Second Chances

Sharon JaynesEnough, Forgiveness, God's love 323 Comments

Aren’t you glad that God gives us second chances…and third…and fourth…and…

Perhaps one of the most memorable and heart-touching stories of grace and forgiveness is recorded in Luke 15. It’s what we’ve come to know as the Story of the Prodigal Son. This young man demanded his inheritance while his father was still alive, spent it all on riotous living, and found himself dirty, destitute, and despairing. As despicable as pigs were to Jews, this young man took a job taking care of pigs and eating their food just to stay alive. But then he had an epiphany.

“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death. I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’ So he got up and went to his father” (Luke 15:17-20).

And where was his father? He was panning the horizon, hoping for a sign that his boy might return home. Don’t let the depth of that sentence pass you by. The father was PANNING the horizon. Looking. Waiting. Praying.

It is easy to think that God is dispassionately sitting on his throne just waiting for us to come groveling back to him. That’s not the picture Jesus paints at all. The father was panning the horizon. Searching. Pacing. Expectant. That’s how much your heavenly father loves you. There’s nothing passive about God’s love for you.

While “he was still a long way off” (verse 20), the father spotted his son on the horizon. Filled with compassion, he picked up the edges of his robe and ran. He didn’t wait for his son to come to him, grovel at his feet, and beg for forgiveness. No, as soon as the father caught a glimpse of his son, he dashed toward his boy, smothered him with kisses, and welcomed him home.

If you remember, not everyone was happy when the prodigal son returned. His big brother resented the fact that he got another chance. And you know what? There will be those who resent the fact that we get another chance as well.

Beth Moore once said, “Big brother won’t mind if you come back as long as you hang your head and wear your shame. But when God has the audacity to give you a little dignity back and you dare lift your radiant face to heaven in liberated praise, big brother may be appalled!… It’s pride that can’t celebrate with a prodigal-come-home. Folks who won’t celebrate are still kidding themselves into thinking they did something right to be loved by their Father.”

I say, let him be appalled. Nothing makes some people angrier than grace. Big brother is invited to the party too, and it’s his decision whether or not he wants to join in the celebration. I’m just glad he’s not the one in charge.

Jesus was telling this story to a group of Pharisees while others also listened in. The typical question asked when telling this story is, are you the prodigal son or the big brother. But here’s where I want you to hang your hat today. Jesus loved both. The prodigal and the big brother. The sinner and the Pharisee. You and me. He pans the horizon looking for all to come to Him. And when we do He says: Let the party begin!

Heavenly Father, thank You for never giving up on me. Whether I’m acting like the wayward prodigal or the judgmental big brother, I know that You love me and long for me to take my place in Your loving arms. Father, I’m home. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

Are you praying for a prodigal? Let’s pray together. Click comment and leave the person’s first name or initials. Then let’s pray for the ones listed. There is power in prayer!

Do the voices in your head say you’re not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough…or just not enough, period? In Sharon’s book, Enough: Silencing the Lies that Steal Your Confidence you’ll learn how to preload your heart with the truth to fight your deepest insecurities. Because of the finished work of Jesus Christ, and His Spirit in you…you are enough. And don’t let the devil tell you anything different!

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Comments 323

    1. Praying for Don Sr. , Donald , Daniel , Jackie , Shanna , Stacie , Ciera , Allie, Hunten , Ethan , Ashton , Alivia .

  1. waiting for my daughter, Denise, to come to her senses and let us see our 4 grandchildren, after 19 years. YES NINETEEN YEARS. God help us. My husband turns 80 this year
    Thanks for the prayers

    1. Connie, prayers not only for Denise, but that God will move the hearts of your adult grandchildren to reach out to you and your husband. Love works miracles!

    2. My heart goes out to you Connie. We have 4 grandchildren that have been kept from us for almost 3 years now. Our daughter-in-law. The pain and memories are overwhelming at times. She has kept them from not only us but our entire family. We have forgiven her and I am asking God to touch her heart. Only He can. We are believing for a miracle from God. In His time. Prayers for you.

