I listened to Praying for Your Prodigal while painting a room in my house yesterday. It was a short book, (just a little over an hour of listening time) but it really packed some emotional punches to the gut. Please don't misunderstand me... I loved this little book, and would recommend it to others, without hesitation.
On the one hand, this book breaks down the story of the prodigal son, considering each portion of this prodigal's journey. The exposition was good, and very practical, not only for considering a prodigal's path, but also when we look back at our own personal history, and consider our own prodigal ways. I could also tell that there were some thoughts that bled over from Kyle Idleman's other book, titled Aha!
On the other hand, the portions of the book that really gripped me were the letters from parents to their prodigals that began each chapter. Some of them were heart-wrenching. Others hit really close to home. A couple of them reminded me so much of my own children, that it left me wondering about their futures. The voice talent for this book did an amazing job of drawing you into these letters... it was as if I was actually listening to some of these parents... my heart felt exposed and vulnerable. To have a child wander away from God would be like ripping your own heart out and letting it wander around unprotected... outside of its ribcage, deep in my chest.
This might steer some away from listening to an audiobook like this, but as much as we want to keep our children buried deep within our chests, we must embrace this concept that (first) God loves them more than we do and (second) God knows where they need to go to get to where they need to be. I can't say that I have completely learned this, but I am getting there.
Kyle Idleman shares a prayer at the end of each of these short chapters. I greatly appreciated these prayers. I found myself praying along with him. Though my children are not prodigals, I know that one day they may be...
I highly recommend this book to anyone that currently has a prodigal... OR IS a Prodigal. If you have wandered from the God who loves you, then know how much He loves you! He sent His own Son, Jesus, to die on a cross for you. Return in humility, and you will find your Heavenly Father waiting to throw a party!
You can find this audio book through ChristianAudio.com or Amazon.com.