Heavenly Father,
It is interesting that the man who inspired the first Father’s Day was a two-time widower, dad, stepdad and Civil war veteran who gave everything to raise his own children—but also his stepchildren—with love. Though it was first celebrated in 1910 in the state of Washington, where the daughter of this devoted dad fought to have dads recognized like mothers were. It eventually spread throughout the nation. It didn’t become an official national holiday until 1972! (Mother’s Day and Father’s Day were NOT created to be materialistic, but meant to honor with our hearts.) Lord, a national holiday is not required to honor the men in our lives who are our fathers—either by blood or by choice. We can honor them everyday by the way we choose to live! And it starts with You, our Heavenly Father, who is above all!

You are our Ultimate Father—the One who gives both physical and spiritual life; the One who provides, protects, teaches, guides, picks us up, comforts, molds, serves, forgives, disciplines, stands by, encourages us, never leaves us, lets us learn from mistakes, saves us, tucks us in, wakes us up, watches over us, never gives up on us, is patient with us, is tender or firm as needed, knows us through and through, carries us on Your shoulder, holds our hand, points out beauty and truth, shares wisdom, gives advice when asked, helps us face danger and grow from trials, teaches us by example, gets us out of troubles we got ourselves into, helps us face the consequences…You are always available at any time. You never make a mistake and know exactly what You are doing. You are closer and more perfect than the very best human father—yet in Your divine plan, You choose to use these imperfect men to father us!

Our Great Father of all, we honor You above all and yet we thank You for our dads, step-dads, grandfathers, fathers-in-law, uncles, friends, brothers, bosses, pastors, teachers, elders…the men, young and old, who You have placed in our lives, who have taken the challenge to let You live in and through them to care for Your children—the ones You have entrusted to them. Father, we pray that these beloved men turn to You to receive all they need to father us in a way that honors You.

 

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God commanded us in Exodus 20:12: ‘Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”

 

“Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.” Psalm 27:10

 

“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy dwelling. He sets the lonely in families…” Psalm 68:5-6

 

Jesus, the Son of God, taught us to pray: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name…” Matthew 6:9

 

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Your Prayer Prompt-
Father God, how can I better honor You and the godly men You have placed in my life?…

Heavenly Father,
Since my children were spread out in ages, there were children in our home I was actively raising for over 33 years. Parenting has been a huge part of my life. Of course, you never stop being a parent but it definitely changes when they move out to begin their own lives. I never dreamed my house would stay clean, I could enjoy quiet, and every moment was not taken up washing clothes, doing dishes, making meals, being chauffer, trying to settle sibling squabbles, and wiping noses. Now I find myself in the role of being a “parent encourager.”

I cannot count the conversations with my adult children who are now parents (and parents of the children in my work in child care) as they vent their joys, frustrations and struggle with what they think are failures. So often, they look completely exhausted, frazzled and defeated when they begin their conversations…then as they finally begin to recall the cute things their little ones did or admire the good qualities they notice in their teens, it all becomes worth it. They are once again recharged and ready to go back at it again. They don’t need my advice as much as my encouragement. They are in the trenches…they are doing what needs to be done to raise incredible adults.

Father, I look back at my active parenting years and stand amazed at what we had to endure. I look at these incredible adults who I happened to give birth to and help through their formative years. I can’t believe I had anything at all to do with the amazing people they are today. I even admire what they do as parents. Some things they have carried on from our parenting, and other things are different. Most of that is due to the fact that their children are unique individuals created by You, knowing they would need these specific parents to help form them.

Parenting is one of the hardest jobs there is. There is no guarantee they will be thanked. It takes great sacrifice. It costs more than can be calculated. You learn as you go. Parents become the expert on their particular children. It is exhausting yet their children are depending on them. Father, today I pray for and lift up parents who are actively giving it all they’ve go to parent. I pray they don’t do it alone. May they come to You, Lord, for all they need- refreshment for each day, wisdom from Your word, eyes to see progress, a heart which hears past angry outbursts, amazing grace to forgive their children’s mistakes, strength to teach them right from wrong, wisdom to know they need You and to teach their children that they need You, as well. Father, You are our Ultimate Parent who knows what it is like. I know You will encourage parents today.

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“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” Hebrews 10:24

“Be imitators of God, therefor, as dearly beloved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:1-2 (Just as our children learn by imitating us)

“These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deuteronomy 6:6-7

 

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Your Prayer Prompt-
Father, which parents can I encourage today?

Heavenly Father,
Recently, my family experienced a family misunderstanding which went to a whole new level. I was fully aware of the attack and at once began praying. I also asked others to pray with me (without divulging many details). I was amazed how many people responded by asking for prayers for their own family divisions. Someone told me that they had never seen any family act like this. I was immediately reminded that as soon as You created marriage and family, the fighting began.

I also remembered that our enemy is not flesh and blood but the spiritual powers of darkness. Satan prowls around waiting for the right opening. He knows that family can hurt us more than anyone else. That’s why his favorite target is marriage, families and churches. He also knows those entities are Your design for love’s strongest ties. If he can whisper, “He always hurts you this way!”… “She always loves them best.”… “They will never understand you.”… “They don’t love you or they wouldn’t hurt you this way.”… or one of his thousand other flaming arrows that hit where it can do real damage—if we let it.

