Did you know St. Augustine was a Prodigal? Seriously, the man who spent forty years of his life defending the doctrines of the Christian church was a–scoundrel–a womanizer–and a drunk before God got a hold of his rebellious heart.
So what did Augustine’s mother do when her son rebelled against his Christian upbringing? Let’s find out…
Saint Augustine’s Mom
Aurelius Augustine was a prodigal son from Milan, Italy, in the late fourth century. His sinful rebellion grieved his mother. “Yet through it all, one thing remained constant: Aurelius had a godly, praying mother named Monica. He had broken her heart as a rebellious youth, but not her love. He had soiled her name, but nothing could stop her prayers.”
Augustine’s mother once asked a bishop to talk to her son. The bishop replied, “No…pray to the Lord that he will discover by reading what his error is.” Seeing her devout commitment to pray for her son’s repentance, the bishop “looked deeply into Monica’s weeping eyes and said: But be sure of this… It is impossible that the son of these tears should perish.”
After many years of perverted and riotous living, the Lord penetrated Augustine’s hardened heart by orchestrating circumstances in which he read:
Romans 13:14: “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.”
In an instant, Augustine understood that Jesus was his only answer. When he received Christ as Savior, his mother danced with joy. In his book Confessions, Augustine wrote: “Thou didst call, and cry, and burst my deafness. Thou didst gleam, and glow, and dispel my blindness. Thou didst touch me, and I burned for thy peace.”
Augustine spent the remaining forty years of his life defending the doctrine of the Christian church. God answered the determined prayers of his godly mother, and brought a change of heart to a man who went on to set the tone for Western theology and thinking for centuries.
God is the only One who can draw the prodigal to Himself. Augustine’s mother–and thousands of godly moms who intercede for their sons– has had a tremendous influence through her prayers.
DT, the youth pastor at the church where my husband pastors, spent a number of years in rebellion to the Lord and his Christian upbringing. This is what DT says about his mother’s prayers:
Looking back now I recognize that my mom’s persistence in prayer for me not only worked effectually as the Lord graciously moved my heart to repentance, but her prayers softened her heart as well, giving her the patience and grace to lovingly counsel and correct a wayward son. ~DT Torres*
Is your son a prodigal? Be encouraged, God uses greatly these rebels who repent, and humbly return to the Lord. For example, for more than a decade DT has passionately taught teens who were raised in the church to pursue Christ with all their hearts.
Only God can bring your son to repentance, not your manipulation or coercion. When all seems out of your control, remember your prayers are the most valuable resource you have during this time your son is a prodigal. Augustine’s mom, Dt’s mom and you do more through your quiet intercession than any other action you can take.
Will you determine to faithfully pray for your son? Don’t ever give up. God is in control!
“The effectual fervent prayer of the righteous avails much”
Listen here to Rhonda share insights with radio host Laurette Willis Hope For Prodigals
To learn more about Rhonda Stoppe visit: No Regrets Woman
*Excerpt Moms Raising Sons to Be Men