Healthy Leaders


The Prodigal Son and Prayer

Linda ShanksterLinda Shankster

Read Luke 15:11-32.

Many years ago, as a widowed mother of five, I was struggling in desperation over the reactions of one of my teenagers. I was taking their disobedience and acting out personally, and my response was an unhealthy one of anger. I recall right where I was on a particularly dark night when the Holy Spirit brought my attention to the father of the son who took his share of the possessions and left the family ‒ the Lost Son.

This father wasn’t consumed with anger or wounds because of the choices of his son. He wasn’t dwelling on the disappointment of his son wasting the inheritance or obsessed with imagining what the son was doing day to day. Instead, by the time the son had decided to return to his family, verse 19 tells us, “… but while he was still a long way off, his father saw him ….” This father wanted good for his son ‒ he wanted him to be a part of their family; he wanted restoration; so by faith, he was watching for his son to return!

During the next few years the Lord was teaching me and instructing me in intercession, helping me to express the Father’s Heart. I grew in my faith and in prayer. More and more I began asking God to forgive my teen.

If you see someone commit a sin, you should pray and God will give them life. (1 John 5:16)

I asked God to soften their heart and bring them back.

If one should wander from the truth and we bring them back (through prayer), we are saving a sinner from death and covering a multitude of sins. (James 5:19)

I stood in the gap to make up the missing part of the hedge.

I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap. (Ezekiel 22:30)

I began to stir up my faith in God.

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

God allows each and every one of us to make choices and decisions that are not up to His very best for us, but He waits patiently for us and graciously draws us back to Himself. I believe He is pleased if we can take this attitude in our intercession for our children, spouses and others. We want to grow in finding God’s Heart of love for another and in our willingness to lay down our lives in prayer for another.

Let us put our fears and frustrations aside and find the heart of faith in God that will help us to pray according to His will.

If we ask anything according to His will He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, we know that we have what we ask of Him.  (1 John 5:14-15)

Prayer: Father, teach us to love and intercede for others according to Your Heart.

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