About the Author

Krista Lynn Campbell is a freelance writer and an advocate for children living in poverty. Writing to sponsored children and packing shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child keeps her busy throughout the year. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, Jay.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Krista, I’m rejoicing along with you in this miracle of grace, and thankful for this evidence that God invades our lives with joy in parking lots, at our kitchen counters, or wherever it pleases Him to do so.

    • Krista, I am so inspired by your blog. I too have been walking this path with my daughter but have not seen the fruits of my prayers answered…yet! I would love to have the forty scriptures you prayed over your daughter. The journey has been long and weary but I know the plans He has for her! Thanks.

      • Carol,
        Yes, stay hopeful. I will pray for your daughter. The 40 scriptures I prayed are from Janet Thompson’s book, Praying for Your Prodigal Daughter. Here are several that I shared in another reply.
        “Dear God, I humbly ask You, please help my daughter to resist the devil so he will flee from her. Draw her close to You and I know You will come close to her. Wash her sinful hands; purify her heart, for her loyalty is divided between You, God, and the world.” (James 4:7-8 NLT)
        “Father, my daughter is lost. Your Son, Jesus, came to seek and save those who are lost. Please save her.” (Luke 19:10 NLT)
        “Father, as the deer desires rivers of water, please put in my daughter’s heart a desire to know You. Make her soul thirsty for You, the living God.” (Psalm 42:1 NLV)

  2. Krista,
    My heart can relate to the desperate prayers of your heart. My son walked out of the doors of our church vowing never to set foot back in a church again (as a church we need to better address working with teens who stumble – more grace and less shame). Anyway, I prayed the heart-wrenching prayers that mothers of prodigals pray when we know they are involved in self destructive behavior. It took 7 years of on-my-knees praying for my son to set foot back in church. I can’t say that it was the all of a sudden homecoming of the prodigal in the Bible. I t’s been more of a slow, stick your toe in the water, turning around. I do see and know that God has been wooing my son back to himself and many friends, here, have been wonderful prayer warriors (you know who you are). God hears our prayers and He is still working. I do believe God does hear the prayers of mother’s hearts. We need to keep coming before His throne with confidence. Thank you for sharing and rejoicing with you in your daughter’s homecoming.
    Bev xx

    • Bev,
      Thank you for sharing your journey with your prodigal son. Prayer is the answer. Our God is always at work, turning hearts back to Him and dipping toes in the water.

    • Bev,

      Glad to hear your son is coming around. Will keep praying that some message he hears will pierce his heart. It is never to late to come back to God.


  3. Thank you for sharing your tender heart and hope! I have traveled this road for the last three years with my own daughter and walk through your pain of shame, guilt, and failure. Your story renews my strength as I continue to spiritually fight for my prodigal child!

    • Esther,
      Keep fighting for your precious daughter.
      But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31

  4. Ten days from today will be the one year anniversary of our own prodigal daughter’s return home. It seems like both yesterday and a lifetime ago. Our family has learned firsthand that grace isn’t merely an undeserved extravagance of Love but a vital necessity as well. Rejoicing with you for your daughter’s return, and thanking God for His faithful care! He doesn’t just heal prodigals, but mamas and papas, sisters and brothers, granddads and grandmas too. Glory to His name. Only He can take a broken-hearted family and make them beautifully whole, more than before. Thank you for sharing your mother’s heart.

    • Rebecca,
      Praise God for your prodigal’s return. May you experience a joyful celebration on the one year anniversary!

  5. Wow! God truly is a miracle worker. I am so glad I “stumbled” upon your story. You see, I too have a little lost lamb. And, I am still praying for my daughter to come home to God. Because before she was given to me, she has always been God’s, because HE GAVE. He knew her before I knew her. And, THE ALMIGHTY GOD has a much better plan for her than I do. By the way, Prov 3:5-6 has always been my go to verse. I depend on it. Thank you, Krista, for sharing your Love Story! I hope to share my story soon. God Bless you and your family.

    • Dear Donna,
      Your precious lamb is never out of the reach of the loving Shepherd. Janet Thompson’s book, Praying for Your Prodigal Daughter, help carry me through those years. Stay hopeful.

