My 29-year-old son hasn’t spoken to us in almost four years.
The last time he communicated he made it clear he didn’t want any of us (me, his step-mom, his little sisters, his uncles/aunt or cousins) in his life. I won’t go into the bad choices he’s made nor the consequences he’s suffered. All I know is my heart is broken and I’m hurt. Both by how he’s living and how he’s treated us.
We were once so close. Now, for some reason (maybe shame?) he refuses to give a valid reason for breaking off this relationship. So how do you pray for a child who you no longer know? When you have no idea where he is, where he works, or if he’s even alive?
I just pray. I pray in generalities–for his health, his mental state, his relationships, and most of all I pray for his spiritual life. I ask God to steer him back to Christ. I pray dangerous prayers like, “Whatever it takes God, bring my son back to you.”
That’s the desperate prayer of a father who longs above all else to see his son walk upright. I long to see him in a deep relationship with his Creator. That’s how I raised him.
You might have a prodigal. A son or daughter who has drifted from or refused to take part in the godly inheritance meant for them. How do you pray when you’ve run out of words–run out of energy?
Here’s a few points to jump-start your prayer for him or her:
Dear Heavenly Father,
- God, transform me and my attitude. Take away any bitterness and grudges against my child so I can pray with a pure heart. Give me the strength to continue in this battle. When I’m tired and just plain sick of it, give me compassion and mercy. Not to be taken advantage of, but to mirror Christ’s love. Help me remember that speaking truth might be hard, but it doesn’t have to be harsh.
- Lord use my son or daughter’s friends. Use even his/her questionable friends to speak truth into their life. Bring godly people into their life. Surround them with loving community.
- Father if you must, let my child hit rock bottom. Cause them to see their desperate need for a Savior. Prevent people from enabling them or rescuing them too early. Allow my child to feel the reality of being at the end of the rope.
Coming back to the Lord is a process, not an event. So don’t give up. Keep on praying. Keep believing. You never know what God will do. When you pray for a loved one who seems hardened against the Lord, or against you, pray that the eyes of their heart might be opened so that the light of God can come flooding in.
Do you have a prayer that has helped you cope as you await the return of your prodigal? Please share it with me. I need it this week.