Loving a Prodigal: Is Life Out of Control?

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,

So which is causing you the most anxiety, fear, desperation these days? The election or terrorism or war and instability around the globe--or your prodigal loved one?

Does everything seem out of control?

Sometimes life, or family situations, or financial needs seem overwhelming. We feel out of control. We can’t help or stop or change things. We can’t control them.It is good when we recognize this, for then we will hopefully turn to El Elyon, the Most High God.

The literal meaning is “God is the high one.” Synonyms would be sovereign and ruler. In other words, He is in control.

This name of God appears throughout the Old Testament, but most often in the book of Daniel. Here we read the story of Nebuchadnezzar, the mighty ruler of the Babylonian empire.

Though he acknowledged the power of Daniel’s God, he still believed he was in control. Thus God’s word to him: “You will be driven away from people and will live with wild animals…Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men…”

And that is what happened. After seven years of living as an animal, the King looked to heaven and was restored. He said, “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just…”

Where is your life out of control?

A child on drugs? Lost a job? A pregnant daughter? In foreclosure? A son in jail? A cancer diagnosis? Or just myriad small details adding up to one big mess?

Then it is time to acknowledge, in reality, life is out of control. And to turn to this Most High God who is, in reality, in control. No surprises, no indifference, no “oops” for Him. He knows. He cares. He is able.

His name is a promise. You can depend on Him to be in control.

This powerful God has invited you to bring all the confusion and pain and lostness to Him. He says, “Come. Let’s talk.”

Here are some possible things to talk with Him about:

  1. Help me to believe that You are in control and You can bring good from this chaos and confusion.

  2. I am angry at you, God. Why don’t you do something about ___?

  3. I need wisdom to make wise decisions toward some possible solutions.

  4. I am filled with fear and I could really use some peace.

  5. I feel like giving up.

Add some more of your own:



Thank You, Lord, El Elyon, to you higher than all, that you do know and you truly care and you are absolutely in control.

As we keep loving,


What about you? What do you need to hand over to God's control?

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.