O God, my Father,
I give You praise that You have not only revealed Yourself as our Creator, King, and Judge – titles that emphasize Your power, authority, and sovereignty over us, but You have also revealed Yourself as the eternal Father – a title that emphasizes Your loving heart. It is Your nature as a Father to protect and provide, to lead and to guide. You are the Father who teaches, reproves, corrects, trains, and disciplines those whom You love. Your Fatherly lovingkindness is better than life.
Yet just like Your first creatures, I have spurned Your love. I have been unteachable. I have rejected Your reproofs. I have been determined to lead and guide myself. I have acted as though Your Fatherly wisdom is foolishness. Because I have been so very rebellious, I have sadly paid the consequences. I have missed blessings that I could have enjoyed. Even worse, my sin against You and enmity toward You have earned Your wrath.
In spite of my waywardness, though, You determined to pursue me. You loved me so much that You gave Your Son as the propitiation for my sin. You drew me to Yourself so that I would offer You a broken heart and a bended knee of repentance. You turned me, a child of wrath, into an adopted child of God. Now, I can call You my Abba, my Father.
Even though I am Your child, I fail to obey You perfectly and honor You fully. One day, though, in glory, I will become completely conformed to the image of Your Son, Jesus Christ. On that day, You will be honored as my Father in the ways You have always deserved. Until then, Lord God, You have made the Christian home to be a profound picture of the relationship that is to exist between You, Father, and Your sons and daughters.
As an illustration of the multifaceted, beautiful relationship between you, Father, and Your children, may daughters and sons in our homes do what’s right, obeying their parents in the Lord. May they accept their parents’ guidance and discipline. Help our children to honor their fathers and mothers, esteeming them, valuing them, and respecting them. May You fulfill Your promise to those who honor their parents; may things go well with them so that they may live long in the land.
May parents, especially fathers, not provoke their children to anger, frustrating them. Hold back parents from demands that are trivial or unreasonable or humiliating or abusive. May they not show favoritism or indifference. Keep parents from exasperating their children to the point of resentment. Give parents the desire and the ability to bring their children up tenderly, with lovingkindness in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Help them to take their children by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master.
Father, Thank You for using the parent-child relationship to picture something profound – the relationship between You and Your children. Thank You for adopting me. Thank You for never acting in a way toward me that could possibly exasperate or frustrate me. Thank You for providing me with discipline and instruction that come my way day after day from Your heart of lovingkindness. Help me as Your child to obey You more fully and to honor You more deeply for being the good and great Father that You have been, that You are, and that You always will be.
In Jesus’ name, Amen
This prayer has been inspired by Ephesians 6:1-4. Some of the words and phrases in this prayer have been taken directly from the English Standard Version, The Message, the New Living Translation, and The Amplified Bible.