    3. Praying! We are in same situation. May I recommend a couple of resources God used mightily in helping me heal emotionally….Lysa Tykerquist book “ It’s not supposed to be this way”, Sheri MacGregor “ Done with the Crying” and Gary Thomas “ When to walk away”

      1. We are in the same situation also and I’m at a complete loss of what to do or not do! Thank you for your recommendations and please pray for our Liz and her family and I will do the same for all of you! May God give us all peace.

  2. My son Jason needs Jesus in every area of his life and his family. Our hearts break for him and he is far away from us in our relationship. Even though he lives 3 miles away. We pray for God to intervene and work a miracle, change hearts, and bring him back.

    1. Exactly the same for my son Edward and his wife.
      Let us cover reach other with sweet prayers to our Father.

      All for God’s glory alone!

  3. Lindsay R
    My 20 year old daughter. Making ALL the wrong choices and can’t hear a thing. And in spite of a loving, Christian home and private Christian education she now calls herself Agnostic. Her boyfriend is an Atheist.
    I’m praying till my head feels like it wants to explode.

  4. Please pray for Derrick,Delrese and DeAnna that God reveals Himself to them and let them know how much he loves them. Open their eyes to see Him..

    1. Nicole
      Christy and her siblings. To stop the bitterness, unforgiveness and lost love between them.
      To find the love God has for them and we can be a family again. As grandma & mother iam in great pain.
      Thank you

  5. Praying for Jm lift up his eyes, and come to his senses & call upon our Heavenly Father for love, salvation and forgiveness. Thank you Father for always giving us another chance. In Jesus’s name, Amen

  6. Please pray for Adam, Meri, Cade, Cole, William, Danni, Angelina, Leigh Ann, Amy, Keith, Billy and Charlie—these are my children and grandchildren.
    Thank you

  7. I’m only here by grace. So I have no right to judge anybody else. Please keep R and his friend in your prayers

  8. I was that prodigal. And Jesus did wash me thoroughly. He brought me up out of the miry clay and set my feet upon a rock and gave me a new song .A new song ! And established my paths. God is faithful! Pray for the big brother who feels he is worthy when none of us are. We are all sinners in need of God’s grace and forgiveness.

  9. I have 2 prodigals……. the Lord has made me a promise…..i am waiting on His perfect timing….J and R

  10. Please pray with me for Jason, John,Jacob,Kerry, Kevin and Ashley. Thank yoi for your encouragement and wisdom. May the Father bless you abundantly and beyond measure.

  11. For my children, I take every change to show them that God is still there whether you believe or not. So pray that they will find there faith again.

  12. Pray for my son, JK! My heart hurts, I know my Lord tells me not to be afraid, to not fear but those two emotions are ruling my life right now.

  13. When my daughter was a teen- ager , we butted heads continually. We are a Christian family and she grew up going to church and teen groups. There came a point when some of the girls became jealous of her and began gossip about her. This hurt her so deeply and then she began to act out what they were saying about her. It was breaking my heart . We had always been close and now she was shutting me out as I was now “one of them”. I covered her in prayer and tried my best to keep communication open. This turned out to be a lot of lying which again broke my heart. This wasn’t the loving little girl we had raised to love God and others. Finally I gave up and turned her over to God. I knew how much he loved her and I trusted Him to bring her back. I visualized picking her up into my arms and carrying her to the bottom of the cross. I laid her down and said “Father you love her more than me and I put her into your loving care.”That was so hard to let go and let God. But as soon as I did that, there was a warmth that flooded my soul. My baby girl was hurting, and lost for the moment. A few months after that she went to a Christian camp and while there her heart and soul were touched by the Holy Spirit and she rededicated her life. She came home as my precious girl again. The past hurts were over with and we began a fresh relationship. She made good friends who weren’t judgemental and our relationship with our Father was renewed in love and respect. We have been close ever since ..she now is a good wife, mother, and grandmother. We love our children but never forget they are God’s children first and are loved beyond understanding. God changes minds and hearts. Just have faith and never stop believing in His healing, restorative, amazing love.

