Hope: Sometimes it Sustains, Sometimes it Forsakes

Once a month I write a letter to the wonderful Prayer for Prodigals community I am part of.  Often those letters, though specific to those who love a prodigal, apply to any or all of us in the challenging circumstances of life.

Dear Lover of Prodigals,

There he was, working.

He fed the horses and the calves.  Then he loaded the monster hay round on the truck and backed it up to the haying area.  He pulled the bale down, took a pitchfork and began to spread it around for the animals.I stood watching, teary-eyed with joy.He was working. Gladly, willingly, uncoerced. Joyfully, even.

Our hope of many years fulfilled before my very eyes.

Most creative work avoider

For most of his life he had been work averse.  Yes, he would work to fish, but leave the clean-up to others.  He loved to watch his friends work on his car.  Even when he worked at a job, he often complained about it.

All the chores assigned, rewards offered, consequences given, encouragement or correction provided—nothing seemed to incline him to work.

We prayed.

Still he continued as “the most creative work avoider” we had ever seen.

We almost gave up hope.

Yet time, a little maturity, growing personal discipline, a much-loved family to provide for—and there he was working.

Hope dared and deferred

When you love a prodigal, you know about hope.  Hope grasped, dared, deferred, or dashed and forsaken.

And sometimes, hope fulfilled.Most of us have experienced hope in most of these ways.  It is a tangled part of living with a prodigal.  It sustains us through the hardest times and abandons us on darkest days.

So I believe the Lord has said that HOPE will be our theme for the 2016 Worldwide Prodigal Prayer Day on June 2.  Beginning in April I will write a weekly series of mini-devotionals to help us prepare to capture that hope as we pray for our loved ones and the thousands of names entrusted to us for prayer.

Now is the time to begin to invite friends who are also living in prodigal wilderness to let us know the names of those they desire us to pray for.  And they are always welcome to join in our wonderful Prayer for Prodigals community.

With hope,


What about you?  Where are you hoping?

c2016 Judy Douglass

If you would be interested in requesting prayer for a prodigal loved one, or being a part of our wonderful praying community, respond in comments or write to me at PrayerforProdigals at gmaildotcom.