Often in the midst of everyday life, in both the joys and the struggles it brings, there’s an ache that burdens us deep inside.
As believers we know where true hope is found. We’re grateful for the love and forgiveness of Christ. We’ve been set free. Redeemed for His purposes.
And yet not everyone shares our desire to walk close and stay connected to God in this life. There are some we love who have pushed away any need of Him, they’ve chosen another path. And maybe they’ve bought into the lie; that other things can satisfy. Maybe out of hurt or misunderstandings, they’ve walked away. Broken relationships, pride, or harsh words may lead some to stay distant. There’s a deep rift that seems almost impossible to ever reach.
They might even be right there beside us, a part of our family, or live in our homes, but spiritually, their hearts are far away…
No matter what the reason, or how far gone one seems to have traveled, it doesn’t change this one truth. God’s love reaches. It’s never too short to save, He’s never too weary of extending more grace.
His power is limitless.
His forgiveness is endless.
The very reason Christ came was to seek and to save that which was lost. He came to reach. It’s what He does best. And the arm of the Lord is mighty and strong.
Yet sometimes, we lose our hope. We don’t see how anything will ever change. The answer doesn’t come. Maybe we get tired of praying. Of waiting. Or we fear for the future and eternal security of those we love most in this world.
We understand the reality that no one is guaranteed tomorrow. That deep burden can so tug at our souls, press on our minds, it’s hard to move forward in faith.
God’s hope for us this season…He is Able. Keep on praying. Don’t lose heart. Don’t give up. Know and believe that He is at work, often behind the scenes where we can’t see. He’s ordering steps. Arranging appointments. He’s protecting and shielding. He’s covering and caring. He desires for all to come to Him and will stop at nothing to draw our loved ones to Himself.
Prayer is powerful. And praying God’s Word over those we love is speaking His Truth over their lives, as it builds our own faith. We don’t have to pray from an attitude of fear and worry, but we can pray strong prayers in the authority of Christ our Lord.
A Prayer for the Lost and the Prodigal
You know our hearts, you hear our prayers, and care about all that concerns us. You understand the burden we carry and how we want, more than anything, to see our loved ones come to you. Help us to remember that you love them more than we ever could. And you desire to extend your great love and forgiveness, your mercy and hope.
Thank you that nothing is too difficult for you. Thank you that your power is unlimited and you came to set the captives free. Thank you that you wait, arms open, for the prodigal to return, that you look for his arrival to lavishly celebrate that he’s come home.
We praise you for you are Redeemer and Rescuer, Savior and Lord. We know and believe that there’s no pit so deep that your love can’t reach us still. We understand that your mercies are new every morning, and your faithfulness is great.
Lord, we ask that you would halt the plans of the enemy over these we love as we bring them before you right now. We pray that his schemes be demolished and that your plans for good, for a future and hope, would prevail. Would you open blind eyes that they might see your Truth. Would you rescue those walking in darkness and heal the deep wounds of those who’ve been hurt.
We pray for the miraculous intervention of your Spirit to draw them to yourself, to work strong on behalf of our loved ones who are lost and wandering.
For you came with good news, to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for captives and release for the prisoners.
Though we deserved penalty for our wrong, you stood in our place and took the blows on our behalf. You choose to die, so that we can live. Forever and free.
Lord, forgive our unbelief. Forgive the times we’ve doubted that you could ever change a distant heart. Forgive our hard-heartedness, our weariness, or forgetfulness to “pray continually.”
Thank you that you never give up on us.
Remind us of how you’ve changed our own hearts. How your miracle of life and hope has sprung up deep within our souls.
We love you Lord, we need you, and we thank you that you hear our prayers and are at work even now.
Powerfully. Faithfully. Miraculously.
