Sunday – Church Service for the prodigal sons
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!
“Jesus himself became a prodigal son for our salvation. He left the home of his heavenly Father, came to a foreign land, put away all that he had and through his cross he returned to his Father’s house. He gave up all, which his Father entrusted to him, so I could become like him and return with him to the Father’s home.”
Henri J. M. Nouwen
Jesus didn’t go to the cross so that we would not have to, but so that we could follow him there. Jesus came, so that he, as an obedient son, could lead all of God’s lost children home. Jesus’ home is our home as well. There is no other return and no other way to the Father except through him and his return.
On pieces of paper, write the names of all of your prodigal sons, of all of those who for different reasons left God or who do not know him – your children, friends, parents and partners. Bring them to the cross that is hanging in your church or chapel and ask God:
Prayer for our prodigal sons
Lord, only you know where our prodigal sons are. Not only physically, but also in their hearts, thoughts and spirit. No one can hide from you and who is so lost that you can’t find him?
We pray for them Lord, bring them home – not only to us, not even foremost to us, but to yourself. Forgive us as parents, friends or churches, if we have helped or encouraged their departure, or if we are making their return more difficult.
No matter where they are and no matter what they are doing, touch their lives, And when they return home, give us the spirit of the father, not the older son.
And Lord, there are some of us, who although we have not visibly in front of the world or others left the house of our fathers, we ourselves know how far we have wandered. Please, lead us home as well.
And when we return home, be it from afar or from close by, teach us all, that in your kingdom there is sometimes a need for more than just another church service – rather we need to celebrate together that we are alive and home again.