Story of the Prodigal Son

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Story of the Prodigal Son

The present-day story of the Prodigal Son is one of the most heart-wrenching experiences for a Christian parent. Helplessness can turn to hopelessness and hopelessness can turn to despair. Often, the more a parent tries to return a child to Christ, the more the child runs away from his Christian roots. The ďprodigal experienceĒ (the emotionally-charged relationship between a Christian parent and a rebellious child) is a universal challenge to Christian faith.

The story of the Prodigal Son in the Gospel of Luke is familiar to all of us. In part, itís the story of a rebellious son who rejects his fatherís upbringing. Prideful and strong, the son heads-off to a far-away land, leads a wild life of adventure, and squanders everything of value (literally and spiritually). Not until heís confronted with failure and despair, does he return home, repentant and willing to do anything to win back his fatherís favor. To his surprise, and the surprise of others, heís welcomed, without question, into his fatherís loving and forgiving arms. No amount of time, no amount of money, and no amount of rebellion could get in the way of the fatherís unconditional love for his returning son.

For this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life.
He was lost, but now he is found.' So the party began.

(Luke 15:24)

As many of us know, the primary focus of this parable is God the Father and the general rebellion of His children. Itís a beautiful story of Godís patient grace and His willingness to welcome each of us home into His loving and forgiving arms. However, as with many of Jesusí teachings, this parable also has direct application for 21st Century Christians. When viewed in the context of todayís ďprodigal experience,Ē the parable shows Christian parents the power of unconditional love and the ultimate reward of foundation, faith and forgiveness.

With the story of the Prodigal Son as a prologue, the purpose of this book is to give Christian parents hope. This is a message of patience, perseverance and, most importantly, prayer. Itís about viewing the ďprodigal experienceĒ as a spiritual process, which helps build and strengthen your faith in Godís plan for your loved ones.

Iím not a pastor, nor a psychologist. Iím merely a Christian mother who recently completed a 20-year prodigal journey with my only son. After an unexpected response to our testimony at a Christian outreach program, God led us to share a chronological account of our prodigal experience together. The narrative in this book comes from my journals, letters and memoirs. When read together, these writings present a 20-year collection of a motherís prayer life, which is the basis for the faith and hope presented in this book. In the meantime, if you are looking for a way to help hurting prodigals throughout the world, we encourage you to sponsor children in need through our friends at Compassion International.

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