Late at Night

By on November 9, 2013
woman kneeling and praying

By Heidi McLaughlin –

I was the prodigal daughter. I did not actually eat with the pigs, like the story of the prodigal son in the bible, but I certainly feasted on my own selfishness. At the wise old age of seventeen I bravely confronted my parents and told them: “Mom and dad, I’m not going to church anymore, I’m going to start living life my way. The right way. The fun way.” I explained to them that I was determined to show the world that we don’t need God.  I had enough of all His rules of right and wrong, good and bad and endless obligations and guilt.

I not only rebelled against God, I also revolted against my parents rules and family values. Late at night after one of my disobedient escapades, I would sneak into the house and creep past my parent’s bedroom door. Something made me stop. I could hear a strange muffled sound.  It was a low rhythmic hum of the sound of my mother praying. It made me feel awkward and ashamed but I was determined nothing would stop me from pursing all my hopes and dreams for a flamboyant and exciting future.

Aroma Hand Sanitizer

But my mother was and continues to be a godly woman who believes a verse in the bible that says: “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results” (James 5:16 NLT). She knew that prayer was the only vehicle that would hold back the evil powers of darkness that were tempting me into a life of destruction. My mother prayed me through my rebellious years and through a disastrous time in my marriage.

She never lost hope in a God that had the authority to shatter the evil powers of the temptations and lures of a world pulling me away from God. Finally I reached the point of despair.  I confessed that I did know how to manage my own life and I succumbed to a loving God that was waiting for me with open arms.  He was ready to forgive me for all the messes I had made of the first thirty-two years of my life.

But now I had two children and I never wanted them to experience the messy, useless pain that I had gone through. I wanted them to fully experience the abundant life that God has promised to all of us. I wanted to protect them from the subtle pull of the powers of darkness; which is Satan who is always willing and ready to devour and destroy our souls. (Peter 5:8 NIV). Now it was my turn to pray for my children. Late at night when my teenage children started sneaking into the house, I turned to prayer believing with all my heart that my earnest prayers would have “great power and wonderful results.”

Then it happened. Very subtly. At the age of seventeen, my son began to become disinterested in church and he also turned away from our family values and chose to do life “his way.”  I saw the look in his eyes that mirrored the same restlessness and dissatisfaction I had experienced at that age.  Year after year I prayed fervently against the spiritual warfare that was swirling around my son’s life.

 I prayed that God would soften my son’s heart and draw him back into The Father’s Love so that he would be saved from the pain and mistakes that I had encountered.

Nothing happened for twenty five years. Yes twenty-five.  Finally there was a shift. He had reached the end of the road of doing life “his way” and came face to face with despair. He acknowledged his need for a greater power; the forgiveness, love, grace and beauty of His Heavenly Father. He chose to follow God.

Dear reader. If you can relate to this story and you have someone in your life who is not experiencing the abundant life that God has promised us, please don’t despair. The bible tells us that”… “our struggles are not against flesh and blood…but against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil” (Ephesians 6:12 NIV). May I encourage you to make a commitment to pray for this person and never give up. When you see nothing changing. Never give up. When you think God is not listening. Never give up. When you get discouraged. Never give up.

God promises us that our prayers “have wonderful results. “ My friends please believe this with me because I know it to be true.


About Heidi McLaughlin

Heidi McLaughlin lives in the beautiful vineyards of the Okanagan Valley in Kelowna, British Columbia. She is married to Pastor Jack and they have a wonderful, eclectic blended family of 5 children and 9 grandchildren. When she is not working, she loves to curl up with a great book; or golf and laugh with her husband, family and special friends. You can reach her at:


  1. Ann Hubbard

    November 10, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    Thank you for the words of encouragement. My husband and I are in this exact situation with our adult son. Sometimes it’s hard to pray, but we know how faithful God is and how He wants His child back. This is difficult for me to understand. I never wanted to rebel against my parents or the Lord.
    Please keep us and Josh in your prayers

  2. Sheila Brown

    November 11, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    Hello Heidi – Connie Cavanaugh shared this on Facebook and it was so nice to see – especially after losing touch with you over the years. It seems like this would be a good time to remind you that you were going to bring your hubby up here to show him the Yukon. Hope you still have it in the back of your mind or on your bucket list. Ha ha. Now that Air North has flights into Kelowna, you really have no excuse – well other than 5 kids and 9 grandkids but hey!!!!! Thank you for you reminder about prodigal sons and for giving us a renewed passion to PRAY for ours. Trust God is continuing to bless you and your ministry and your life – you deserve it! Blessings – Sheila

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Late at Night