Dear Praying and Fasting Friends–
Just a quick reminder about why we are praying and fasting during what would be Monday lunch. We’re beseeching God to bring about good, life-giving marriages and to change us as women and men, into Jesus’ image, in the process. And remember, if it’s possible: grab a friend to pray with you in person or over the phone. Prayer is labor, and it’s so good to help each other in the process!
Meanwhile, a few thoughts as we do pray and fast. Today is Father’s Day and I’m acutely aware that about 90% of the women reading this blog are not married. But I’d venture to guess that most of us who are interested in getting married (or seeing our friends married) want marriages to men who have the “stuff” to be a good dads (whether that is a biological dad, an adoptive dad, and/or a spiritual dad). So, in honor of all things “father” today, I’d like to suggest the following practical prayer work. I offer it recognizing that many people have struggled deeply with the failure of their own fathers, and so I know that this is not necessarily as easy for some as for others. But I do know that all heart-level prayers, genuinely squeezed out by faith (be it a bucketful or a few drops), are paid attention to and responded to by God. So….whatever you have to offer is enough. Truly.
Our Heavenly Father: Ponder 2-3 ways in which you have experienced being fathered by God. Thank him for these specific things.
Earthly Fathers: Pick out 2 or 3 fathers (your own dad, a father figure, a married man you genuinely respect—whomever) and thank God for 2-3 good things you have experienced or seen in each of their fathering (in any sense of that word).
Single Men whom you Know: Make a list of about 3-4 of these guys in your life for whom you genuinely want good. Pray for the character traits that you so appreciate about Your Heavenly Father and the earthly fathers you have named to be woven more deeply into each of these men.
Then, take some time, sit in silence, and ask the Lord if there’s anything else he’d like to say to you about “father” things. (If any forgiveness or confession work needs to be done, don’t be scared to name it and ask God for help. He loves helping us move towards more freedom.) And write anything down that you think you might need to attend to later!
Finally, conclude by praying the Lord’s Prayer as slowly and as deliberately as you can. Remember that as Jesus told us, our Heavenly Father knows what we need even before we ask, and yet he longs for us–because we are his beloved children–to come to him with our heart’s pleas.
Blessings on Your Week, Connally