      • AMEN!! Thank you again, Krista. I will certainly purchase the book. Also, God is always speaking and amazing to me. My daily reading this morning was Luke 15:1-9. And Luke 15:6 says, “Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep!” Again, AMAZING….AMAZING GRACE HOW SWEET THE SOUND WHO SAVED A WRETCH LIKE ME! HALLELUJAH! LOVE AND GOD BLESS!

        • You gave me goosebumps! God always meets us where we are. Blessings to you!

      • I have that book as well. Janet and I became friends of sorts over the years. She’s taught me to be strong in this, and when I wasn’t showing tough love, she once again brought me back to reality. Praying for your Prodigal is another great book.

  6. I’m so happy for your family! Thanking God and rejoicing with you, your prodigal has come home 🙂

  7. I read these devotions from incourage every day and almost never comment on them. But this one! It gave me SOO much hope! You just have no idea. Thank you!! And I too am rejoicing with you at God’s amazing faithfulness and grace!

    • Kristen,
      You made me smile! During the trying years, I claimed Romans 15:13 as my life verse. It is filled with great hope. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Blessings!

  8. Finding strength and perseverance in ‘the wait’ of prayers is crippling at times. Your writing is amazing! I’d like to hear more from you about ‘the wait’ and how to survive it without letting paralysis of emotions and actions overwhelm my heart and mind.

    • Thanks, Jessica. I appreciate your encouragement and your comments. I’ll grab a box of tissues and delve into the memories of ‘the wait’.

  9. Praise God for His power and grace! Thank you for sharing your story. Although I have never been in this situation, I can imagine how it is easy to blame yourself or feel hopeless, but you chose to give it to God constantly. Only He alone is faithful and hears our cries. I will share your story with anyone who goes through this.

    • Olivia,
      Thanks so much. The days were dark but the True Light shone through. Blessings!

  10. I rejoice with you and am keeping this one-this reminder of holy hope and healing. I have my own prodigals, and love so many others, as well. Thank you for sharing your praying path as you let God work in your precious Prodigal’s life.

    • Terri,
      As a momma of prodigals, may you continue walking your praying path. God will meet you at every step.

  11. Krista – Thank you for sharing your story! It was exactly the encouragement I needed as I am finishing another frustrating week with my son. He is the beginning stages of the teenage years and I feel so unprepared. I really appreciated the reminder to pray scripture.

    • Dear Jenn,
      Oh, it is so hard and challenging. When I inserted my daughter’s name into scripture, it reminded me how God loved her even more than I did. That gave me the strength to keep on keeping on. Stay hopeful.

  12. Jeremiah 29:11 is the verse I clung to during my daughter’s “prodigal” days. I relied on His amazing love and patience. And the “coming home” over the last few years has been amazing – volunteer mission work in Africa, working with homeless here, and an overflowing prayer life. Praise the Lord!

    • Elsa,
      Thank you for sharing! What wonderful news! I am rejoicing with you.

  13. Krista, what hope and encouragement your story has brought today! Thank you for sharing. All 5 of our children (blended family) were brought up knowing the Lord. They have all had their prodigal years, one in particular. God answered after many years. I love that you consistently prayed the scriptures. Your story has filled my heart today! Be blessed!

    • Karen,
      Thank you for such kind words. All glory to God, the Loving Father to all prodigals.

  14. Yes I believe that with God there Is hope. Krista thank-you so much for letting us in to absorb the joy, of your hope filled moment. I am so happy for you.
    Blessings to all,

    • Penny,
      Thanks so much for rejoicing with me. Praises to our Heavenly Father, who never takes His eye off us or our prodigals. Blessings!

  15. As a mom with younger children, our family isn’t there yet, but my mind goes there. All the what if’s… It’s helpful to hear that EVEN if, He’ll be faithful. Thank you for sharing your story, Krista.

    • Pearl,
      Yes, His Faithfulness is found in the even if’s.
      Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” Lamentations 3:22-24

  16. This story is so familiar to me. I’m in highschool, I know most people who read these devotions are adults, but I enjoy them. Anyway, my older sister who is 19 went off for about a year when she turned 18. She moved out and distanced herself from my family and God. But she is home now after about a year. She got baptized the other night as I guess kind of way of letting her friends know she is saved, although she got saved when she was little. She is pregnant with a girl that is due soon. But through all of it, she has come back to God and is growing in Jesus. I can see it!! Thank you for this! Please pray the baby comes healthy and for not a lot of back pain for my sister as she has back problems.

