by | Jan 14, 2010 | prayer | 2 comments

(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


  1. Forrest ODowd

    my husband and I heard you on Family talk this morning. We have gone through this with all three of our children in different ways. We felt very encouraged to keep loving all our grown children by what you said.

    Today is Jan 9, 2017
    My wife and I wanted to look at your website to see what was there. I decided to go to the first blog that was posted and was quite surprised to read what was shared and found no comments. So we decided to leave one.

    We have three adult children, my wife’s son (46), my son (45) and our daughter (39). Although we have gone through similar issues with all three, they are also very unique. The two youngest are now living their lives for Jesus. The oldest is not and has been incommunicado for many years now and all though we have no idea of his status we pray for him often. But we often lose hope of ever knowing or seeing him again.

    Your blog has renewed our hope.

    Thank you.

    • Tom and Dena Yohe

      Thank you for your comment! We are so sorry for all you’ve been through but are so grateful that two of your children are now living for the Lord. But how heavy the burden you still carry of not knowing how the oldest is doing or what the outcome will yet be. We are so glad that our blog and what you heard on Family Talk has renewed your hope. May God continue to do this for you as you keep trusting Him with the unknowns. You are Not Alone!