Loving a Prodigal: God Is Always at Work

This is the seventh in a weekly series of mini-devotionals on TIME, which is the theme of the 2013 June 2 Worldwide Day of Prayer for Prodigals. This letter goes to the members of the Prayer for Prodigals community.

Dear Lover of Prodigals,

“He’s building his testimony.”

My friend Diane has been a faithful prayer warrior on behalf of Josh.  I used to pass her on the way to my office, and she always asked how he was doing.  On the days there were more bad choices, more reasons to despair, she often responded:  “He’s building his testimony.”

With those words God kept reminding me of this important truth from Jesus:“

My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” (John 5:17)

When our loved one is doing destructive things, whether from childish thinking or lack of thinking, from gratifying the flesh, with evil intent, or just being stupid, our tendency is often to sigh or cry or despair.  Yet God is at work even in all this.  He is at work in our prodigals, he is at work in these circumstances and He is at work in us.

One of my favorite verses assures me that God was intentional when he made each of us—including our loved ones--designing us perfectly for the plans He has for us:  “For we are God’s handiwork (work of art, masterpiece), created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)

And how often I take comfort in this promise, for myself and for my prodigal: “… being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)

I find myself agreeing wholeheartedly with David the psalmist: “The Lord will accomplish what concerns me; Your lovingkindness, O Lord, is everlasting; Do not forsake the works of Your hands.” (Psalm 138:8) God will use choices and circumstances to accomplish what he began in each of us—building a testimony for future good works.Moses said the same thing to the Israelites at the Red Sea:  “Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today….” (Exodus 14:13)

Job, just before the end of his ordeal, understood: “I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted." (Job 42:2)

If you have read Hind’s Feet on High Places, you remember that Much-Afraid spent extended time in a deep fog.  When she asked the Shepherd why, He replied, “I am working in ways you cannot see.”  Oh how true that is for us as we live in the fog of our prodigals’ delinquency.

How many times have you held on to this promise: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28}

Finally, from my favorite prophet, Isaiah:  “…declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, ‘My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure’…” (Isaiah 46:10)

In other words, God knew what He was doing when He created your loved one, He knows what He is doing now and He is continuing to work to accomplish His good purposes in and through that life.

Oh yes, in our own lives as well.

In His Time,


What about you? Where is God working that you can't see right now?

c2013 Judy Douglass

If you would like more information, to request prayer for a prodigal, or to join our full-of-grace community, please write to prayerforprodigalsatgmaildotcom with your questions or names, or for an invitation. June 2 is our Worldwide Day of Prayer for Prodigals.

Loving a Prodigal: In It’s Time

A Little Rest and a Free E-Book

Grace Forgives