“‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”
Reflection: Prayer for Older Brothers :: Guided Prayer
By John Tillman
Mature believers must recognize the dual message in Christ’s parable of the prodigal son. In many ways it could be considered the parable of the prodigal sons.
One son refused to stay in the home due to sinful rebellion.
One son refused to enter the home due to sinful unforgiveness.
One son squandered his father’s wealth.
One son coveted his father’s wealth.
One son was humiliated by his own scandalous behavior.
One son was humiliated by his father’s scandalous grace.
Beginning our faith journey, we struggle to understand how God could love us and adopt us into his family despite our sinfulness. But after living comfortably as a member of God’s family, we soon struggle to understand how God could adopt anyone else.
There are limits to what is restored to the son who returns. His inheritance is spent and will not be restored. He will be financially dependant on his older brother. But in every other aspect, he is restored. He is restored to full fellowship, full honor, and full trust. These things are indicated by the sandals, robe, and ring. His identity is restored. His authority is restored. He is not a second-class family member.
Pray this prayer for an older brother this weekend. God the Father will come out to you, and beg you to rejoice at the scandalous sinners he has adopted as his children.
Prayer for Older Brothers
God, your mercy is a mystery to me.
I see the sins of others and I am scandalized.
How could such a one be accepted?
How could such a one be loved?
How could such a one be forgiven?
How could such a one be trusted?
You come out and embrace me, Father.
You invite me to celebrate
The sinful repentant,
The wanderer returned,
The prideful humbled,
The scandalous purified.
Over your shoulder I see the celebration.
And I remember…
The day you celebrated me, repentant.
The day you celebrated me, returned.
The day you lifted me up when I was humbled.
The day you purified me from my scandalous sin.
The party is not for my prodigal sibling but for me.
The celebration is not for his sins but for your mercy.
Put your arm around my shoulder, Father.
Lead me in, to celebrate mercy shared.
Lead me in, to rejoice for sinners changed.
Prayer: The Refrain for the Morning Lessons
Mercy and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. — Psalm 85:10
Exodus 12:22-51 (Listen – 7:31)
Luke 15 (Listen – 4:19)
This Weekend’s Readings
Exodus 13 (Listen – 3:30), Luke 16 (Listen – 4:27)
Exodus 14 (Listen – 4:46), Luke 17 (Listen – 4:22)
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In a very real sense, not one of us is qualified, but it seems that God continually chooses the most unqualified to do his work, to bear his glory.
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Seek today for what in your life causes Christ to grieve, to be angry. Ask the Holy Spirit to soften your heart and cleanse you.