Our Father which art in heaven,
Our hearts overflow with gratitude to Thee that we have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we can call Thee Father. We thank Thee that the Spirit bears witness with our spirit, that we are Thy children and heirs.
Knowing that, we praise Thee as the true and perfect Father; a Father who takes pity on us who fear Thee; a Father who is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and plenteous in mercy; a Father who doth not deal with us after our sins, nor reward us according to our iniquities; a Father who hast removed our transgressions from us as far as the east is from the west.
We thank Thee, Father, that in Thy love for us Thou dost chasten us. Though for the present that chastening does not seem joyous, but grievous, and though we are tempted to faint, to have our hands hang down, to have feeble knees, so that we despise Thy chastening, yet we are thankful for it. We thank Thee for the assurance this is that we are not bastards but sons. We thank Thee that Thou dost do it for our profit, that we might be partakers of Thy holiness. Cause it to yield in us the peaceable fruit of righteousness.
We thank Thee, Father, that Thou knowest our need of earthly things. As Thou dost feed the fowls of the air, so Thou dost feed us. As Thou dost clothe the lilies of the field, so Thou dost clothe us. Keep us from taking thought and being anxious for the morrow. And strengthen us to seek first Thy kingdom and its righteousness.
On this Father’s Day, we give Thee thanks for the faithful fathers of our flesh. We thank Thee that they reflect Thy Fatherly love in their love for us, and that they show us that love, tell us about that love, and surround us with the proof of that love. We thank Thee for their nurture of us, for their instruction of us in wisdom’s ways, for their godly example, for their faithful use of the rod and reproof, for their encouragement, for their advice and guidance. We are thankful that Thou hast used them to point us to Thee, our heavenly Father, and to Thy Son, Jesus Christ.
Continue, Father, to raise up strong fathers in our homes and churches. Work in the hearts of our sons so that they love Thee, love their wives as their own flesh, and love their children. Keep them from provoking their children to wrath, lest the children be discouraged. Equip them to bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of Thee.
And, Father, comfort those whose hearts grieve in this day. Give grace upon grace in this day to those of Thy poor, wounded sons and daughters who carry the memory of a cruel, unloving, abusive father or a deadbeat father. Show Thyself a Father in this day to the lonely widow and the fatherless children. Bear up in this day those with the godly desire to have children and be a father, but whom Thou hast led down the path of single life or of the barren womb.
Uphold each of us, Thy children, in our journey home. Do not leave us orphans, but comfort us. And bring us to our place in Thy Fatherly house of many mansions.
We come to Thee in the name of Thy only-begotten Son, the Son of Thy bosom, whom Thou in Thy love hast sent to the cross for us,
This post was written by Rev. Joshua Engelsma, pastor of Doon Protestant Reformed Church in Doon, Iowa.