of things. The truth is, we’re not in control. We have to hand over the situation to God, remain prayerful and take action only as He directs us…….
For the believer, waiting for the prodigal’s return need not be a passive, “in limbo” state. The Hebrew word for “wait” comes from a root word meaning “to bind together” and figuratively means “to expect”. We don’t wait in fear and despair. If our hope is in God, we wait expectantly for Him to intervene. And in the process, we ourselves are drawn closer to Him with bonds of love.
Father, please give me Your wisdom to know how to pray for my prodigal. I lift his (her) specific needs to You now: (name the needs). Lord, I confess that I’ve felt hurt and angry at _________because of (mention the specifics). I forgive my prodigal for hurting me and disappointing me; please help me to love him (her) with Your love and to walk in continual forgiveness. Thank you for forgiving me and enabling me to forgive those who wrong me.
Lord, I’m grateful for the power of Your Word to give comfort and guidance. Please show me appropriate Scriptures to pray for my prodigal. I release __________ into Your hands and ask You to work in his (her) life according to Your plan and purpose. I commit this person into Your care and trust You to draw him (her) to Yourself by the power of the Holy Spirit. Thank You in Jesus’ name for doing a work of grace in _________’s life. Amen.
**Ask God for His strategies of reaching your child, instead of depending on your own “formula prayers” to pray for your prodigal.
**Ask yourself how you can change your overall way of relating to your prodigal as part of your strategy (offering forgiveness face to face or through a letter, sending a gift or expressing unconditional love in a specific way)?
–Prayer Strategies pages 58 – 60