Father’s Day | Sunday, June 15, 2008
Offered by Dana Ferguson, Executive Associate Pastor
O One who is as no other, we dare to call upon your name, for you have revealed that we, like Christ, are one with you. In you our bodies dwell; in you our spirits breathe; in you our minds explore. In you our births are begun and our deaths transformed. In you our hopes reside and our fears are harbored.
We stand in succession with men and women of all generations: prophets and priests, disciples and teachers, parents and guardians, who testify to your truth. We are led, too, O God, by those who touch our lives daily and inspire us to live the way you would have us. On this day, we are particularly thankful for fathers, for those who have gone before us and those who remain with us. We are grateful for fathers who, by their love, have taught us the meaning of your love; who, by putting others first, have taught us the meaning of membership in your family. At their best, they have been not only good to us but good for us. Whether our fathers live this life or life eternal, they still speak to us, reminding us of truths we too seldom pursue, of values we too often compromise, of people we too rarely befriend, of a heritage we too casually abandon. Help us, O God, to honor these shapers of our conscience by listening for your word in their teachings. Comfort those who are separated by distance or death from those they love and cherish. Let us all drink from the fountain of their wisdom and memory, that its healing and transforming waters might renew our lives.
As families gather this day to celebrate and give thanks, we are ever aware that many grieve and mourn. We pray this day for places where natural disaster and devastation have run rampant, for places very near and very far. For families and communities that face loss the worst of which they never imagined. For those this day who stand simply stunned and shocked by what has been, and for those who have begun the task of recovery. For those who search for loved ones missing and those who search for the past of their lives now swept away. For those who return to homes they can’t salvage, and for those who have no home to return to. For parents who wonder how they will feed their families, and for individuals left with no family to care for. We pray for all of these and countless more, O God, who stumble under the weight of life’s struggles and for those who go about the work of bringing consolation and comfort, rescue and relief. Be with people scattered across this globe who today grieve and fear, hope and pray, and be with those of us who wonder what to do. Give us generous hearts and hands eager to take up the work of giving and rebuilding. Remind us and all the peoples of this earth that you bring new hope out of despair, resurrection out of defeat, new life out of death.
We pray, companion of the world, that you might lend to us the spirit in which you gather all people to yourself. Give us hearts stout with courage, that we may not hide from those who suffer and who have caused others to suffer. Give us shoulders broad with strength, that we may walk with those who are wounded and those who have wounded us. Give us spirits quiet with humility, that we may call forth new life in your name and reconciliation in the name of the good news of the gospel. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ, who taught us to pray together saying, Our Father . . .
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church