Praying for Prodigals

A Mother shares the following:

For several years I was asking God for help in dealing with my wayward son. We were a leading family in our church and it was most embarrassing for us. In spite of all my praying he seemed to increase his rebellion and reckless escapades. Then I discovered where I was … WRONG IN MY PRAYING.

A great change came one night when I discovered what it would mean to be identified with God in a new position. Suddenly I realized how fleshly mother-ties had colored all my praying. I saw that actually I was not so much concerned for God as for my son–and how his behavior affected me.
I saw how, as a typical mother with her outspread protective wings, I was seeking to shield my son from harm and danger, even shield him from anything God might need to allow to awaken him. I had always identified more with my son than with God.

Then, in His own gentle way, God took the cross as His scissors. He asked for permission to cut these fleshly ties that I might be released from standing with my son. It meant taking a big move away from him over into the heart of God. I saw how this new identification might involve cost to me. If I began praying from this new position, I should be willing for any course necessary to bring my boy to God.

I did give Him permission! Immediately I sensed that my relationship with my son seemed different. The next night when he was leaving to go out for a time with his friends, I called him aside.

“Son, I have something important to tell you. I want you to know that as your mother, I love you, even more than I have been able to show. But I am no longer praying that God will spare you from harm when you race with the boys. I am no longer standing with you, beseeching God on your behalf! From now on I am standing with God for His purpose and plan in your life. In His stead I urge you to turn from your wild reckless ways and yield to God.”


The boy pretended he was unconcerned and left the house with the typical teenage attitude of “so what–who cares.” But strangely he could not get away from his mother’s haunting words. They penetrated as words never had before. Mother seemed to speak with such new authority. He knew there was something different in her eyes. Did she really love God more than him? He tried to enjoy his reckless times with the gang, but his mother’s words and look kept haunting him.

One whole month passed. Mother was different! She didn’t nag, didn’t scold. She simply walked with her new confidence that God was at work. And He was!

Although the details are omitted, it was only a short time before a crisis brought that son to know God for Himself, not himself. For many years now he has been a veteran soldier of the cross on the mission field. It all happened because a mother had learned the secret of STANDING WITH God…

What would you believe this mother told me the above story more than thirty years ago? My wife and I have experienced this personally, and we have observed many parents who took:the same move to stand with God.

PRINCIPLE: There is a big difference between our standing with God beseeching man to be reconciled, and our standing with man beseeching God to save. Only as we allow God to cut our soul-ties (emotional bondage) can we truly realize how rebellion touches His heart.

God’s Word is CLEAR: We have Paul’s own admonition,

“Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God” (2 Cor. 4:1, 2 NKJV.

DeVern Fromke, Father is Looking (Sharper Focus, 2007) pp. 14-16. Used with permission. Available at New title added for this article – JBW

Related Grace Notes: “A Helping Hand for Parents of Teens,” “Broken to Be Fixed”

See an inspiring example of salvation and intercession in the autobiography, Out of a Far Country: A Gay Son’s Journey to God. A Broken Mother’s Search for Hope, by Christopher Yuan, et al.


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