How to Win Back Your Prodigal Daughter

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Ellen agonized over the spiritual lostness of her daughter, who in her youth had walked faithfully with the Lord. In her late teens, the young woman had rejected her spiritual moorings, defying almost everything in her life that was good, righteous and principled.

She had become a prodigal.

Ellen, of course, prayed for her daughter every day and tried to stay connected through phone calls and cards.

Soon, they lost even that connection. Calls went unanswered, phone numbers were changed, and letters seemed to disappear into the void. It now seemed like an impenetrable wall separated mother and daughter.

Months went by without a word. It broke Ellen’s heart not to know where her daughter was or how she was getting along. Not knowing what else to do, she persisted in prayer—every day, every night, whispering her hurt, desires and longings to the Lord.

Even though she had been a leader and Bible teacher in her church and was a woman of strong faith, Ellen felt cold fingers of doubt touch her heart. She has stopped praying for something dramatic and supernatural to happen in her relationship with her daughter and decided to pray for something small.

She told the Lord she trusted Him and had the capacity to “wait upon the Lord” as long as needed. But she dared to ask her Lord if He would give her an indication—some small sign—that He heard her heartbroken prayers.

“Lord,” she prayed. “I’m not looking for a quick resolution here; just a sign that You’ve heard me and that You’re working.”

Later that very morning, a van from a local florist pulled into Ellen’s driveway. The delivery person came to the front door with a small bouquet of flowers and a note: “Hi, Mom. I love you.”

It was signed by her daughter.

No, the daughter hadn’t come home or even indicated where she was or what had been happening in her life.

But Ellen had prayed for an indicator, and she had most certainly received one, almost immediately. Her heart flooded with joy and wonder. This was, to Ellen, like Elijah’s cloud “the size of a man’s hand.” In that Old Testament account, the prophet had seen that tiny cloud over the ocean and knew his prayer for rain—a big, heavy rain—had been answered (See 1 Kings 18:41-45).

She prayed more diligently than before, and soon the full answer came. Mother and daughter were reunited—emotionally, geographically and spiritually.

Are you praying for the return of a prodigal son or daughter? Take heart. Keep on praying. Keep on believing. Keep on thanking Him for His answer. Keep an eye out for His miracle.

Adapted from An Eye for Miracles by Dr. Paul Risser, copyright 2010, published by Foursquare Media. This book will inspire you to start looking for the move of God in everyday occurrences around you. His accounts encourage you to be surprised by answers to prayer and not take miracles in your life for granted no matter how small.

To order your copy, click here.


This week build your faith by hearing God’s Word and declaring it over whatever petition you have before the Lord. Encourage your faith through praise, worship and thanksgiving over the answer that is soon to come. Continue to pray for the peace of Israel, and lift up our nation and its leaders as they face the challenges ahead. Remember our children as they return to schools and universities. Pray for their protection and for those working with them toward their success. Continue to pray for revival in our churches, laborers for the harvest field, and the persecuted church. Ask God for opportunities to bless others in His Name. 2 Chron. 7:14; James 5:16-18     

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