Gracious God: we sometimes call you Father, for when we are in need of a safe place, a secure place, you are there. As a small child might ask their father to lift them up to feel secure and protected, you hold us close and tight in your love.
You create such an expanse of ways for one to be a father and raise a child that it is impossible to celebrate and pray for each in one prayer. And while it is easy to celebrate fathers who raised their children well and are still with us, this day can be challenging for those with different experiences, where parent and child’s relations is complicated. So we lift up our prayers of gratitude alongside those for grace and healing in all relationships between a father and child.
We rejoice for Fathers who could their child upon their shoulders so that they see over fences or others at parades when they were young, then share wisdom to help clear their adult child’s vision when challenges block their way.
Thank you for fathers who will fight for the good of their children, for the right to food, for equality, for life, for housing, for education, for acceptance and for love. We ask your grace upon the times and those who have been unable to do so.
We give thanks for close parent child relationships, where the memories and times together are good, and life-giving. Yet no relationship is perfect. Fill any mistakes, failures, or unmet expectations with grace for all.
Days such as this can be harder for those living within strained or broken relationships, or where harm done to one or the other. The celebrations can make the difference between what is and what is hoped for starker, more isolating, or deepen resentments or grief. In those times and spaces, work through your grace and healing. Bring comfort that they are still held in your love. Where it is healthy and possible, may your Spirit weave together these relationships.
Dull the pain this day can bring for those who wanted children but could not have them, and reassure them of their wholeness, their value, and your love.
We think of those who have faced the heartbreak of losing a child at any stage in life. Bring them a sense of solace and peace as they mourn.
Reassure those whose fathers have died that even though they grieve, they cannot be orphaned from the love of their parent or from your love.
We give thanks for those who are not our father, but stepped in for a moment, for a season, for a lifetime as if a father to us.
We give thanks for families where the bond is one of love and not also by DNA, where there are two father, or where mothers take on both roles.
Thank you for being Our Father, and Mother. We pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.