    1. Thank you for that beautiful encouragement! I have prodigals too and many friends who don’t know Jesus as Saviour and Lord! I love the thought “they are God’s children first and loved beyond understanding”!
      Scott, Savannah and all eight grandchildren to come to know the Lord and live their lives bringing God glory! This is my prayer!💝

    2. What an amazing story of God’s faithfulness and a mother’s unconditional love. Joel 2:25 I will restore the years the locust have eaten.” Trust this encourages many hearts today.

  14. Asking for prayers for my daughter. She is currently in rehab for dual diagnosis. Addiction is SO tough to beat. It breaks my momma heart to pieces. I think she knows Jesus as her Savior. Praying that she can fully understand His forgiveness and love. I’m hoping at some point in her journey I can send her the seven day reset and then your book. These messages seem to be for her. She just turned 21. Thank you for praying for her.

  15. Praying for two of my children who have not been baptized yet. One (Quinton) I am not sure believes any more. The other (Mackenzi) believes but has not taken the step to give her life to Christ. Please pray for both to find their way.

  16. Please pray that my kids come back to the Lord. Lord I pray you soften their hearts towards you. Protect them from the lies of this world. In Jesus name amen.
    R, C, and S. Especially S who won’t talk to me right now.

  17. The four that I would want to pray for that they may return home are:- Moses, Margaret, Grace and Susan. I have been blessed by this message of being given a second chance. May we always find a chance by the lord when we need it. Pray for little Georgina too that she will grow to know and love the Lord in her life. Thank you..

  18. Please pray for my son CA that is angry and resentful towards me. My daughter TA that is battling depression, anxiety and drug use. Pray that my grandson J A will begin to pray daily and believe that God will help him and his mother.. Amen

  19. I’ve been praying for Lauren to come back to the Lord for a long time. She lives in Alaska, and I haven’t seen her for a year.

  20. Father, draw Angelina Marie Betancourt back to you! Speak to her Identity. Awaken her spirit and may she find You right there, with a heart PANNING for her return. In Jesus name I pray. amen

  21. My son Scott. I pray for him incessantly! Thank you Jesus for never giving up on any of our children!

  22. “C” my son, he’s so emotionally broken right now and has been for so long. He sees addiction as his only way to cope with the pain. Please pray for him to seek help and treatment and Jesus – and for one good friend to come into his life. Thank you

  23. Thank you, Father God, that You are the God of second chances. Please soften the hearts and open the eyes of my brother RK, and my sister in law, JK. Also, my son in law HG and my dear friend DL. We all need You and Your healing touch.

  24. GLB (my son); CML (my daughter) and my husband who needs to know that God is waiting and watching for him. Prayers to all of you on this list that God may be with you and your loved ones!!

  25. Praying for my daughter to find Jesus and accept him. I have not seen or spoken to her for 4 yrs nor have I seen my grandkids. There is so much pain and heartache that it is unbearable. Thank you for your encouragement.

    1. I totally under stand how you feel. My daughter accepted the Lord many years ago but has turned her back. She has many issues and she has not spoken to me either for 4 years. I have 3 grandsons that I never get to see and it just crushes my heart. I will be praying for you and your daughter.

      1. Praying! We are in same situation. May I recommend a couple of resources God used mightily in helping me heal emotionally….Lysa Tykerquist book “ It’s not supposed to be this way”, Sheri MacGregor “ Done with the Crying” and Gary Thomas “ When to walk away”

    2. Praying! We are in same situation. May I recommend a couple of resources God used mightily in helping me heal emotionally….Lysa Tykerquist book “ It’s not supposed to be this way”, Sheri MacGregor “ Done with the Crying” and Gary Thomas “ When to walk away”

  26. Reed who gave his heart to Jesus as a child is caught up in the lies of the world, questions Jesus and lives a worldly lifestyle

    1. Esther
      Pray for
      Christy a,a,e,l
      May Gods healing give them a new life and we can love as he taught us to be for one another. Amen in Jesus’s name.