Father, I refuse to let the enemy’s attack fool me. I will fight back with love and prayer and forgiveness. You always win the fight when we hold our hands up in prayer to You through the battle. Even when I need others to pray with me; when I need them to help me hold my arms up in prayer through the conflict—keep me from telling too much about the details of the attack. Forgive me when I fall prey to the enemy’s scheme and begin to believe the family member is my enemy. I will not fall for that! I love my family and will fight for them. I love You! I am trusting You to fight this battle for me and my family. That is why I am focusing on You and not the attack.

Through this particular battle, I have been reminded how far You will go to save Your precious family—Your beloved children. You sent Jesus, who was completely innocent, to take all our blame and shame and hurtful sin against You. While we were still sinning against You, Jesus quietly and willingly went to the cross for us. He didn’t tell us we were wrong. He didn’t try to tell how right He was. He was spit on, accused, slandered, misunderstood, denied and rejected by the very ones He so dearly loved. He was left alone. In His death. The enemy thought he won. Yet Jesus gave His very life and was resurrected so we could spend all eternity experiencing the depth of Your love. Your love always prevails!

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“Looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured the hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.” Hebrews 12:2-3

“If God is for us, who can ever be against us?” Romans 8:31

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

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Your Prayer Prompt-
Father, who do I think my enemy is? Who is my true enemy?

Heavenly Father,

I got a phone call this morning that reminded me once again that my children (and my grandchildren) do not belong to me. I may love them with all my heart. I may have an unbreakable bond with them since they came from my womb or became part of my heart through years of investment of prayers, work and teaching. All the tears cried, dreams shared, games cheered at, meals prepared, laundry washed, prayers prayed, constant sacrifice—none of those entitle me to their now-independent adult lives. I do not have the right to demand loyalty, returned love, or gratefulness for all I did. Those years of giving were motivated by love. Love cannot demand its own way. Loving my children involves preparing and aiming them toward their full potential for Your glory, Lord.

These wonderful amazing adults I see before me were never mine to begin with. There is no way I could create them out of nothing, You, Lord, are the One who made each one with an incredibly unique personality and gifts to bless the world. You placed them individually in my life either through birth, marriage or foster/adoption. They each have enlarged my heart and spirit with the ever-growing love as each season of life that has passed. You simply placed these special souls in my life and gave me an assignment to love them, care for them, teach them Your ways and prepare them to be sent out into this world. That’s why I can handle this morning’s phone call.

As one of my adult children considers the possibility of moving far away, the very best thing I can do for them is to pray with them for that decision. Is it Your will for their life? (I truly want Your will as opposed to mine for Your children’s lives, Lord). You are the only One who knows how this decision will affect generations to come. You are the only One who knows how each soul involved will be impacted by such a choice. I dare not tell them they need to stay close to me to fulfill my wants. Their lives are not about me. Their lives belong to You. After all, You loaned them to me for a season. You have let me share in Your love for them. Lead them, Lord. They are Your children.

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“Sons (and daughters) are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons (and daughters) born in one’s youth.” Psalm 127:3-4

“Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” John 1:12-13

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1

 

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Your Prayer Prompt-
Father, do I realize that my children belong to You? That they are Your children? That I am responsible for Your children You’ve placed in my care?


Eternal Father,  today’s youngest generation is facing more darkness and evil than ever as they grow up. I always try to do as You say and keep my eyes on things that are lovely and pure and holy…but I cannot be blind to the very real threat of darkness and evil. What really makes me want to fight is when evil comes after vulnerable children. That just brings out the warrior in me! For my grandkids, great grandkids, children I have cared for, children in my church, children who have no idea what a church is or for that matter who Jesus is, children who are born into drugs, alcohol, violence, abuse…kids who face the pure evilness of “Momo” and other predators! I want to fight for them! I want to call today’s parents to stand up and fight, protect and teach their children to turn to You in this dark world.

                TV was still relatively new when I was a preschooler. You always knew who the good guy and bad guys were…and the good guy always won. Thing are so mixed up now that evil is held in high standards far too often. Now, there is a slew of dark and evil entertainment readily available to the tiniest people. I am always amazed how these tots can learn to swipe apps before they can speak. As the “Momo” character has been brought out into the open—as this evil character tellls little people to kill themselves and gives them specific directions on how to do it, my heart cries out to today’s parents to stand up and let their children become their mission to bring Your word, Your light, Your kingdom into this dark world. Lord, shake up today’s generation who are now parents and have them pray for, teach, protect and stand guard for the souls of their children (and generations to come).

                Father, You are the best parent there is. You know we have to pass through this hard world, but You give us Jesus Christ to overcome the evil in this world. You know we can’t be left alone to fight this fight through our own weak power. I will forever be Your daughter, who needs You. Father, I pray for those who are now parents to stand guard and protect the precious children You have entrusted to their care. I pray that You teach them to turn to You everyday by praying with them and for them. I pray You equip the parents for the hard job of parenting that takes tremendous sacrifice. You know all about that!  Raise up parents who will raise up their children full of Jesus Christ— with Your discernment between right and wrong, Your word in their hearts ready to fight any battle, Your strength and godly perseverance to overcome this world. Let them model Godly parenting so these little people will know how to parent their children. I lift this generation of parents and children to You and pray that they bow before You realizing their need for You.

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“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”  Deuteronomy 6:5-7

“We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, His power, and the wonders He has done. He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which He commanded our forefathers to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God…”    Psalm 78:

“If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”  (Jesus’ words in Luke 11:13

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Prayer Prompt-

Father God, Help me as a parent or grandparent to teach the next generation to turn to You…