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A Day of Prayer for Prodigals

Written by Judy Douglass, Author, Blogger, and Podcaster

It was June 2nd several years ago.

Eighteen of us made a large circle in our Florida room. We each shared why we had come—a brief overview of our journey with a prodigal.

What did we have in common? We each loved a prodigal—usually a child or grandchild. Some were just taking their first shaky steps in this wilderness. Others were feeling their way in the shadowy darkness. A few had stories of light, new life, and great hope.

We had all come to the only place we thought offered any answers: on our knees. At first, our prayers were tentative—were these people safe? But then honesty, vulnerability, and tears opened our hearts. We connected at that throne of grace, petitioning our God for each other, for the many who requested prayer, for our own loved ones, and for ourselves.

In the end, we recognized that our prayers were as much for ourselves as for our loved wanderers. And we acknowledged that loving a prodigal was indeed a wilderness journey, but each beloved prodigal was a gift, a true treasure to make us more and more like Jesus. Gratitude filled us even as tears flowed.

 And now, June 2nd is coming again: time for the Worldwide Prodigal Prayer Day.

What is the Worldwide Prodigal Prayer Day?

It began as I sought people to join me in praying for our prodigal son. Then we began to pray with others for their prodigals. Then we made it a day and invited people to give us names—first names only—of children and grandchildren (teens and adults) who needed prayer. That was 20 years ago.

Let’s look at how it happens each year—how you can be a part of it, as much or as little as you desire. Let me answer the questions we often get asked:

Who may pray for prodigals on June 2nd?

Anyone and everyone can pray—from all over the world. Most often people who love an at-risk or rebellious family member are eager to pray.

What is Prayer for Prodigals? Do I have to be a member?

Prayer for Prodigals (P4P) is a community of people who have joined our password-protected website for resources, encouragement, and a safe place to request prayer and pray for others. It is free and all online.

We sponsor the Worldwide Prodigal Prayer Day, but you don’t have to be a member to pray with us on June 2nd. Information, resources, and personal requests are available to members only because it is a password-protected site. You are welcome to join.

How do we pray on June 2nd?

You may pray in any way that works for you: You may pray as long or as little as you like. Most people try to join with others—friends, neighbors, church—in small groups at some point in the day. Or you can pray by yourself. I pray on and off throughout the day, and usually end with a group praying in the evening.

I mean, how do we “pray”?

Again, in any way you are comfortable. We have a booklet, Prayers for Your Wilderness Journey, that offers a variety of ways to pray and helpful Scriptures.

What is The List?

The list is the centerpiece of the Prodigal Prayer Day. At this time, we have at least 8,000 names for whom prayer has been requested. It is only first names, but God knows each one.

Some of us will pray through the entire list, lifting names up to God, asking for Him to keep on loving, pursuing, and drawing them back to those who love them and to Himself. Many will pray for a section of the list (it’s alphabetical) or get as far as they can. We ask that everyone try to spend some time praying for people on The List.

If you are a member of P4P, you can access the list there on the welcome page. If you are not a member (you are welcome to join us), you can access the list here: Names to Pray For.

I don’t always get through the entire list on June 2nd, so I keep praying through the list. You can use it all year.

How do we put names on the list?

You can write to prayerforprodigals@gmail.com or go to our Facebook page. You may continue to add names through June 2nd.

Is there anything else we need to know?

Our theme this year is Fear Not. Beginning May 14, I will post devotionals on my blog and my podcast (both available on my website) to help prepare our hearts and minds for intensive praying.

Most of us with prodigals know of others who love a prodigal. Please tell others about the June 2nd Worldwide Prodigal Prayer Day and the Prayer for Prodigals Community.

More to explore

The Truth Will Set You Free

The weight of a grandparent’s role can be felt immensely. We hold the stories of the past, the wisdom of experience, and a fierce love for the next generation.

Grandparent, Teach Me to Pray (Part 2)

Part 1 of this blog shared four things to keep in mind as you seek to pass prayer on to your grandkids. Here in Part 2, we’ll look at some specific techniques for helping grandchildren learn what to pray for.

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