    • What a sweet, faithfilled baby sister you are, Marymargaret. Our Father knows your story from the beginning to the end. Your precious sister and your precious niece were known by Him and planned by Him in the Beginning. He has an awesome plan for your life and their lives. HE IS SOOOO GOOD! I am a mother and a grandma so I know how special and precious they are to you. Keep holding onto the LORD, pray, give them to HIM and HE will do what HIS WORD has promised…”a future and a hope, to prosper and not harm them” Jeremiah 29:11. I will be praying. Love and God’s blessings to you. You are very special to God and His Kingdom!!

    • Dearest Mary Margaret,
      What precious words and what a wonderful story of God’s redeeming love! Thank you for reading and for sharing your story. Please, please know I will pray for you, your sister, and her baby girl.

  17. Hallelujah she has returned. May the Lord restore to you “the years the locust have eaten”

  18. Thank you Krista, for your words and encouragement! I, too, have a prodigal daughter and am still praying for her. It’s been 3 years. She lives and works in another country and won’t listen to anything I have to say regarding faith or God. When she was young we went to church, prayed and she even came to my new church a few times. Then she left and has not been the same. I am sad every day and I know I should give her to God and trust, but most times I find it hard to let go. Please pray for her!

    • Dear Trina,
      Oh, I feel your heartache. Yes, I will pray for your precious daughter. Praying for your Prodigal Daughter by Janet Thompson helped me through the dark years. A group of friends served as prayer warriors and they allowed me to be real with my fears and sadness.
      For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12

  19. Wow, this took me down memory lane and made me feel really sad that I wasn’t supporting you guys through this. I’m sorry I didn’t try harder to be her friend through those years; it was wrong of me to give up on her so easily. I still love and miss you all and am grateful that God restored your family. – Rachel McCoy (Miles)

    • Dearest Rachel,
      So wonderful to hear from you! No apologies necessary. Just praises to God for answered prayers. Love and blessings to you and your family.

  20. Im so glad that your daughter is in the right path now and that the Lord heard your prayers.
    I have a prodigal son I have been praying for him for so many years. Sometimes I feel so devastated that I feel the Lord is not jnterested in my son’s life. It’s not easy and its painful when you don’t see a change. Even though I keep praying.

    • Dear Marian,
      I hear you. Thank you for your honesty. It’s hard to wait. In Philip Yancy’s book, Prayer, Does it Make Any Difference?, he writes of finding purpose in the waiting. “The very tedium, the act of waiting itself, works to nourish in us qualities of patience, persistence, trust, gentleness, and compassion.” I will pray for your son and for you.

  21. My sons are still in the prodigal realm. I’ve asked myself those same questions, especially where did my husband and I go wrong. I still pray everyday for them and it’s been over many years now. I pray that their hearts would want to turn back to something, back to Someone, where they used to be.

    • Dear Birdie,
      Thank you for sharing. I will pray for your sons. I hear the years of faithful praying in your words. It is our responsibility to pray. It’s God’s job to answer. Stay hopeful.

