2011 Father's Day Prayer

Posted by tom | Jun 19, 2011

Tom gave the below prayer at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church during the 8:30 am worship service on 6/19/2011. Tomorrow we'll post the God at Work Testimony shared by Theresa at both services. On Tuesday look for Theresa's Disciples Fellowship Group Sunday School discussion guide of Rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity (Keri Wyatt Kent. Zondervan. 2009) Chapter 3, Part 1.

Let us pray.

On this Father’s Day we offer ourselves, as children, to You our compassionate, heavenly Father.  As the Body of Christ we rejoice in your gracious sending of your Son Jesus the Christ to initiate the Kingdom of God with loving sacrifice, power, healing, the Word, and the Holy Spirit.

Despite enjoying the richness of your good gifts, we as your children confess we have not always accepted that you walk with us, even carry us, each step of the way through the mundane, the challenging, and the extraordinary. We confess we have not always loved You with our head, heart, and hands, at times we’ve tried to do it on our own and go our own ways. Forgive us, even discipline us, for not embracing the cost of discipleship or sharing your blessing with others even this morning. We confess we have not always loved those around us, i.e., the neighbors whom You have called us to serve.

Father forgive us, discipline us, for our role in

  • The lack of care for the sick and those with unique physical needs. Grant us boldness to step up and serve those with physical needs in our midst and those whom we come across in daily life.
  • The hatred which divides nation from nation, race from race, class from class, neighborhood from neighborhood, workplace from workplace, family from family AND those within these communities. Grant us the grace to be peacemakers. Be present with your people in Sudan. Bring reconciliation in the current conflict as the South moves toward independence on July 9.
  • The greed which exploits the labors of people and lays waste to earth. Grant us the grace to build up those around us and redeem the creation itself. Bless the efforts to pass a bill in England to limit the power of Islamic courts and protect the rights of Muslim women. Strengthen Jay Smith and the Brethren in Christ World Mission team with which he serves in sharing the love of Christ.
  • Our envy of the welfare and happiness of others. Grant us the grace to be poor in spirit.  Bless, strengthen, and lead Dwight and Carol Thomas as they minister in Zambia to encourage the Church, the schools, and Sikalongo Bible Institute.
  • Our indifference to the plight of the homeless, disadvantaged, broken, and the refugee. Grant us the grace to father the fatherless and families in need here in Elizabethtown and surrounding communities.  Bless the labors of the Summer Youth Mission as they serve in West Virginia. Give us discernment as we contribute to organizations which serve our community, nation, and your creation. We particularly lift up to you Egypt, Haiti, Iraq, Japan, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Zimbabwe and ones we read about this morning.
  • The lust which uses for unseemly ends, the bodies of men, women, and children. Grant us the grace to steward our bodies and respect those around us. Especially be with us each one of us in this room as we interact across generations and on the internet.
  • The pride which leads us to trust in ourselves and not in you, God. Grant us the grace to be yours alone.

Father, fill us with the grace to ask forgiveness from those whom we have sinned against, even exasperated, in our family, friendships, neighborhood, workplace, internet, and beyond. Father, give us the grace to be kind to one another -- tenderhearted, forgiving one-another, as you in Christ forgave us.

Grant us your grace as we face temptations today and deliver us from evil. Bless all the fathers in the world, including those present here at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church. Guide us to be good role models and to be truly loving, patient, kind, and gentle with all our children (and grandchildren) no matter their age as we live lives filled with joy, peace, faithfulness, and self control. Compel us to truly love our wives. Enable us to be a father like You, to become more Christ like in step with the Spirit, to be spiritual leaders in our home, workplace, community, society, and wherever send us in your creation. Continue to guide and strengthen those who lead the men’s ministry here at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church. Guide the discussion of the ‘Business of Heaven’ tomorrow evening in such a manner that those of us who participate leave with a passion for ‘the Business of Heaven.’

Enable all of us, fathers, mothers, and children to see You at work in the mundane moments of our lives and to offer those moments to you in sacrifice and service for your glory and the advance of your kingdom. Jesus is the vine. We are the branches.

In the name of your son Jesus. Amen.

Note: Informed by and inspired by a number of prayers (initially the "Our Father" and then the prayer at the altar of Coventry Cathedral as recorded in A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and Other Servants. Rueben P. Job and Norman Shawchuck. Nashville, TN: The Upper Room, p.280), Scriptures, and movings of the Spirit.

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