In the story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), the father was prepared for the miracle: he had fattened the calf, was apparently watching for the arrival of his son, and he had a robe, a ring, and sandals ready. The elder son was not prepared, and his words reflected that.
I recently saw a few minutes of a TV show where an estranged daughter came home, and the mother embraced her, but the father lit in and yelled at her, asking what they ever did to deserve her walking out seven years earlier. I cried. I have witnessed the pain behind that question numerous times in so many lives. I also know that even if we never get answers to that question, and we might not want or need to hear them anyway, we must move forward. We cannot let our pain, questions, or expectations get in the way of the miracle or hinder the miracle in any way.
God had been dealing with me about hindering the miracle for a while, and that show was just another evidence of God’s call for preparation. I believe God is asking us to prepare spiritually for the miracle for which we have been praying. There are two areas needing prayerful attention:
If we are not prepared, our hurt and pain could get in the way: our words could reflect unforgiveness and bitterness that can squelch the work God is doing, the relationship He is working to restore. God is the Healer and can heal our hurts.
Just like God forgives and holds no grudges, we have to forgive and hold no grudges. Prepare now. Begin the forgiving now, even if you are still being hurt by your prodigal, and even if there has been no apology.
Also, I believe part of the preparation is to ask God to make us aware of His work, because most likely the miracle will not be done the way we expect and may not look like we want it to. But the bottom line is that we want God to do His work, His will, His way, because it is the best possibility for our prodigals’ salvation. And we want to recognize it.
The prodigal son’s father didn’t require him to clean up before the embrace. And when your miracle starts, be patient with the process. Like the warning Peter received in Acts 10:15-16 (NKJV), we must be careful to not discredit the work God is doing in the lives of prodigals. “And a voice spoke to him again the second time, ‘What God has cleansed you must not call common.’ This was done three times. And the object was taken up into heaven again” (Peter in Acts 10:15 NKJV).
Let God clean them, and let Him heal your pain and answer your questions. Let Him prepare you to not hinder your miracle.
Below you will find a prayer that will get you started on your path to preparedness.
The good news is that if God is asking us to prepare, He is up to something! And I can hardly wait!
PROMISE: “Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:18 NKJV).
PRAISE: Sovereign Redeemer
PRAYER: Our Father, keep me from hindering our miracle. If I cannot be the one to verbally witness to __________, let the light, life, love, peace, and joy in my life speak volumes to him/her. Help me to only speak as Your Holy Spirit unctions and never from a place of pain, hurt, or offense. Help me to love with a pure love and forgive even when there is no apology. And if I cannot be the one __________ will listen to, send someone to win him/her back to You (Matthew 9:38). Let Your word that is in them rise up and cry out against every lie Satan has told and is telling him/her, and use me to be the minister of reconciliation for someone else’s prodigal. In Jesus’s name I pray.