Thank you for the gift of our Savior, God with us. Thank you for your goodness and love…
In Jesus’ Name,
11 Verses of Hope that Remind Us God Is at Work, Saving the Lost and Restoring the Prodigal:
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners…” Is. 61:1
“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:10
“…With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matt. 19:26
“Jesus answered, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
“He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.” Ps. 40:2
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10
“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him…” John 6:44
“I will feed my flock and I will lead them to rest,” declares the Lord God. “I will seek the lost, bring back the scattered, bind up the broken and strengthen the sick…” Ez. 34:15-16
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lam. 3:22-23
“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it?” Luke 15:4
“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” 2 Pet. 3:9
(This article first appeared here on Crosswalk, http://www.crosswalk.com/blogs/debbie-mcdaniel/a-prayer-for-the-lost-and-the-prodigal.html)
(Photo via Shutterstock)
sheila ledford says
I have a daughter who has strayed from the truth and I can only keep believing that she will come back because of the promises in the word of God. I have asked him to set her free not to just fix her because when she is delivered and realizes that God loves her no matter what then she won’t think about going back to the old life or old man that wars with the spirit. God is good all the time all the time God is good.
praying with you Sheila, that God will extend His grace & work in powerful ways!
Drop me a email it’s Ezra.firstname.lastname@example.org I’m a standing husband
Great post. Thank you!
Thank you for reading Dana, blessings to you.
Praying so much for my husband and waiting on the Lord. It is being a very difficult time waiting and I think l have experienced all of the fears, questions and thoughts you have talked about. At times I feel so sad and tired. But you are so right! I only pray He gives me the courage and and strength to keep going without losing hope.
God bless you!
Praying with you Monica! Thankful that God is a Redeemer, asking Him to fill you with much hope and renewed strength…
Oh how I needed this. Right now. The last several days I’ve struggled so much in my faith. I’ve been praying so hard for these years on the promise God has given me concerning someone VERY near and dear to me. And it hasn’t come yet. I can see God working for sure but sometimes grief just overwhelms me and I struggle to hold onto faith and not let doubt make me hardened. I feel so very encouraged. It’s like God’s Word straight to a very weary soul. Thank you!
Thankful with your Nicole for God’s Word & His Truth, so refreshing to us when we’re weary! I know He is with you, praying he continue to encourage your heart as you pray for those you love…
Mama Coker says
My daughter has moved out and has accused me of trying to poison her. However, I have forgiven her
I’m so sorry you’re walking through this, praying with you & for your daughter too, believing that anyone reading this will pray as well, God’s peace over you tonight, may God protect your daughter & bring healing & restoration to your relationship…
Tammie O'Hagan says
Thank you for this encouragement. God is so GOOD. I have been standing for my marriage since October and need all the encouragement I can get. My husband is a prodigal choosing drugs and alcohol over God and his family. I’m so grateful God lead me to your page. Be Blessed, Tammie in CA
April P. says
This is a very powerful prayer. I thank God for blessing you with the desire to share your understanding!
I pray daily for all our unsaved children and grandchildren, we have siblings and their families too that need to be saved and claim their heirsship with JESUS? I have seen many come to Him and pray I see many more and that they will be saved even If I don’t get to see it – I pray we all spend eternity together. AMEN
God recently let me be the prodigal, and he restored me and gave me the best job ever to utilize the gifts but for some reason I doubted he was with me and he even gave me signs. I allowed something to upset me forgetting that I was there for God and the children. Please now I failed him again. I prayed that he would let me go back there, he was trusting to see if I would trust him at that job. And I looked at it with wrong perspective. I truly only want him now hard is empty again like he left me. Marsha
A Prayer for the Lost and the Prodigal – Debbie McDaniel Christian blog and commentary on Crosswalk.
I needed so badly to see this. My daughter is so lost. She has turned her back on God, her family and her children. It seems drugs are her life now. I pray for her all the time and I have done everything I know of that I could to help her, but I know that she herself has to want it as bad as I want it for her. It feels like it’s going to take a miracle to wake her up and I know that Our Heavenly Father must be working on her life behind the scenes. I pray that I can just take a step back and leave this in God’s hands. I pray that my faith in Him doesn’t waver and I remain standing strong in Him. Thank you for your beautiful words of strength.
