“Whoever fears the LORD has a secure fortress, and for their children it will be a refuge.” Proverbs 14:26
Happy Father’s Day, dads.
I hope it’s a great one filled with BBQ, homemade gifts, and back porches. And if I could be so bold, I would also like to suggest that this Father’s Day be filled with prayer.
No doubt many families will pray and thank God for the dads in their lives. I know I will for my own father. But perhaps this is also an opportunity for fathers to pray for themselves. Father’s Day is not just a chance to be appreciated as a dad, but to be reminded of what it means to be a father, and to ask God to help you remember.
In light of that, here are three prayers dads can pray following up on this Father’s Day:
1. Help me to joyfully embrace sacrifice.
Fathers sacrifice. We are supposed to. It is God’s plan that we lead our families, and according to the definition of leadership given to us by Jesus, we also should be the chief servants in our families. And that means we live lives of sacrifice.
We sacrifice our time to help with homework, run kids from this place to that one, coach ball teams, and all other kinds of things. We sacrifice our ambition if that ambition puts our families in harm’s way. We sacrifice our own feelings as we try to navigate angsty teenagers through difficulties. And many fathers have felt a sense of bitterness because of these sacrifices.
Lord, help us as fathers to joyfully embrace the requirements of fatherhood.
2. Help me to love responsibility, not run from it.
God has made us, as fathers, to embrace responsibility. Those responsibilities include things like provision, protection, and guidance. And sometimes, if you think about it too much, the weight of that kind of responsibility can be near crushing. So crushing, in fact, that a father might be tempted to try and escape from under it.
That escape might come in many forms; it might be a physical departure from the home, but it might also be an emotional distancing from his family. In either case, responsibility can make a father run. But it should not be so.
Lord, help us as fathers to love responsibility, not run from it.
3. Help me to remind my children of their true Father.
Fathers are shadows of a greater Father. God has given us these children not only to protect them, but also provide for them, and teach them – He has given us these children for us to point them to their true Father. I am, as their dad, a visible portrait of an invisible reality. In other words, both when I do the right thing and when I come up short as a dad, I am but a shadow of who God is. By God’s grace, I pray that our kids might say something like this each time they encounter God’s love- “It’s like daddy, but better.”
- God loves me like daddy does… only better.
- God provides for me like daddy does… only better.
- God disciplines me like daddy does… only better.
- God takes care of me like daddy does… only better.
May it be so, Lord.
May it be that this Father’s Day, as our children seek to honor us, they are reminded both through the good and the bad about us that their true and greater Father never fails them.
Written by Michael Kelley, Guest Contributor