If you’re a Christian with a prodigal in your life, you’re probably aware of the importance of prayers for prodigals. But what’s the best way to pray for them? Whether it’s prayer for a son in trouble, prayer for a wayward daughter, or prayer for a prodigal husband or wife, your prayers matter.
The Heartache of Loving a Prodigal
My children are young and haven’t yet had much opportunity to turn away from God. Though I pray often that the Lord would keep them close and do my best to train them in God’s truth, there are no guarantees when it comes to raising children.
Parenting that yields Christ-following kids isn’t an a + b = c kind of formula. Because the biggest variable in the equation is the child’s own heart, and the posture of the heart is something each individual determines for themselves.
Though I don’t have a prodigal, I know plenty of people who do. Family members, friends, fellow church members, and many readers who have reached out to share their pain and ask me to pray for their prodigal. It’s always a privilege to do so, and it’s one of life’s most thrilling experiences to rejoice with them when the prodigal returns home. Home to family, but more importantly, home to God.
Do you have a prodigal in your life? Maybe it’s a child. Perhaps a spouse, a friend, or some other loved one. It’s no secret that there’s much about their situation that you can’t control. But you can pray. And praying is always the best thing you can do, whether or not there’s more you can do.
To that end, here are twelve prayers for prodigals.
Prayers for Prodigals
1.)Thank God that He knows the details of your prodigal’s life, especially the parts that are beyond your awareness and control. Praise His omniscience. Ponder the truth that there is nowhere they can go away from His Spirit, nowhere they can flee from His presence. (Psalm 139:1-12)
2.)Acknowledge to God that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Pray that your prodigal would develop a healthy fear of the Lord that is aware of His justice and power, and awed by His grace and love. (Proverbs 1:7)
3.)Pray that God would grant them mercy according to His loving kindness. Ask Him to impress on their heart the truth that they can be forgiven, and that He would give them a desire to be cleansed from their sin. Beg the Lord to let them hear joy and gladness once more, that their broken places would be healed, and that the joy of His salvation would be restored. (Psalm 51:1-12)
4.)Implore the Lord to open their eyes to the emptiness of sin and fleshly pleasure, that they may echo Solomon’s pronouncement, “Vanity of vanities. All is vanity.” (Ecclesiastes 1:2)
5.)Ask that your prodigal would cry out to the Lord, and that He would bring them out of the horrible pit, out of the miry clay. Pray that He would give them a firm place to stand, putting a new song in their mouth. Marvel that many would see this happen and turn to the Lord themselves, and ask that it would be so. (Psalm 40:1-3)
6.)Agree with God that those who walk with the wise become wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm. (Proverbs 13:20) Pray that God would bring a godly friend into the life of your prodigal, someone who can speak truth to them in love. (Ephesians 4:15)
More Prayers for Prodigals
7.)Pray that God would bring about spiritual brokenness in the heart of your prodigal, doing whatever is necessary to bring them to a place of contrition. (Psalm 51:17)
8.)Adore your Savior, who came to seek and to save the lost. (Luke 19:10) Thank Him for seeking your prodigal, that He might save them.
9.)Pray that you wouldn’t become bitter toward your prodigal, but that you would maintain a forgiving spirit toward them. (Ephesians 4:31-32)
10.)Praise God for His patient character, and that He doesn’t wish anyone to perish but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)
11.)Pray that the prodigal in your life will hear the truth and that it will be mixed with faith so they might believe. (Hebrews 4:2)
12.)Share your burden for your prodigal with a trusted prayer warrior friend. Ask this person to pray for the prodigal in your life, and consider praying together, acknowledging that if just two or three agree in prayer, it will be done for you. (Matthew 18:19-20)
Dear Heavenly Father, I lift to You my prodigal. Thank You for loving them even more than I do, for watching over them when I can’t, and for working to draw them to Yourself. Even though I can’t see evidence of it, I know You’re pursuing them because that’s the kind of God You are. Please soften their heart toward You. Bring them to the end of themselves, where they’ll find You and me waiting for them. It’s in the name of my Savior, Jesus Christ, that I pray. Amen.
More Help for Your Relationships
Some time ago, I discovered a simple four-word phrase that has radically impacted my perspective toward hard relationships.
I reveal that phrase in a guide I offer to subscribers completely free of charge.
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