Prodigals and Those Who Wait - A Guest Post by Andrea Merrell

Eighty-eight percent of children raised in evangelical Christian homes will leave the church by the age of eighteen. Most will turn away from authority, parental values, and biblical teaching, losing their potential, their health, and their destiny — sometimes even their life. As a parent, guardian, or loved one, what can you do to prevent this from happening? If it does happen, how do you fight the battle? Is there hope?

It's my pleasure to share a post from fellow author and friend Andrea Merrell. If you love a prodigal, I pray her words will fill you with hope and encouragement.

Prodigals and Those Who Wait
By Andrea Merrell

It seems everywhere I go someone is dealing with a prodigal. 

As the mother of two former prodigals, my heart breaks anew as their story unfolds. Depending upon the circumstances, the pain can be almost unbearable at times. Watching your child march boldly into a life of destruction is heart-wrenching. It can bring an extra burden of guilt and condemnation, especially for the Christian parent who feels they’ve done all the right things. 

The staggering truth is: even good kids rebel—and even good parents can end up with a prodigal. 

My husband and I found this out the hard way, and we were devastated. We didn’t know what to do or who we could turn to for help, so we fought this battle alone for five long years. During this time, we shed many tears, experienced sleepless nights, and lived in fear for the lives—and souls—of our children. 

 The two questions I’m asked most often are: 

 • Is there hope? 

 • What do I do in the meantime? 

The first thing I want people to know is that there is always hope. God’s Word is full of promises, and he is waiting for us to take hold of those promises and believe he will do what he says he will do. 

The Bible says God is not a respecter of persons. In other words, he doesn’t play favorites. He doesn’t esteem one of his children higher than the other. He loves each one of us with an extraordinary unconditional love. God is faithful and there is always hope when we put our trust in him and pray in faith according to his will. 

Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that God has a plan for each of his children. He desires to prosper us and give us a glorious future full of hope. The problem is that God’s timetable is different from ours and camping out in God’s “waiting room” can be tough.

If you are currently dealing with a prodigal, what can you do while you wait? 

In Praying for the Prodigal, I not only share my story, but what I learned during my journey including: setting boundaries, avoiding the blame game, and learning to pray the Word of God over my children daily. You will be encouraged by advice straight from the prodigals, and your faith will be strengthened by thirty days of prayers and Scriptures, equipping you for the battle ahead. 

 No matter where you are in your own journey, the key is to hold fast to God’s promises, and never, never give up on your children—no matter how hopeless the situation may seem.

Praying for the Prodigal is available on

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  1. Thanks for giving readers something positive to do while waiting. (And especially for making that "something" Scripture-based prayers!)

    1. Thank you, Vie, for stopping by and for your encouragement and support.

  2. Anonymous12:12 AM

    Thank you for having Andrea on. I love hearing stories of our children coming home. We are in the season of waiting as of now...but have total faith that He has a plan.

    1. Keep the faith, Emmiky. I, too had a prodigal who has not only come home, but has become a joy and delight to our family. Galatians 6:9, and my prayers go with you. Thanks for stopping by.