Loving a Prodigal--Am I Blessing or Cursing?

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,

When was the last time you spoke words of blessing into the life of your prodigal?

Blessings are the words of life.

I recently finished reading John Ortberg’s newest book, Soul Keeping: Caring for the Most Important Part of You.

I highly recommend it.  In it John shares abundantly from being mentored by Dallas Willard.

I especially liked the chapter on blessing; “The Soul Needs Blessing.”

I’ve written a lot about blessings—and a lot of blessings.  I know it’s a key to restoring the hearts of our loved ones to us and to God.  But this chapter reminded me again how important is.

“Blessing is the projection of good into the life of another”—done with words, but also with our minds and our bodies and especially with our souls.

Dallas Willard said that the two ways we impact people are to bless them or curse them.  One or the other.  We probably aren’t aware if we are blessing or cursing, but we can choose to bless.

To speak words of life to our loved ones.

Here is God’s blessing for us—a very good place to start.

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26)

When I raise my voice, or give a sharp retort, or use "always" or "never" I am probably cursing.  I want to choose to bless--to encourage, affirm, speak truth with love.

Sometimes I have spoken these words and other blessings to my loved one.  Sometimes he rejected it in anger, but usually it diffused a situation or calmed him down.  More often my blessings have been prayers, or have been blessings of action, of grace and mercy extended.

I have written many blessings for people I love, often praying them for a person I care for.  I usually ask God for the Scriptures I need to be praying for my prodigal or someone else.  I turn those Scriptures into blessings.

Here is a blessing I wrote for our--yours and mine--loved prodigals several years ago.  I pray it will give you heart and words to bless your loved one:


May you rise when you fall and come out of the darkness into God’s light. (Micah 7:8,9)

May you be built up, not torn down; planted, not uprooted.  May you return to God with all your heart. (Jeremiah 24:6,7)

May you hope in the future of God’s good plans for you. (Jeremiah 29:11)

May you comprehend that it gives God joy to always do good to you. (Jeremiah 32:40)

May you receive the new heart and new spirit God is giving you. (Ezekiel 36:26,27)

May nothing of the world, the flesh or the devil satisfy you, but only God. (Psalm 90:14)

May all the days and years of your life stolen by the evil one be restored. (Joel 2:25)

May the comfort, peace and healing of God bring praise to your lips. (Isaiah 57:18,19)

May you feel cords of lovingkindness as the Father bends down to feed you. (Hosea 11:

May God pour out His Holy Spirit on you. (Joel 2:28)

May you know that in Christ Jesus there is no condemnation. (Romans 8:1)

May you be convinced that nothing can separate you from the love of God. (Romans :38,39)

May the eyes of your heart be enlightened that you might know Him. (Ephesians 1:18)

And may God bless you more than you can ask or imagine.

With grace and love,


What about you?  Are you giving blessings or curses?

c2014 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.   

Related post:

Scattering Blessings