Click here for A Father’s Prayer and Blessing for His Son
Sweetheart, you are a good idea. One day, long ago, before God laid the foundations of the earth, He conceived the idea of you in His mind. His eyes twinkled at the thought of creating you. An uncontrollable smile spread out all across His glorious face. “Ah, now that’s a good idea,” He thought to Himself!
It was His joy and pleasure to form you in your mother’s womb, to knit you together delicately and beautifully, as a one-of-a-kind masterpiece, resplendent with His image, covered inside and out with the fingerprints of a master Craftsman.
I am so glad God made you – and so is He!
It is my great honor and privilege to get to be your dad – that God would share with me the unique gift of fathering specifically you! Of getting to daily share life with you during these days of your childhood!
May my love for you now make it easy to accept and live in His love for you in the days to come.
May my life lived out before you now make choosing to love Jesus and live for Him the most normal and natural decision you could ever make.
May my love for your Mom now demonstrate what you should expect out of a man in the future. And may you never ever settle for anything or anyone less.
Preciousness, I adore you, and I am committed to you for life. You are far too valuable and wonderful to ever settle for any affection that is less than mine.
Never settle. The only man worthy of giving your heart and your body to is the man who commits himself to loving and serving you with all of his heart for the rest of his life. You don’t have to give your heart or your body to anyone or anything less!
I love you with all my heart, and so does God!
May you live in security out of the affection you have from both your earthly dad and your heavenly Father. May you exude a humble confidence, certain of your identity as a treasured and beloved daughter.
God, please give her the mind of Christ. Protect her from lies – from inner deception – from the twisted and sinister assaults of the Accuser. Set her free with the truth – may it ring loud and clear in her mind, drowning out all other voices. May she know Your voice, hear You clearly, and respond with courageous faith.
Father, please surround her with quality friends:
- who build-up instead of tear-down
- who inspire godliness, instead of provoke evil
- who are faithful to her, rather than flighty
- who are passionate about her, not apathetic towards her
- who don’t compare
- who are not vain
- who will encourage her to guard her heart
Jesus, please give her a heart like Yours. Call her out of the land of ordinary and out into your great extraordinariness! Send her out into your harvest fields, and place Your eternal work in her heart and hands to do for You.
God, she has my eyes, my interests, my character traits, my DNA. She looks and sounds and acts like me… But You are her Father, too – even more truly so than I am. May she develop Your eyes, Your interests, Your character traits. May it be Your DNA that takes over her innermost being. May she grow to look and sound and act more and more like her heavenly Father everyday.
And during these years while you have placed her under my care, please help me, God, to steward her priceless life and heart infinitely better than I am able to on my own.
- I will fail her – please don’t let her project my failures upon You.
- I will not always be patient – please help her to see Your infinite grace.
- I won’t be able to fix every hurt – please help her to feel Your healing hands surrounding her.
- I can’t protect her always – please shield her in Your power.
- I can’t make her decisions for her – please guide her with Your wisdom.
In Jesus’ powerful and beautiful and life-giving and world-changing Name, Amen.
Click here for A Father’s Prayer and Blessing for His Son
Build me a daughter, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when she is weak, Brave enough to face herself when she is afraid; One who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat and gentle in victory.
Build me a daughter whose wishes will not take the place of deeds; A daughter who will know Thee – and that to know herself is the foundation stone of knowledge.
Build me a daughter whose heart will be clear, whose goal will be high; A daughter who will master herself before she seeks to master others; One who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past.
And after all these things are hers, add, I pray, Enough of humor so that she may always be serious yet never take herself too seriously. Give her humility, and simplicity of true greatness, The open mind of true wisdom and the meekness of true strength.
Then I, her father, will dare to whisper. “I have not lived in vain.”
A Father’s Prayer for His Daughter
By Randy Alcorn | February 11, 2010
Written by Randy Alcorn, April 3, 1979, the day of his daughter’s birth.
Whose name means “gift;”
Gift of God,
Channel of His grace,
Vessel of His love.
