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Prayer Tip--Amazing Grace

May 5, 2024

Daily Scripture

Luke 15:11-24 (NRSV)

Then Jesus said, ‘There was a man who had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, “Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.” So he divided his property between them. A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and travelled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living. When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs. He would gladly have filled himself with the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything. But when he came to himself he said, “How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.’ ” So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. Then the son said to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” But the father said to his slaves, “Quickly, bring out a robe—the best one—and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!” And they began to celebrate.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

In today’s Scripture passage, the younger son disrespectfully asks his father for his part of the inheritance early. He then takes his share and leaves. After squandering all his money on decadent and reckless pursuits, he ends up working as a hired hand feeding pigs-–an unclean animal in the Jewish faith. To make matters worse, he’s so hungry that he’s willing to eat what the pigs are eating; but even the pigs aren’t interested in dining with him. Now that’s rough.

As we know, the son finally “came to himself” and realized what he had done. He decides to go home, confess his sins and ask to be treated as a hired hand, for he feels unworthy to be his Father’s son. When his Father sees him coming, he runs to his son and hugs and kisses him; and grace abounds. The Father forgives his son and welcomes him home; and I’m sure the son is deeply and profoundly grateful.

However, I’ve often wondered if the son was ever able to forgive or have grace with himself? He had to be dealing with the agony of shame-–that shame that shakes us to the core and is filled with thoughts of failure and worthlessness that harm and overwhelm. And even when we know God has forgiven us, we continue to be our own worst critics, talking harshly to ourselves in ways we would never speak to another.

But here’s the thing: our God is NOT a God of shame. Our God is a loving, grace-filled God who wants us to live into the deep joy, hope and peace of our Savior. We are called to treat others AND ourselves the way Jesus treats us–-with kindness, comfort and care.

As we pray today, let’s give thanks for God’s amazing grace. Let’s also ask God to help us be more forgiving and grace-filled towards ourselves. Before we do that, I want to let you know that you’re not alone. If you are struggling with shame, depression, anxiety or any other mental health challenge, please reach out to a Resurrection pastor or care minister. We are here to help. Let’s pray.




Gracious God, thank you for loving me so much. Thank you for forgiving me when I mess up and for running to meet me when I come home to you. Help me to treat myself with the same kindness and grace that you offer me. Guide me in this journey towards acceptance, forgiveness and peace and lead me to those who can offer care. In the compassionate name of our Savior, Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Chris Holliday

Chris Holliday

This week's prayer tip is by Chris Holliday, who currently serves as the Connection and Care Pastor and Director of Adult Discipleship at Resurrection West. Chris joined the Resurrection staff in 2009.

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Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.