A certain man had two sons. (not necessary to introduce both sons). And the younger of them said to his father, "Father, give me my share of the property." So the father divided his possessions, and he gave the younger son his part.
Not many days afterwards the younger son arose, sold everything he had, and went out to a far country. (Pause 3 seconds) There he wasted his money in foolish living. He bought many clothes. He spent his money in gambling, drinking and women. He did many other bad things. (Make this fit the local situation) When he had spent everything, a severe famine came to that country, and he began to be hungry. So he went and worked for one of the people of that land. This man sent him out to feed pigs. (Pause 3 seconds) The lad was so hungry that he wanted to eat the pig's food, but he couldn't. (Pause 3 seconds)
When he began to think correctly, he thought within himself, "My father has many servants, and they have food enough. See me! I am dying of hunger!" I will go at once and return to my father. And I will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against God and against you. Now I am no longer good enough to be called your son. I beg you, let me be one of your servants." So he left that country and went to his father. (Pause 3 seconds).
But while he was yet a long way from the house, his father saw him. He had pity on his son and ran to meet him and embraced him. (Dramatize father running and calling and then meeting. "My son-my son-is it you?" "Yes, it is I".)
His son said to him, "Father, I have sinned against God and against you. I am not good enough to be called your son". But his father said to his servants, "Quick, bring the best robe and put it upon my son. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Kill the fat calf. We will make a feast and be glad." It is like my son was dead, and is alive again! He was lost, and is found!" And they were all full of joy. (Put in local expression of joy-song, or drums, etc.)
This story was told by Jesus to show us how much God loves us. He wants us to return to Him. We have been like the son in the story. We have all gone our own way. But though we are sinful, God still loves us. When the sinful boy repented and returned, his father received him gladly. Just so, God wants us to return to Him. For this reason, He has sent Jesus Christ to bring us back to Himself. Jesus died on the cross, bearing the pains of death because of our sins. In this way He received the punishment we deserved. Because He bore our punishment, it is possible for us to be spared from it. If we refuse our sin and turn to Jesus Christ, He will cleanse us. He is the only way back to God. We must feel real sorrow because of the sins in our hearts. We may talk to God from our hearts like this: "O, God, I am a sinner. But I believe in Jesus Who died, suffering punishment for me. Please forgive me for Jesus' sake. I refuse the ways of sin. I will follow Jesus only. I want you to be my father. Make me truly one of your children for Jesus' sake. Amen."
(Alternate ending to be used if message to backsliders is needed). This story was told by Jesus to show how much God loves us. Perhaps you are like this boy. There was a time when you followed God's way. God had forgiven your sins and your heart was glad. You knew that God was your Heavenly Father. But after a while your heart turned to the pleasures of the world, and you turned away from God. You followed the path of evil. Have you found that the path of evil gives you peace? No, your heart is not full of peace and joy, because sin brings trouble and unhappiness. You must do as the boy did. Leave the path of evil. Return to your Heavenly Father and confess your sin and your shame. If you are truly ashamed and sorry for your sin, God will receive you again. If you trust Him, He will give you the strength to refuse evil. He will cleanse you and put His Spirit within you so that your desire will be for the good things of God.