I am praying for two daughters who were raised in church and made professions of faith when younger. I prayed for them to have godly husbands. They became athiests while in college and married athiests and I do love all of them but I want to see them saved. Their father left me and married a co-worker and he left the Lord as well. Please pray for all of them. I pray and pray and only see hardness but my relationship is good with them and I know this is from the Lord. I also remarried a godly man whom they respect. Please, let us pray and not give up. His arm is not weakened nor shortened. He is still the same today as we see in the Bible. He desires that no one would perish and He still sets us free. He is a redeeming God and I pray for more strength and faith. Lord, I believe help thou my unbelief and cover it with the blood of your precious Son.
Feeling encouraged, Ann, by seeing how you held onto Christ for your children. I am also praying for my son, who till he entered college, had been going to church, but now suddenly he is into doubting God and on the track of atheists. But our prayers are valuable. Though apparently it seems they are unheard ( which the evil one wants us to believe), we need to hang on to God because He loves, cares and saves.
I thank the Lord for bringing me to this site in order to get direction.
I currently have a prodigal daughter. Watching the decisions she is making from a distance is painful, yet I have to continue to remember that she belongs to the Father, and he loves her so much more. Thank you for sharing your prayer and for the encouragement to keep praying, and to keep trusting.
Debbie McDaniel says
Tatiana, I am praying right now for your daughter, and for you too! Huge love & grace over your family, you are so right, God loves her more than we can even imagine & I’m believing He is at work even now…
Sydney Meek says
This post is so powerful! I am surrounded by friends and family who choose worldly obsessions over the Lord, and I pray for them every day. Thank you for this reminder!
I am so thankful for this prayer. We have a prodigal son, who was saved and baptized, who chose a lifestyle that is extremely inappropriate. He has walked away from his entire family (we are all Christians). We were all so close (especially me and him) but we have not seen him in months and months and he ignores us. (This hurts me beyond words).
I believe with all my heart he will come back. I pray continually and the Lord ALWAYS gets me through another day. God bless ALL parents of prodigals and their children. THEY WILL ALL RETURN HOME!
im so thankful for your ministry,recently found out my 13 year old grandaughter thinks she’s a boy , likes girls etc, she doesnt know i know, just a few months ago still enjoyed being feminine, used to profess to be a believer, needless to say , my heart is broken, sometimes to point i feel physically sick ,and cant move, but i do know satan is a lier, believe with me as i repent of any unbelief on my part . there are so many in our small community, “cutting”, “overdoses”,especially younger girls, they are so confused , with no Godly influences’ in their lives. i could go on and on , but i know you’ve heard it all so many times before, and trinity is just one of several of my lost loved ones. thankyou for your heart and passion for our lost, but i believe ALL will come to the saving love and grace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and that I will be Fearless and Faithful in JESUS NAME AMEN, my love to you and your family, amy
Lisa J Hoffman says
Debra Vasquez says
Thank you for your devotionals. I have two sons who are battling sickness. My oldest is battling cancer for the 3rd time in 4 years and my youngest 22 year old son is on meth, homeless and it’s affecting his mental state. Both have walked away from the Lord. My heart is breaking. I’ve lost one son when he was 8 years to heart disease. I need hope and I’m thankful for your devotional. His mercies are new every morning. I’m praying today is the day for their healing. Every Blessing to you.
Morgan B says
This article has been a blessing to me tonight. I have prayed for guidance for the Spirit of the Lord to come upon on who I am in a relationship with. He is lost and I am waiting for Jesus to speak to him, in any way, even if it is not through me and my words and actions.
deborah otitolaiye says
Thanks for the great posts and words of encouragement. My son Philip seems to be slipping way but I will do all I can to snatch him from the hands of the evil one. I have chosen scriptures from the ones you highlighted to pray.
I look forward to testimonies in Jesus name Amen.
I have read many blogs, but yours really spoke to me, thank you!!! I have two sons that are not walking with the Lord. I thank you for the reminder, that God is faithful. He is in constant pursuit, and I can rest assured that He will draw them to Himself. Please pray for my sons to fully surrender to Jesus! Many blessings to you!
