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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Guest Post - Andrea Merrell: PARENTS AND PRODIGALS

Are you the parent of a prodigal? Maybe you’re the grandparent or guardian. Perhaps you have a close friend or family member with a rebellious child, and you don’t know what to do or where to go for help.

As the mother of two former prodigals, I suffered five long years of agony until my children returned. Now, the cry of my heart is to share my experience in order to give renewed hope to those who have lost it. Everyone needs stability in the midst of the storm—something to hang on to when things spin out of control.

When my children first went down this dark path, it was devastating. My husband and I had done everything we knew to instill Christian values and raise our son and daughter in a godly environment. We could not understand what could have possibly gone wrong and we got caught in the blame game. What we learned is that it’s not anyone’s fault. Even good kids rebel—and even good parents can end up with a prodigal.

The first few years of this journey were spent in anger, frustration, and a feeling of sheer hopelessness. There were many tears and sleepless nights. The enemy had somehow convinced me this situation was my fault, making it difficult to go boldly to the throne of grace, as the Word instructs us to do. I struggled with guilt and condemnation and felt like God had abandoned our family.

The good news is God never let go. He saw every tear and heard every prayer. No matter how hard I tried to give up, He never let me. He kept giving me the grace and strength I needed to keep pressing on, believing my children would return. When our breakthrough came, I knew without a doubt God had been right there with us all along, loving my children, protecting them, and working in their hearts—and in mine.

Satan intimidates us with his lies, and we tend to run for cover instead of facing him like Jesus did with, It is written. The most important thing I learned during this time was that God is faithful and His Word is true. When I turned to the Word and learned to pray the Scriptures over my children, things began to change—first in me, then in my children. The Bible says it is impossible to please God without faith. Sometimes we make faith a hard concept, but it is simply a matter of believing God will do what He says He will do.

If you’re ready to do spiritual warfare for the soul of your child, Praying for the Prodigal will help equip you for the battle ahead. You will find practical survival tips, advice from the former prodigals themselves, and thirty days of prayers and Scriptures.

No matter how bad your situation may seem, remember … there is always hope for the prodigal.

Andrea Merrell is Associate Editor for Christian Devotions Ministries and Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. She is also a freelance editor and has led workshops at various writers’ conferences. Andrea’s work has been published in numerous anthologies and online venues. She is the author of Murder of a Manuscript, The Gift, and Praying for the Prodigal, all available on Amazon. For more information, visit: or

(Note from Anne: If you'd like to read my review of Praying for the Prodigal, stay tuned next week!)

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