  27. Prodigals: Tim and Adam,
    Salvation for their wives as I don’t believe either has ever made a true confession of faith in Jesus: Cari and Sarah.
    Thank you ❤️

  28. My son passed away almost 2 years ago. His wife and boys are continuing to have a difficult time accepting his death (they act as if he is on vacation and will walk thru the door at anytime). They seem to have lost all hope, not attending church regularly and are distancing themselves from family. My DIL, Rachel and my 2 grandboys, Easton (13) and Rebel (9). Thanks so much for your

  29. My son Zach who leads a really good life but who believes that that is what is going to get him into heaven. And also my friend’s son Bobbie who doesn’t believe at all. Rejects all of his early teachings.

  30. Our youngest granddaughter is estranged from us because of things her mother has convinced her of.

    All of them need Jesus!

  31. Please pray for my adult children Jessica and Jason that they would know the Lord. Also for my siblings all 3 are lost and none of us talk to one another. So sad….thank you and praying for everyone also!

  32. Please Pray for my adult children, Bobby, danielle and Joel. they accepted the Lord as Savior as young children but went away once teenagers ( also for salvation for THEIR children, my grandkids, Kalib, Kaylie, robby and Jaxon) thank you SO very much! i DO beleive in Miracles, as I AM one

  33. Amber and Trudi…dear Jesus please continue to protect and care for these wonderful women and let them realize and understand how much you truly love them. In your precious name, Amen🙏♥️

  34. My sons James, Joe, my daughter Sissy, my granddaughters Jordan and Morgan my grandsons Peyton, Kyle, and Carson, Trenton, sister Susie please pray for my daughter Sissy that her Social Security Benefits will be Approved please pray for my relationship with my grandkids

  35. Please pray for my son, Kevin. After a period of difficulties, he felt abandoned by God, and walked away from his faith. I continue to pray for him, but have come to a place where I’m giving him his space, trusting that God will bring him back. It’s been years; there are times of discouragement, but I have to believe in God’s promises – that nothing can snatch his children from Him. I trust that God’s working behind the scenes, so I will continue to pray, fervently, until my precious son finds his way back. Thank you for joining me in prayer for Kevin.

  36. My whole family. Please God we need you. Please touch our hearts and bring reconciliation and restoration to us all.

  37. My nephew C. Is struggling with addiction to meth and heroin. He has come close to death too many times. He tries to quit, but keeps going back. God has a plan for him, I pray he realizes that and focuses on Christ instead of the world.

  38. Prayer and healing for my sons James and Joseph. Also praying for all above requests.
    God’s healing mercy and grace be with all of you!

  39. so many prodigals.
    My son Jeremy
    My sister Jocelyn and my twobrothers Murray and Martin and their partners
    My grandchildren Aimee, , Alyssa and Jacynta and husbandToby
    My niece Natalie and her family
    Pray that that they will come to know as Saviour and Lord

  40. Husband D children K and J – return to God / have a hunger for His Word and to have their emotions healed which are causing self-deception and believing lies about the character of God. Thy will be done Father!
    Thank you for this platform for prayer!

  41. Please pray for Richie, Jennifer, April, Geoffrey, Jim, Ron, Danielle, Megan, Joey Abby, Chassy, Gary, Gavin, Gabe, Brooke, Sadie, Jordan, Cayleigh , Easton, Harper Adult children and spouses, grandchildren grown and very small. I pray they all come to know the Lord and let Him live in their lives. I am overwhelmed at all the requests and will do my best to pray for you all. God is so good.