I am so thankful to come across this blog, it really meets my need. I have a son that turned his back on Jesus and decided to choose his own lifestyle out of Christ. I pray for him all the time, at times I am encouraged and at times I fear for his soul . But this post and prayer so encourages me and reminds me the promises of God I will adopt this prayer. Thank you so much
Ileana Martinez says
He has risen! Happy Resurrection Day! Thank you for your blog thank you for your words of encouragement. May the Lord bless you and give you opportunity to encourage further the saints! I know your blog was over 3 years ago, but because His word is true and His word will never come back void, I just wanted you to know that you have encouraged my heart! Please pray for my daughter who left the family on January 6, 2018. I know that her true separation is from God first. How I Long to hear from her. And I know, that the Lord is indeed ordaining all of our steps and that I must wait. I ask that you pray for me, as I wait, and that the Lord be merciful upon me and that I would continue to pray with out ceasing and be all the more fervent.
I pray that He guide me on how to pray for those that were used to lead her away, that indeed the chains be broken and my daughter, now 8 months pregnant, will return to God the Father first and that her husband be restored and or saved. I have not heard her voice in over 2 years and her husband threatened that if I tried to pursue knowledge of them, I would never see her or my grandchildren… and then proceeded to block me and the rest of the family. I TRUST this pandemic and quarantine which we are all living (us in Puerto Rico and they in Fort St John, British Columbia) will give us all the time to be more vigilant and focused on the Lords way … relentlessly pursuing and breaking chains to set all things according to His will and purposes.
Thank you for praying peace over us all… especially this mother’s heart.
I have felt so alone in my anguish over my son, now I see I am not alone. My son is saved but turned his back completely from the Lord. He has had a lot of pain in his life, just going through a divorce and has a 4 year old son. He has turned to drugs and completely turned his back on his family and wants nothing to do with us. I’ve been praying my heart out for him and finding it hard to remember, it’s in the Lord’s timing not mine. Please pray for Ethan, he has a good heart and I know he loves Jesus. Thank you!
Delight Sunday-Anicho says
I stumbled on this page while seeking for scriptures and prayers to pray for my prodigal wayward and confused son. He abandoned school, not serious with any career, loses everything, waste so much money on riotous living and surrounded with wrong friends. He is my only son, raised in faith but he is walking away! My heart is broken! I have prayed and still praying for I know, there is nothing impossible with our God but some days can be difficult! He lashes out at me for forcing him to go university. He abandoned! Now he wants music but is not committed to anything serious. I don’t know what do but like Jehoshaphat, my eyes are on the Lord for a solution! His father left me and married another woman. I have remained unmarried for 23 years just to give him support and ensure he turns out well. Right now my heart is broken and I am in pains. The only thing is to continue praying and I ask Dear Lord, increase my faith and help me to stand strong! I will not be a byword. I am encouraged reading from other parents seeking God for their children. Thank you for sharing in our pains.
Praying for your son.
Oh, my goodness! How I needed to read this right now. I thank God that He led me to your website and this article, prayers, and the stories of fellow believers with lost & prodigal children. Thank you! These stories break my heart. I know this is a long post but maybe someone out there has a similar situation with their child. I have a precious daughter who is addicted to alcohol. I’ve always been a believer and she was raised up going to church. She is a high functioning alcoholic who has a career and holds down a full time job. She is in her 30’s and has remained unmarried with no children. She does not party, go out with friends, or drive when drinking. She just works all day, then goes home and drinks herself to sleep. She suffers from terrible anxiety. She has tried to quit several times on her own but goes back to drinking. Once, after finding out that certain levels in her liver were too high, she asked us help in sending her away to a “Christian” treatment center very far from us, which was a huge step for her, and she tried to stay there as long as possible, but many of the staff there were definitely not Christian in their behavior and treatment of her and the other ladies there, and she became discouraged and came back home before completing her treatment. She believes in God and Jesus and I know she prays and she asks me to pray for others she knows. She has such a soft heart, would give the shirt off her back to someone that needed it, and has helped so many people in so many ways. Please pray for her to make Jesus the Lord of her life. I will never give up praying for her and I know He will deliver her. Never give up for our God hears our prayers and He is faithful!
I have been praying for our daughter for 10 years. I try not to not give up hope on her but my husband and I get weary. I found your blog and was encouraged!Please pray for her. I won’t give you her real name. Thank you so much!