As part of our Sunday services, we do a pastoral prayer. Sometimes these are more spontaneous and cover several topics. Sometimes they are written out beforehand and focus on one specific theme. Here is the prayer we’ll pray this coming Father’s Day.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank you for all the fathers in this room, and for those not with us today. Thank you for the example fathers give us, at their best, of sacrificial, other-centered love. Thank you for giving us fathers to be servant-hearted leaders in our homes, displaying both strength and humility.

In all of this, we get a glimpse of your perfect, sacrificial love for us. Of your giving of yourself to the utmost for our sake, even when we deserved none of it. Of your faithfulness to us, though we are disobedient and ornery children.

We pray that these fathers would find their worth and identity and hope first and foremost in being your child, in being known by you, loved by you, and held by you.

Protect them from making an idol out of their careers, their hobbies, and even their fatherhood. Let them see themselves first and foremost as your children.

Teach these fathers to seek you first, and build them up, by the power of your Holy Spirit, to be humble, wise, pure, and diligent men of God. Teach them to love their families, love their church, and love you.

We pray that in their role as fathers, you would cause them to delight in their children, as you delight in us. Give them great patience and grace towards their children, that they might not exasperate or provoke them to anger.

For those currently raising children in their home, give them wisdom in extending both grace and discipline. Give them opportunities to point to your truth and grace in ways their kids can understand. And may all our children come to know, love, and trust you.

May these fathers see the fruit of their labor, and find joy in seeing their children grow and mature.

As your grace and Spirit work in our families, may we extend your grace to those around us. May our families love and serve other families and individuals in this community. May our work to love and care for our families provide a compelling witness to the power and truth of your gospel. And may you bring others into your family through this witness.