When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! I will go home to my father…’
Luke 15:17-18a NLT*
Last week we talked about how if there’s something our loved ones need to learn or change in their thinking, we can trust God to make it plain to them. We were looking at how God works in the lives of believers (including our own lives!)
Today’s verse reminds me this principle also applies for those who don’t yet know Jesus. That’s a huge comfort as we pray for people who are outside of relationship with God. And it makes perfect sense. After all, it’s God who initiates the contact, who softens hearts and gives faith.
When the young man in the parable left home, his father’s only option was to pray. Jesus didn’t say he did, but I think it’s implied by how he was watching and waiting for his son’s return.
We don’t know how long he waited, either.
The father knew the trouble his son could get into, and he presumably prayed for physical and spiritual protection. I’m guessing he also prayed for God to change the young man’s heart and bring him home.
He may well have prayed in terms of love, light and freedom. [Please follow the link to read Ginny Jaques’ insightful article on praying for unsaved loved ones.]
God our Father, thank You for revealing Your love to us, shining Your light of truth on our lives, and giving us freedom to choose You. Help us as we pray for those we love who don’t yet trust You. Help us pray in love, power and confidence, and help us wait for Your perfect timing as You draw them to know You. You love them even more than we do, and in this we will rest.
*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.