Image of a father running from "The Sepulcher" by artist Dan Burr

The Prodigal’s Father

“Is there anything you’d like me to include in that prayer?”

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When I meet individually with members of our church we usually open and close with a prayer. And I always ask that question before I give the closing prayer. “Is there anything you’d like me to include in that prayer?”

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And although we may have spent the past many minutes conversing, sometimes this is the moment when the tears begin to fall.

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Because when you ask someone what they want you to pray for, the most important things in life come to the surface.

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The most common response?

“Can you pray for my son?” “Can you pray for my daughter?” “Can you pray for my grandchild?” “They’re struggling.” “I’m worried about them.” “They’re losing their faith.” “They’re not doing well.”

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Nothing on this earth can suppress the affection of a loving parent for their children.

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Luke 15:11-20 (with much creative license)

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He started this day the same as every day.

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It had been years since he’d seen him.

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Occasionally a friend traveling from another city would bring word …

“I saw your son. It’s not going well.”

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His wife’s occasional tears haunted him.

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Had he failed as a father? Maybe he shouldn’t have given him the inheritance? Had he been too strict at home? Had he not done enough to prepare his son for this life?

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They’d written letters … no response.

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And so, he begins this day the same as every other day.

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Kneeling by his bed.

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“Father, please forgive me for my mistakes as a parent.”

”Father, please watch over him.”

“Father, please keep him safe.”

“Father, please let him know we love him.”

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“Father, I’ll do anything. Please … just bring him home to us.”

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But today is not like every other day.

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Because as he gets off his knees and looks out the window, he sees, off in the distance, a man coming up the road to the house.

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And he pauses for a moment and stares … “Can it possibly be?”

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And his heart leaps in his chest as a voice whispers, “It’s your son … go!”

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And he starts running!

Image credit – from “The Sepulcher” by Dan Burr

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