  22. Krista, I sat down and opened my iPad while I drank my 2nd cup of coffee of the day. I know it’s late in the afternoon, but I cannot sleep anymore anyway, so what does it really matter ? I opened Facebook to see what else would pop up as memories to flood my heart with sharp pain as happy times flashed before my eyes. I decided to not go there right now because I know it would push me over the already precarious ledge I am standing on. I am literally barely holding on. I was about to close the screen because I saw no reply from a ministry I had chose to reach out to in hopes someone would call me to pray with me. And then I saw your post. Right there, staring at me. I saw “Dear God, deliver my daughter ..” and I clicked.
    As I read your post, I thought how did she get my story?
    My heart is in shreds and I have just begun to pray those 40 scripture prayers again. Praying your Prodigal Home scriptures. Literally. Last night. The two nights before found me a broken mess. Barely able to function. Even though my Prodigal has finally turned her heart back to Christ, she is still very much living in the world. With her boyfriend who professes to be a Christian too. I found two bottles of alcohol and a pregnancy test under her bed this past Wednesday night. Because of a rotated eye ball, yes, I said rotated eye ball, don’t ask how, I can barely see sometimes even with new glasses, I could not read it well. I snapped a picture and sent to her along with a mad emoji and the words “I’m dying” because I thought she’d had an abortion. She would not respond. I called and she answered finally. And when I asked why she had alcohol in our home, her flip remark of “I’m 21, I can do what I want” just pushed me over the edge. I raised my voice, and said to her that she had totally disregarded and disrespected me. And hung up. I was shaking. Alcohol destroyed my marriage and I was emotionally and physically abused. It’s been 35 years but I still remember. Alcohol stole so much from me and my family. She knows this. She was raised in church and Pentecostal at that, so she knows my stance. To sum it up, I thought I was having a stroke the following night when she told me I was mean, inconsiderate and no compassion. I listened to this for so long and over the past few months, they have put so many labels on me I no longer know who I am. I could barely get the words out. I could not make my mouth open. It took all I had in concentration to get the word out that I had to go, because I no longer liked myself. I have no idea how I functioned the next day while trying to finish a huge report at work due to the state. God definitely carried me.
    I didn’t want to pray anymore because I felt like I had so messed up. I mean, who else’s fault could it be? I am single mom, and dad or no one else is living in this world of ours. I wear all hats.
    So the. Last night I forced myself to pray once more. Feeling like I was starting all over again. And I am. But then today I got my new Bible, She Reads Truth. And it’s sitting here waiting for me. I can’t wait to look at it after I’m done cleaning. And then I read your post. And I turned my head, and said “God, is this You telling me it will be ok?” I still don’t know. I just wanted you to know your story, even though I KNOW you left out many, many details, really touched my heart. Thank you.

    • Dear Lisa,
      I am reaching through my laptop offering you a big hug. I hope you feel it as well as God’s loving arms around you. Thank you for sharing your story. I will pray for you. Dig into your She Reads Truth Bible ( I have that one too) and claim God’s truths about who you are and whose you are.

      • Thank you. Very much. I wondered if you have any other articles you have written along this? I’ve often thought about writing my story. Its encouraging to read the stories.

        • I haven’t posted any other articles yet but I have a file drawer filled with journals. On those pages, I’ve poured out my heart, prayers, and fears to God. For me, healing comes through writing.

          • Same here. I have so many. Also I write to my daughter in a journal as a “good morning” each day. I’ve done this since she left for college. Someday I’m sure she will find them. I don’t plan on giving them to her while God still has me here.
            Your story touched me deeply. I’m still thinking about it. I just needed that hope so bad. I know we are not to envy, but how I wish my girl were here with me too. You are blessed, as you know. Only a mom of a Prodigal daughter could understand it. And you never take it for granted. You never let your guard down because you know if you breathe one sigh of relief over a victory, Satan throws a curve ball out of left field.

  23. In the years my daughter was a prodigal, I prayed over and over again TELLING God what He should do. Then he spoke and said, “Give me this child and time to do what needs to be done in her life.” Release is enormously difficult, but very freeing. Also, during that time a baby was born and placed for adoption. What a wonderful Christian couple adopted Emma. Last year for her 17th birthday, I wrote to her parents, “While I fully realize today is Emma’s birthday, I want to celebrate you along with her.” I quoted Ephesians 1:16-17, “I have not stopped thanking God for you….” Sally, the adopted mother responded, “I believe this is how God wants families to be.” Mark Batterson writes in Draw the Circle, “God already places the punctuation mark at the end of the sentence before we even write the first letter.” We have an awesome God, who is always at work! Praise Him!

    • Elsa,
      Thank you for sharing words of wisdom and hope. Blessings to you!

  24. Krista,

    Praising God for the return of your daughter. Moms please don’t question your parenting. This world is tempting to young people. Satan is at hard at work trying to woo as many youngsters away from God while he can. We must keep praying hard for our children. Giving them to God & allowing Him to work in His timing. God is still in the miracle business. I’ve seen it before!

    Blessings 🙂

    • Beth,
      Thank you for the reminders and for speaking Godly truths. Blessings to you.

  25. Standing on prayers for my grand daughter. She has gone so far away. I can’t seem to reach her even though she is only 15 miles away. The life she’s living is self destructive and now she’s expecting baby. The fear for her that grips me is crippling at times. I have to remind myself all the time that I can’t fix this but HE can. Thank you all for your encouraging stories.

    • Dear Sandy,
      I will pray for your granddaughter and the precious life she is carrying. God bless you as you love and pray for your granddaughter.