    1. Please pray for Richie, Jennifer, April, Geoffrey, Jim, Ron, Danielle, Megan, Joey Abby, Chassy, Gary, Gavin, Gabe, Brooke, Sadie, Jordan, Cayleigh , Easton, Harper Adult children and spouses, grandchildren grown and very small. I pray they all come to know the Lord and let Him live in their lives. I am overwhelmed at all the requests and will do my best to pray for you all. God is so good.

  42. I pray for my son Alain, his wife Josée AND their daughter, my grand-child Marine.

    Father, I join all my brothers and sisters and ask You to protect OUR prodigals and give them grace to come back home. IN Jesus’s mighty Name. Amen

  43. Prayers for my daughter Marissa lost in the world, my son Daniel, Miriah, Ashley, Brianna, Damian, Delilah, Theresa, Rosemary, Joseph & my mom & dad.
    Thank you!

  44. Nick Liz Nick M John Joey Ralph Ken Lina Brad Alex Jody Kenneth Steve Bob Dan Randy Jim Jack Drew Jeff Stephen Franklin Bobby Terry David

  45. My nephew Peter, My son Chris as well as the estrangement from his brother Jeremiah. I also have been estranged from my sister, Connie. I’ve asked for her forgiveness but seems to fall on deaf ears.

  46. Prayers for my daughter A that God may open her eyes and mind. May he fill her spirit with His live. Lord please help her.

  47. praying for my son and daughter! L & S and many family members! Thank You Jesus for wanting all to be saved and none to be lost.

  48. Please pray for me! I’ve been struggling. I wandered away from God and I’m having a hard time getting back. I know he forgives but it’s hard not to think maybe I’ve messed up one to many times.

    Deliverance & healing. Come to Know, love & serve God.

  50. I’m praying for my brother Malcolm to find his way to our dad’s heart as he loves him so much🙏🏽

  51. Jennifer R.
    Pray that she comes back home to live with us, her mom and dad.
    She rebelled with friends in Grade 10, 11 and 12.
    Now 4yrs later, she is living with a boyfriend 12 yrs older who is not stable in a job and not a Christian.
    Jennifer is a Christian and we her parents keep praying for God to do a miracle.
    Jennifer is attending university on line but its taking her a long time.
    This is okay with us regarding school, but we feel her life is being wasted with this guy.
    She doesn’t feel the same as us, and our hearts are devastated.
    She is our only child, and l feel my daughter has been taken from me.
    All we want is Jennifer home, do her school on line and experience life as a young adult and not taking on the stress of this boyfriend.
    We need a miracle in Jennifer’s life so that she see what is right.
    I feel God’s small voice in me saying, just trust and wait, yet l can’t go on anymore with this uncertainty and no answers from God. So done feeling this way and need a miracle.
    Also prayers for my husband Dave who has been searching for work for 16 months now, and I’m discouraged because people will think he’s too old to hire. We keep believing that God will bring that perfect job to Dave no matter what.
    All these prayer requests and no answers and each day leading into next year’s has and is too much to bear.
    I’ve been a Christian all my life, but l can’t bear anymore.
    Already suffered from cancer, twice and bowel obstruction burst to not having Jennifer home and Dave out of work.
    Just seems God doesn’t answer us, and why did l stay alive for when everything keeps going wrong.

  52. Jennifer R.
    Dave R.
    Prayers for our daughter Jennifer’s return home.
    She has rebelled in sr. high school and for 4 yrs now living with a boyfriend 12yrs older. She’s doing university on line and he’s not able to support her financially. I feel she has been torn away from us.
    Prayers to bring her home. We’ve been praying for a miracle for 4 yrs and have not had an answer.
    Prayers for Dave that God will bring the perfect job in a miracle, he’s been out of work for 16mths.

  53. May the Holy spirit touch the Heart of my husband Rey and my siblings do they come to know God as our Lord and savior.

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