THIS IS BIG!!!! Praying for Your Prodigal, Book Giveaway & BIG ANNOUNCEMENT

Today is BOOK GIVE AWAY DAY and I HAVE A BIG ANNOUNCEMENT: My new podcast, “That’s Just What I Needed” launches Wednesday, February 2nd.

If you enjoy these blog posts you’ll love the more personal conversations and interviews I’ll be having on the podcast. You can find “That’s Just What I Needed” anywhere you listen to podcasts (Apple, Spotify, etc). The first three episodes will be available on Wednesday, so listen to one, two, or all three (hint: they’re all good, yet all very different, so take your pick according to your needs and interests). Don’t forget to listen, subscribe, and share an episode or two with a friend who needs the message. I promise, you’ll think of at least one friend who needs what we discuss.

And….since you are my blog friend I’d love your input about what topics you’d like discussed on the show.

That’s right. YOU get a chance to shape the content of a podcast (How cool is that???)

Since I’m so grateful for our friendship, today I’m giving away a free copy of my friend Pam Farrell’s new book. Simply leave a comment to be entered to win. 

Today, I’ve invited Pam to share an excerpt from her book where she shares how to pray for a child who’s turned away from God. If you have kids, you will WANT to read every word. Her insight is SO GOOD!!

So, here’s wisdom from Pam Farrell

Praying for Your Prodigal

Having a child who wanders from the faith, from living wisely, or even lawfully, is one of the most painful and confusing experiences for a parent. Whether you are facing this heartbreak as a couple or as a single parent, prayer is the key to unleashing God’s power and wisdom to help you cope and keep compassion toward your son or daughter. In our recent release, 10 Best Decisions a Single Mom Can Make, we share some tried and true tips and tools for every parent.

Prayer to See a Path of Pain

The most common question asked by heartbroken parents is, “Why?”

One of famed evangelist Luis Palau’s four sons chose to live contrary to his parents’ teachings. “There was nothing polarizing about Mom or Dad, nothing that would incite me to go a different direction,” says Andrew Palau. “I went out of my way to find an alternative life path.”

Author Tim Kimmel suggests that good kids make bad life choices for many reasons.

  • They don’t know Christ personally. Kids and adults can attend church without having a heart surrendered to the Lord.
  • They are angry at God. Trauma such as divorce, abandonment by a parent, abuse, or loss can trigger anger.
  • They feel anger toward their parents for real or perceived errors and shortcomings.
  • They feel pressured by their parents, family members, instructors, or coaches.
  • They are conflicted, confused, or disillusioned by the stress of dating, puberty, transition, or the unwise decisions of important people in the child’s life.
  • They are bonded to the need for acceptance and popularity, leading to involvement in damaging behaviors such as substance abuse or sex.
  • They need to explore other belief systems to validate their own. Much is done in the name of God, church, and faith that do not represent God at all. Our kids may flee the presence of legalism, shame, and bizarre theology to seek spiritual health.

Pray that God will reveal your child’s path of pain. This may come through you listening to your prodigal, your devotional time, a church sermon or podcast, or conversations with other godly parents. Trust God to show you what is going on beneath the surface in the heart of your prodigal.

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18)

Prayer to Build a Bridge to Future

Andrew’s parents prayed consistently for their children, and Luis did regular heart checks. Knowing poor choices are not a behavior problem but rather a heart problem, Luis took Andrew on walks and said, “I pray first of all, Andrew, that you would open your heart to Jesus Christ for sure. Have you ever asked him personally?”

“My parents never conceded our relationship,” Andrew writes. “They always pursued me. I could see their love for me though I was adept at keeping that love at arm’s length.”

The day came when Andrew was ready and surrendered his heart to God; his behavior quickly aligned with his decision.  If your child is living as a prodigal, here are specific ways you can pray.

  • Pray God will keep you calm. Fight for your child instead of fighting with your child. Speak vertically with God through prayer before talking with your child. Speak what God prompts. When God doesn’t give you anything to say, don’t say anything, having the confidence that God is at work.
  • Pray by faith. Pray about who you know God designed your son or daughter to be. Pray God’s promises aloud, adding your child’s name into Scripture. “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
  • Pray truth. Do not allow lies about you or your child to take root in your mind. You are a good parent (no one is perfect), and your child is God’s. He will give you insights to parent wisely.
  • Pray for common ground. Look for ways to spend time in neutral territory. Eat out, meet for coffee and conversation, and try a sporting activity (bike, hike, kayak).
  • Pray for ways to show support. Text prayers, verses, and words of encouragement. Applaud and support good choices. Offer to help with healthy projects.
  • Pray for ways to voice your love. Say, “I love you.” Compliment good traits. Acknowledge wise choices, thoughtfulness, and kindness.
  • Pray verses of spiritual warfare. Daily kneel and pray on behalf of your child. Join a prayer group or meet with someone specifically to pray. Record prayers and how they were answered in a prayer journal.
  • Pray for wisdom. You work hard for your money, and if your child squanders it, disrespects you, or is hostile toward you, remove the financial underpinnings. Deter poor behavior by taking back the car keys to a vehicle you bought. Skipping class? Stop payment on college courses. If you or your other children feel unsafe in your home, ask professional counselors and clergy for housing options or residential treatment programs, and schedule an intervention surrounded with those who care about you and your child.

Create a prayer journal for your prodigal. One of my friends gave her prayer journals to her prodigal once she returned to Jesus and was reconciled to the family. The prodigal went through her mother’s prayers and made notes and she could see how God had moved circumstances, relationships and resources to her to draw her back to Himself. Your prayer journals might feel too personal to share, and that’s okay too, but they will be a record of the faithfulness of God in your life and the life of your prodigal.

Weren’t Pam and Peggy Sue’s words of wisdom great? Leave a comment for your chance to win a free copy of their book.

And, don’t forget to listen and subscribe to the “That’s Just What I Needed” Podcast!

Pam Farrel is a mom of three and has co-authored with PeggySue Wells, a single mom of 7, the new book: 10 Best Decisions a Single Mom Can Make (Baker Books) To bolster your hope: Discovering Hope in the Psalms: A Creative Bible Study Experience and Hold on the Hope Prayer Journal from Love-Wise might be a place to begin as you write out your prayers for your prodigal. Connect to Pam and her husband, Bill Farrel at Connect to PeggySue Wells at a supportive community for single moms.


  1. Barbara Grant

    Just reading what you share makes a profound difference in my life every day walking with you laughing crying watching you each and every week as part of the daughters of Christ walking the campus of Crossline you inspire me to be a Godly woman day in day out.

    1. donnajones

      Goodness. I am humbled, Barbara. Thank you for your kind words. We serve a great God. 🙂

  2. Veronica Kaufman

    Looking forward to hearing your words of wisdom, your friendly voice and your grateful heart!! Thank you for tackling topics that are so relatable!!

  3. Arla Luithly

    Hi Donna,

    Wow! This is so powerful! Thank you so much!

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