Loving a Prodigal: When You Are Undone

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.  This post responds to being undone.

Dear Lover of Prodigals,


Have you ever felt undone? Is that a word you have used?

How about these words: ruined, crushed, overcome, wrecked, destroyed?

Most of us who love a prodigal know these feelings well. These might not have been the words we used, but surely we have been at the bottom of a very deep pile once, twice, even many times on our wilderness journey.

Of course, it is not all bad for us to come to the end of ourselves.

The prophet Isaiah experienced it. This is what he saw:

“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple.Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.

And one cried to another and said:

“’Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;

The whole earth is full of His glory!’“

And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke.” (Isaiah 6:1-4)

And this is how he responded:“Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The Lord of hosts.” (Isaiah 6:5)

I think the next thing Isaiah did was fall on his face. He saw the majesty and holiness of God and was overwhelmed, ruined, crushed, overcome by his own unworthiness, his unholiness—his sin. He was undone.

God heard his humble confession and responded:

Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar.

And he touched my mouth with it, and said:“

Behold, this has touched your lips;

Your iniquity is taken away,

And your sin purged.”

Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying:

“Whom shall I send,

And who will go for Us?”

“Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me.’“

And He said, ‘Go, and tell this people….’”

(Isaiah 6:6-9)

So when we are undone, when we realize we can’t control our loved one or the reality we are living in, when we have no answers,…

then we fall on our faces and acknowledge we are so needy, we are totally dependent on God.

Perhaps we have sin to confess as Isaiah did, or crushing fear to escape, or we just need to admit we are undone and fall on the grace of our loving God.

May that grace and love restore and sustain you.

In His grace,


What about you? When have you been undone?

c2017 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.