On this Fathers’ Day weekend. . .
You are the one who made all things and declared all things “good!” Thank you for creating the family and including it in those things that are “good!” Thank you for this precious gift intended to give us all a place to born into, loved, and nurtured. To be born into, loved, and nurtured by a family is the way things are supposed to be. Thank you for this gift. And even more, thank you for adopting us as wandering daughters and wayward sons into your family.
You have adopted us through your mercy and grace in spite of the fact that our rebellion against you in The Garden has left all things broken, including our families. Things are not the way they are supposed to be. We are all broken people living with broken people. In our selfishness and self-centeredness we propagate brokennes in ourselves, in our marriages, with our children. . . in all of our relationships. Forgive us, Lord.
Help us to hunger and thirst in ways that lead us to search the Scriptures to see your will for us in all of our relationships. Help us to understand who you have created the family for and what you have made it to be. Help us to understand our responsibilities as husbands and wives, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, grandmothers and grandfathers and aunts and uncles. May we seek and endeavor by your grace and the power of your Spirit to live your shalom in our families, to your glory.
Father, when we choose to willfully live outside your design for family, bring us to the end of our selves and into a desire to serve you through our circumstances and choices. Bring us into a deep reliance on you. In all things may be bury our selves in your revelation of yourself and your plan for the family, rather than merely relying on speculation fueled by our own feelings or what’s culturally popular at the moment.
When it comes to marriage, we pray that people would run to it rather than from it. We pray that we would see marriage as a place to give rather than to get. Your institution of marriage is under attack by the enemy, both in the culture and under our very own roofs. We pray that husbands and wives would love one another, that young people would not doubt or fear marriage as a result of the poor models they’ve seen, an that you would bring healing and wholeness where there is hurt. We pray for marriage counselors. Give them skill and insight. Use them as instruments of redemption.
For those called to singleness, we pray that they would see your calling as a gift. Fill their lives with brothers and sisters in Christ who offer deep and lasting friendships. Remove any loneliness they may feel and meet their needs for relationships in ways that are pleasing in your sight.
We pray for parents. What a difficult task they face as broken people raising broken children. We pray that all parents might passionately pursue you so that out of their own growth they would be able to intentionally nurture their children in the faith. Give them a deep knowledge of your word along with a keen eye to the pressures children face in today’s world. Help them to bring the light of your Word to shine on the difficult realities that exist. Give parents wisdom and courage to set borders and boundaries for their children. Convict parents of the sin of placing undue pressure and unrealistic expectations on their kids by living vicariously through them. May all parents seek to find their identity in you. . . and not in their children and their children’s accomplishments or failures.
We pray for children and teens. Draw them to yourself. Surround them with Godly influences. Give them wisdom to navigate the difficult terrain of childhood and adolescence in today’s world. Guide them through the maze of social media, sexuality, and vocation. Spare them from the snares of success. Give them discernment so that they might be able to tell the truth from lies. The culture is attractive, compelling, pervasive, and convincing. May they hear the voice of Jesus as He calls them to “come and follow me.” Turn the hearts of children to their parents. Teach them to love, to honor, and to obey. Protect them from the evil one and fill them with a love for you and your bride, the church.
We pray for grandparents and extended family members. May they see time with children as an opportunity to lead and love. We pray especially for those grandparents who because of choice or circumstance, have been enlisted into the role of parent in the lives of their grandchildren.
Where the family has been broken, we plead for your presence. Bring hope and healing to those traumatized by abuse and neglect, both children and adults. For the millions of orphans in our midst. . . provide loving homes. May we love and support orphans and those who take on the task of entering into their lives. We thank you for adoptive parents, and ask you to minister to them in the midst of the unique challenges they face in their families. We pray for single parents. Sustain them. Fill their lives with support systems and adult role models. You know the needs of those who are raising special needs children. Meet them, we pray. We pray for children of divorce. May they meet and know you as a Father who has promised to never leave them or forsake them. For families riddled with any number of difficult issues, we pray. . . narcissism, sickness, death, pornography addiction, depression, mental illness, addictions, and all other kinds of brokenness. And for those homes where the pain of runaway children and prodigals exists, bring return, reconciliation, and your peace.
Lord, expose our sinful expressions of family. Build the family. Build our families. Make things right, according to your will and for your glory we pray.