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A Father’s Day Prayer from the African American Lectionary

Loving and Merciful God,  whose power is beyond our scope
and whose wisdom is  beyond our understanding,
We turn to you in faith  assured that you know our every emotion
and are aware of our every  need.
Our thoughts and prayers  today are turned towards our fathers.
For those whose fathers  have increased the joy in their lives, we give you thanks.
For those whose father’s  presence is greatly missed,
may we take time to  gratefully recall all they have given to us,
providing for us in our  growing.
For those whose fathers have  recently lost
or who are facing the  imminent loss of their own fathers,
may they find comfort in  their grief, hope in their despair,
and courage in the love  that their fathers have given them.
We give thanks, God, for  these good men who sustain and support us in our living,
who love us no matter  what! What a blessing they are to all who know them!
We give thanks to you, O  God,
for all those whose gift  for fatherhood is so strong
that they have allowed  their caring to spill over into the lives of others,
providing the guidance and  stability, the nurture and the love needed.
How distressing it is  for us to consider that not all fathers have been good fathers.
We pray, compassionate  God, for those whose father has been a source of hurt and pain,
for all those for whom  one or more members of their family has caused them to suffer.
May their wounds be  healed. May they find in you, in us, in others,
the nurturing, sustaining  love that is needed for their growth and well-being.
We recall with sadness  fathers who are separated from their children
though life choices made by them or others.
Give them the insight  and wisdom, the courage and perseverance
to parent in whatever  creative and life-giving ways are open to them.
Give them the courage to  make the decisions which allow their children to prevail.
We remember to you  single fathers and  mothers who struggle to be both
parents to their children—to provide all the emotional, physical, and spiritual  needs without the constant support of a spouse.
May they find the strength,  courage, and wisdom for their task.
We pray for those  fathers whose relationships with their children have been difficult or  disappointing.
We pray, too, for those  who have been denied a chance to be fathers,
and for those whose years  of parenting have been cut short by the loss of a child.
We turn to You, most  Holy God, knowing, trusting that you can console where consolation seems  impossible.
May these receive comfort  for their soul and peace and hope for living that their gifts may not be denied  to others.
Finally, O God, we  rejoice with you, O God, at the many fine men,
who in spite of  confusing roles in a rapidly changing society
have taken their place  as fathers with open hearts, with willingness and joy.
And we join all fathers  everywhere in praying that their children
may be well and happy, a  source of joy for years to come.
Hear  our prayers this day, O God,
and give to us such assurance of your love
that your love may spill forth from us into the lives of others.