A prodigal is someone who has turned away from God and left their first love for Him. At the root of a backslidden heart is a hardened heart. The heart is where we become who we are. This is why we are told to guard our heart with all diligence, for it determines the course of your life. A hardened heart is no longer sensitive to the voice of God and has become spiritually dull. Jesus himself described people whose hearts had become dull and calloused:
Or this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears … understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them. Matthew 13:15
Your wayward loved one might be a spouse, child, parent, brother, sister, friend, stranger or, possibly, you. At times, many of us have walked the prodigal path in one form or another.
The term “prodigal” comes from Jesus’ parable in Luke 15:11-31. These verses depict the wayward loved one who fell deep into sin and lost close fellowship with his Father. The major theme of this parable is the restoration of a believer into fellowship with his father. And it is a story of a father who is eagerly awaiting his son’s return. The son had to learn the hard way that choosing this lifestyle would lead to heartache, dissatisfaction and disappointment.
Even though your lost loved one may have to go through some difficult lessons, there is hope! God will instruct you about how to cultivate his or her heart and plant the seed of His Word. Of prime importance, you’ll learn how to cultivate your heart; for unless its soil is soft to the Master’s touch, you won’t be receptive to His instructions about how to pray for others. Remember, prayer is relationship not performance. Even when you don’t know how to pray, the Holy Spirit will pray through you.
But there is hope. If there is one thing I have learned, it is “do not underestimate God!” He can soften the hardest of hearts! Nothing is impossible with Him! (Luke 1:37)
*Excerpt Snippets taken from Mud On My Knees