I asked the same question on Facebook and received these replies.
- That father was doing nothing but praying, probably fasting and trusting God.
- Praying for his son and waiting for his return. That what we do with our son.
- Praying and by faith believing! He stayed faithful doing his Fathers business…
- Praying and waiting…
- As a father myself I feel he was in prayer and heartache . He relied in his faith in God to get him through…I can relate.
Our key may be found in a couple of father’s in the Bible.
Although in the case of David, his son was dead.
In the case of Jacob, he thought his was dead.
David’s son was a rebel; Jacob’s other sons were rebels.
David – “O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you! O Absalom, my son, my son.” 2 Sam 18:33
Jacob – He mourned deeply for his son for a long time. His family all tried to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. “I will go to my grave mourning for my son,” he would say, and then he would weep. Gen 37:34-35
A prodigal child can be like a death. The child is gone. There is no contact – no word. Though death is permanent, there is no hope that the prodigal will return.
Jesus also had a prodigal child; “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me.” Luke 13:34
Samuel told the Hebrews what was needed for the prodigal nation to return to God; Then Samuel said to all the people of Israel, “If you are really serious about wanting to return to the Lord, get rid of your foreign gods and your images of Ashtoreth. Determine to obey only the Lord; then he will rescue you from the Philistines.” 1 Sam 7:3
I’m sure there are times I am a prodigal child to the Father. Perhaps He has all of the feelings that have been discussed. He longs for my return. He longs to forgive, embrace, and bless me.
I know I would feel that way!