  26. I lived through those years. Our culture provides ample opportunities to choose the prodigal’s path. Anything a teenager chooses to do is given a stamp of approval. Parental consequences seem to have no impact.
    God hears our prayers, moans and cries in the dark. In spite of intense silence on our side, he is at work. His time. His way.
    It took a lot of time and severe consequences. Nothing we could ever think of as consequences were as bad as those she suffered. That is because God knew what He was doing and knew what it would take.
    We are still standing. By the grace of God.
    She is doing well.
    I never underestimate the lies of satan. He does paint some pretty pictures. They are full of lies and the desire to rob our children of living in the light of God’s light, love and truth.
    May your lives move forward in the Light of God’s love. It takes a while. It is so worth it all.

  27. Thank you for praying faithfully for your daughter and holding fast to the Word.

    I am a returned Prodigal. I fled an idol of an angry God for more than twenty years. Since returning in 2014, God has revealed deep trauma at the root of all the lies that shackled me. My Mum never stopped praying and loving me. It is her open heart of confession and repentance when she was dying that has encouraged me step by step on my own journey of healing since. I am learning that we serve a God who understands us better than we understand ourselves. A Savior who walked weeping to the Cross crying: “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.”

    When God’s peace descended mightily upon both me and my Mum in those last weeks of her life, I saw, felt and experienced who God truly is in the most excruciating times of my life. I don’t wish the horrors of glioblastoma multiforme upon any person or their family. But in the midst of that horror I received the greatest treasure ever: Love like no other.

    I now live with the aftermath of helping to nurse her (PTSD), but it is also this illness that is teaching me at an even deeper level who our God is. A God with so much more compassion than we can ever fathom. A God whose heart breaks for His children, who leaves the 99, for the one. And a God who is intent upon healing our broken hearts one layer at a time.

    Last September I opened BelovedProdigal in honor of the God who never ever turned His back on me. An online ministry to support those praying for the return of their Prodigal family members and friends. Writers and a prayer team from around the world would love to support those who are loving and praying their Prodigals home. Our loving Father sees what we can’t. Praise Him!

    • Dearest Anna,
      Thank you for sharing your powerful testimony! Now, you are reaching out to other prodigals through your ministry. Truly amazing. God is smiling!

  28. Thank you Krista for sharing your story of a difficult journey in your life. I never thought of inserting our children’s names into Scripture while praying. But it makes sense, claiming God’s words and promises for our children and calling out their name. I’m glad our paths crossed in Oaxaca. You are a blessing.

    • Bronwyn,
      Thank you for your kind words, dear friend. I look forward to our paths crossing again.

  29. Would love to know some more of your verses that you prayed as I am struggling with a prodigal husband right now and this was so powerful.

    • Dear Kimberly,
      I’ll send some this afternoon. I will pray for you and your husband.
      “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword….” Hebrews 4:12a

      • Thank you so much, Krysta – and prayers are desperately needed – thank you !!!!

        • Kimberly,
          Here are several. The 40 scriptures I prayed are from Janet Thompson’s book, Praying for Your Prodigal Daughter.
          “Dear God, I humbly ask You, please help my daughter to resist the devil so he will flee from her. Draw her close to You and I know You will come close to her. Wash her sinful hands; purify her heart, for her loyalty is divided between You, God, and the world.” (James 4:7-8 NLT)
          “Father, my daughter is lost. Your Son, Jesus, came to seek and save those who are lost. Please save her.” (Luke 19:10 NLT)
          “Father, as the deer desires rivers of water, please put in my daughter’s heart a desire to know You. Make her soul thirsty for You, the living God.” (Psalm 42:1 NLV)

  30. What a wonderful story of faith. Our oldest son had turned away from God as well. He is still living in our basement and am working fulltime and paying rent to us however he had refused to attend church with us. He had not participated with the family in anything. I feel the same as you. We had raised him in a good home and church and now it seems as if we never taught him these things. It is tough to see our children be like this and I know that God hear my prayers. It is in His timing that these prayers will be answered. It is during the time of waiting that is hard for me as a parent to cope with. Thank you for sharing this.

    • Dear Maylee,
      I will add your son to my prayer list. There are many hurting parents in God’s waiting room. You are right….everything in God’s timing. Blessings to you as you wait.