Fur, Fathers, and Faithfulness - Life with a Prodigal

I didn't understand why there was dog fur all over the couch.

Not that our spaniel/setter mix wasn't above leaving his long red fur in strategic places (usually within close proximity to someone's black pants), but this was a considerable amount. And I had just vacuumed the couch the day before my husband and I left on an overnight trip to Hilton Head Island.

CSI would have been proud of me. After carefully analyzing the evidence, I realized what had happened. Since we were gone only two days, we had felt comfortable leaving Winston at home. A kind neighbor agreed to feed him and let him out periodically.

But Winston loves us. And life just wasn't the same without us. I realized he had spent the majority of those two days sitting on the couch waiting for us to return.

Winston reminds me of another faithful watcher.

The father of the prodigal watched daily for his son to return. Unlike Winston, though, this father watched with a broken heart. His beloved son had betrayed his trust, wantonly squandered a fortune, and brought shame to the family name. He had turned his back on everything that was good and right. Yet the father still watched.

He loved his son, and life just wasn't the same without him.

"But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him. . . "
If you're the parent of a prodigal, don't stop watching. Don't stop praying. Don't lose hope. Jill Briscoe once said, "People may resist our advice, spurn our appeals, reject our suggestions, refuse our help, but they are powerless against our prayers.

"The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'"

 "But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.'

And they began to celebrate.

Are you praying for a prodigal? If you'll leave his or her first name only in the comment box, it will be my privilege to join you in prayer for their return.

For another devotion on prodigals, please visit The Prodigal and the Penguin.  

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  1. Luv this post, Lori!
    Pray, and put them in God's hands.
    We must not give up on them!
    I've seen great results too many times.

  2. PS: Luv your analogy. I'm sure Winston missed you both so much.

  3. Poor Winston watching the door for your return : )
    I love the Jill Brisco quote...I need to write that one down.
    Thanks for another great devotion, Lori.

  4. Anonymous8:52 AM


  5. Sure needed this post, thanks. His name is Christopher.

  6. Paul is his name.. Thank you :)

  7. Lord Jesus, today I call these names before your throne, trusting that you hear me. I call out Jacob, whose name you changed to Israel, one of the fathers of your chosen people; for Christopher, whose name means "Christ bearer;" and for Paul,whose namesake you used to bring the gospel to the Gentiles, of which we are. Lord, you created each one of these boys and gave them faithful, praying mothers. Your will is not that any should perish, but all should come to repentance. Restore these wayward sons. Call them back into right relationships with you and with their families. Bind Satan and his influence in their lives. Make them mighty warriors for your kingdom.

    And Lord, empower their mothers to not grow weary in doing good, trusting that they will reap a harvest if they don't faint. Remind them that you work through the prayers of your saints. Help them to know that the effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous (wo)man accomplishes much. In the strong name of Jesus I ask, Amen.

  8. Lord, Ben and Joe, it's no coincidence that these young men bear the biblical names of men who loved God and stood for you. Fulfill this destiny in them as you did in their namesakes. Help them to love you with all their hearts, stand for what's right, and make their mommas proud. Bring them into the center of your perfect will through a right relationship with you. In the mighty name of Jesus I ask you, Amen.

  9. Anonymous9:19 PM

    please pray for my megan....

    1. Lord Jesus, you created Megan, and you gave her to a mother who loves you and loves her. Tear down the walls of false reasoning that holds Megan's heart captive. Shine the light of your truth into her life. Help her to see that it is only through a right relationship with you that she will find joy, peace, contentment, and fulfillment. Draw her to your side. Surround her with people who love you and will show her the way back. Comfort her mother, and help her not to grow faint of heart or lose hope. In Jesus' strong name I pray, Amen.

  10. What a wonderful devotional! I'm always amazed at the love an animal has for it's owner. And what a great comparison to the prodigal. Be blessed!

  11. Anonymous10:16 AM

    Pat, my husband actually. Thanks:)

    1. Lord Jesus, you know what's going on in Pat's heart right now. Because he is far from you, I know there is no peace, joy, and contentment, perhaps only pale substitutes. Draw him to yourself in a real and fresh way. Help him encounter you and come away changed. Help his dear, praying wife, not to grow weary in praying for her husband, but to continue to live out her faith in quiet acts of love, that he may be won through her holy example. In Jesus' name I ask, Amen.

  12. my son, Simon. thank you for joining in prayer!

    1. Lord Jesus, make Simon a man after your heart. Like the Simon Peter in the Bible, capture his passion and make it passionate for you. Help him to realize that meaning can only come through a relationship with you. Give him no rest until he returns to you, the lover of his soul. In the strong name of Jesus, I invite you to plunder his heart, remove everything that is vain and empty, and fill it with those things that are eternal. Help his mom never to give up praying for him, knowing that the "effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous (wo)man avails much."

  13. Oh what a sweet post. My dog does the same even if I am gone 2 hours instead of two days. What a great illustration. I have been thinking about the same things. My Jen is a little of a prodigal not in the same sense but is in a situation living with another family (she is 30 and has a child and going through divorce). It is hard to see her treat them as mother and father. I know that it is the best sitation for her and our grandson since we live in a 1 bedroom apartment but it hurts not having them with us. Thanks for this post you blessed me today and made me Smile.
    Thanks for your prayers. BTW I wrote a post about prayers and linked too come see me.

  14. Anonymous11:04 PM

    hi, please pray for my husband jonathan he is in bondage to drug addiction i live with constant lies and betrayal once a man of god but now so lost . we have six children its hard to live this way

    1. Father, I pray you will move in Jonathan's life in a mighty way. Empower him to break free of the addictions that enslave him. Help him confess, repent, and forsake the behavior that has deceived him. Protect this wife and their children, and use them in his life to bring him to yourself. Glorify yourself in this situation, in the strong name of Jesus, Amen.

  15. This is a very touching and powerful post. I pray that each young person mentioned will turn to the Lord and also Annymous's husband, Jonathan. Two 'unspoken' names are ones that I think and pray for.

    Thanks for linking up over at WholeHearted Home and leaving this sweet post of concern for prodigals.

  16. Winston is a good analogy of the parent of a prodigal. He is faithful...lovely and touching post. Definitely makes me cry, Lori.

  17. his name is Eson, please bring him in your prayer and pray for me as well so I will not give up on him.

  18. His name is Fellson. Bring him into your prayer.I know he has a good heart but he's not strong enough to fight temptation. God bless us all.

    1. Father, Fellson needs your power in his life. Draw him to yourself, help him desire to honor you with his life. Save him and use him for your glory. Amen.