Praying for the Prodigal by Andrea Merrell

Posted by on Apr 17, 2015 | 15 comments

Praying for the Prodigal by Andrea Merrell

This week my guest author is Andrea Merrell, author, editor, and mom to two former prodigals. I know you will be blessed by what she has to share with us about her new book, Praying for the Prodigal: Encouragement and Practical Advice While Waiting for the Prodigal to Return. Make certain you leave a comment at the end for a chance to win a copy of her book. Check out the Rafflecopter at the bottom for ways to increase your chances of winning! 




Fabulous Fridays

Welcome, Andrea! Tell us a little about your family and what led you to write Praying for the Prodigal: Encouragement and Practical Advice While Waiting for the Prodigal to Return.

Thank you, Norma Gail. It’s a pleasure to be with you today and to share a little about my story. Ours was what most people would have considered a typical Christian family. My husband and I took our children to church, prayed with (and for) them daily, and raised them in a godly environment. They went to Sunday school, VBS, and Christian camps. They never listened to secular music or read secular books. They could quote Scripture verses and knew all the words to the most popular Christian songs. Born again and baptized at a very early age, they were good, upstanding, obedient kids. What we learned is this: Even good kids rebel—and even good parents can end up with a prodigal.

My bookshelf contains four books on prodigals. Tell us what makes your book different from the rest.

Along with my story of dealing with two prodigals, my book has A Parent’s Checklist for Survival and thirty days of prayers and Scriptures. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to pray for our children daily, especially grabbing hold of specific Scriptures and making them personal. Prayer is certainly what protected my children and brought them back to a place of repentance and restoration. Another unique feature of my book is a chapter that gives advice from the prodigal’s point of view.

I know you have written devotionals for a long time, but your first book was about writing and perf5.000x8.000.inddediting. Was it difficult to make the switch to something so personal?

This was a story that had to be told. It took many years for me to come to a place mentally and emotionally where I could pour my heart out on paper.

What was your greatest roadblock in writing Praying for the Prodigal, and how did you overcome it?

I think it was re-living many of the events as I wrote about them. The best part was the healing that took place as I took that step of faith and obedience.

What was the most emotional section for you to write?

The night we got a phone call from a stranger, telling us our daughter had almost OD’d, and her friends threatened to throw her body in a dumpster if she died.

What Scripture really speaks to you on the subject of praying for our children?

“Pray without ceasing.” So many times I wanted to give up, but God wouldn’t let me.

God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?

I’m not sure at this point. I love being an editor and I want to concentrate more on my fiction writing, but plan to stay open to whatever He has in store.

Can you tell us something that your readers might find surprising about you?

I’m am ambivert who loves dark chocolate, Hallmark movies, computer games, and my five beautiful granddaughters.

What quick word of encouragement can you offer to someone who says they have read all the books and prayed for years and things are just getting worse with their prodigal?

Sometimes things do get worse before they get better. The key is to keep praying and allow God to orchestrate your prayers. Through the darkest time in my life, I learned that God is faithful, His Word is true, and we should never give up when we are praying according to His will.

Would you share something that is really special to you from your book with us?

Watch for His hand and listen for His voice. And never forget … there is always hope for the prodigal!

Book Blurb:

Eighty-eight percent of children raised in an evangelical Christian home will leave the church by the age of eighteen. Most will turn away from authority, parental values, and biblical teaching, losing their potential, their health, and their destiny—sometimes even their life. As a parent, guardian, or loved one, what can you do to prevent this from happening? If it does happen, how do you fight the battle? Is there hope?

In Praying for the Prodigal, Andrea Merrell shares her journey with not one but two prodigals, and how God protected them, restored them, and brought them back from the very flames of death and hell. She gives you practical survival tips to help you keep your sanity in the midst of the crisis, such as establishing boundaries, avoiding the blame game, and learning how to pray the Word of God over your children daily. You will be encouraged by advice straight from the prodigals, and your faith will be strengthened by thirty days of prayers and Scriptures. This book will equip you for the battle ahead and help you hold fast to God’s promises, reminding you to never, never give up on your children—no matter how hopeless the situation may seem.

About the author:                                                                                                                                  

Andrea MerrellAndrea Merrell is Associate Editor for Christian Devotions Ministries and Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. She is also a freelance editor and has led workshops at various writers’ conferences.  Andrea is the author of Murder of a Manuscript and The Gift which are both available on Amazon. Her newest book, Praying for the Prodigal, releases March 25, 2015. To learn more, visit or

Connect with Andrea:

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Book links:

Amazon link for Murder of a Manuscript

Amazon link for Praying for the Prodigal

Amazon like for The Gift


a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Andrea is a great writer and editor. This book sounds like a must-read for parents going through tough times as their children walk away from Christianity. Thanks for sharing her story.

    • You’re welcome, Laura! Thanks for stopping by!

    • Laura, thank you for your kind words and for stopping by. I pray that parents will be encouraged and their hope restored through this book.

  2. Such an important topic with so many agonized parents wondering, “Why?” Thanks for writing about your experience, thought that must have been so tough. Sounds like some good, practical suggestions included too!

    • Thanks for stopping by!

    • Janet, it was certainly hard to relive some of those painful moments, but this was a story that had to be shared, along with many of the lessons God taught me along the way.

  3. Having an experience like this with a child turning away from their faith and having a major rebellion is one of my biggest fears as a parent. Mostly because I was that kind of kid, and it’s a tough road to go down. It’s scary. What a great resource for parent’s going through this.

    • I agree. It is a frightening thing. Looks like you came back. God bless!

    • Amy, for whatever reason, this was something I never feared as a parent. That’s why it caught me so completely off guard. I learned that no parent or child is immune, even in the best-case scenario. The good news is, I also learned God is faithful, His Word is true, and daily prayer is something we cannot live without.

  4. Dear Norma,This interview held my rapt attention and captured my heart. What a powerful testimony of God’s amazing grace and the fortitude of a parent to hold on while in the dark, hope while the darkness swirled, and believe that God’s pursuing love would ultimately prevail. It was many years ago I would have loved a book like Andrea’s. God bless you, Andrea for pouring out your heart, unveiling your raw emotions. The Lord made you brave! Great is your reward!

    • Thanks for your comments, Margie! It is so encouraging to hear what readers really think! It gives me a better idea of what people like to hear about! Thanks for stopping by!

    • Thank you so much, Margie. When I was going through the fire, I wish there had been a resource available to help me. I really believe that’s why the Lord prompted me to put this story and all the things He taught me on paper. In God’s economy, nothing is ever wasted. He takes what the enemy means for evil and destruction and turns it around, working it for our good and His glory. Then, He gives us the opportunity to share it with others.

  5. What a great book! I can think of so many who need this encouragement! Great interview, Norma Gail! Blessings from “Espressos of Faith”!

    • Thank you, Bonnie! I appreciate you taking time to comment!

    • Bonnie, thanks for your encouragement! 🙂

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