Sunday, February 19, 2012

Make Me the father, O Lord

Yesterday I received a remarkable email.  A very dear friend sent me a prayer for fathers that he found online.  It was written by Thom Rainer, president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources.  Dr. Rainer had been impressed by a prayer written by General Douglas MacArthur, throughout which he repeated the phrase, "give me a son."  Dr. Rainer realized that he needed to become a godly father before he could ask for godly sons.  So he rewrote Gen. MacArthur's prayer, substituting "make me the father" for "give me a son."  Here is the result:

"Make me the father, O Lord, who will show my sons the strengt face  weakness; the courage to face fear; the grace to accept honest defeat; and the humility and gentleness to accept victory. Make me the father who will show his sons not a path of ease and comfort, but the ability to accept the challenges of stress and difficulty.  Use me, I pray, to be the example of one who can stand up in the storm, and there learn compassion for those who fail.

Make me the father who will teach his sons the value of a clear heart and a high goal; to look in the mirror of their own faults before they find fault in others; to learn to laugh, yet never forget how to cry; to reach into the future without ever forgetting the past.

Make me the father, O Lord, who will show my sons enough of a sense of humor, so that they will always be serious, but never take themselves too seriously.  Give them humility, so they will always remember the simplicity of   true greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, the meekness of true strength.

And after all these things are theirs, add for me, I pray, the wisdom to show them the dubious values of titles, positions, money, and material gain; and the eternal value of prayer, the Holy Bible, a Christian home, and a saving relationship with Your Son Jesus Christ.

Then I, their father, will dare to whisper, "I have not lived in vain."

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