Child of clay,
Offspring of dust;
Daughter of Eve,
Seed of God’s breath.
Spawned in the sea of your Creator’s consciousness,
Conceived in His mind from eternity past,
Woven in the Artisan’s loom,
Spun by the Potter, molded in His hands.
As different from all others as each snowflake is unique;
Carbon copy of none;
Marked by your Locksmith, “Do not duplicate.”
You are so much more than this world sees.
No aimless product of time and chance and natural forces;
Destined to be ruler of beasts, not descendent of them;
Climax of His creative genius: the Magnum Opus of God.
So much more than a billion cells of purposeless matter;
Than meaningless miles of DNA;
Than an arbitrary blend of twenty-six chromosomes,
Inherited from your parents.
As the simple watch must have a watchmaker,
So the complex being that is you must have a Creator;
An Author of your genetic code;
A draftsman, architect, and builder of your soul.
A God so big that the cosmos cannot contain Him,
So small that He too once slept in a mother’s arms.
One day you will know that awesome mystery:
The infant born in a barn was Creator of the universe.
Bearer of God’s image, made in His likeness;
Object of His love,
Carved on His palm;
Apple of His eye.
More beautiful than Saturn’s rings,
More delicate than Lyra’s veil,
More awesome than Orion’s cloud,
Nestled in His mighty sword.
Your worth exceeds that of the celestial wonders;
It is not they who are made in His image.
It was not one of them that He became.
Never for their kind was divine blood shed.
So different from the fleeting world that surrounds you;
Possessor of an eternal soul,
A spirit that will never die;
Heir of everlasting life.
When the stars collapse,
And the solar systems breath their last,
And the galaxies crumble with age,
You will still be young.
So helpless as you lie there;
So vulnerable, susceptible to harm;
So frail and weak, dependent on your parents;
So unsuspecting of the ugliness that lies
Beyond the doors of your protective shelter.
A sin-stained world, no longer Eden’s paradise;
Torn and disfigured, marred by human will;
Testimony to man’s indifference to his God.
Tombstone on the grave of human sin.
What hope do you have here?
What right did your parents have to bring you into such a world?
But, still, this world is God’s;
His fingerprints are everywhere.
True, the world is dark.
Dark as blackest night;
Penetrated by the Lord of Darkness,
Held within His evil grasp.
But dark, Karina, that your light might brighter shine.
That straining eyes might sooner turn toward your unfading radiance.
Answer to our prayers,
Fulfiller of our dreams.
You are God’s gift to us;
We give you back to Him.
Ours to hold,
To care for;
But only His to possess.
Our prayer: that you might know Him;
Become His living temple,
Receptacle of His glory,
Dwelling place of His shekinah.
Possessed by God,
Controlled by Christ,
That on your tiny shoulders might be borne
The reputation of the Creator’s Son.
Like a prism reveals
The manifold excellence of light,
May you project to a tarnished world
The multifaceted beauty of your Creator.
Our prayer, Karina,
Daughter of God:
That when eyes of men and angels gaze upon you,
They might always and only see Him.
Dad and Mom
Three years ago this month I was diagnosed with a rare, life-threatening form of bone cancer in my left leg. I was the ‘walking guy’ who might never walk again. I endured a “lost year” involving nine months of chemotherapy and a 15-hour surgery in which doctors removed my left femur and replaced it with titanium, relocated my left fibula to my thigh, and removed a third of my quadricep.
At the time I was the father of three-year-old identical twin daughters, and I was eager to gather as much wisdom and support for my girls as I could. I reached out to six men from all parts of my life and asked them to form a Council of Dads for my girls. I then asked each man for one life lesson he would share with my girls. Their answers ranged from how to travel (“Be a traveler not a tourist”) to how to dream (“Don’t see the wall.”) (To see my TED talk on these lessons, click here.)
But what lesson would I add to this list? What one piece of advice would I give my girls? The answer came back to my life’s passion.
Since walking was the first thing I lost when I got sick, I spent much of the year and a half I was on crutches contemplating this most elemental of human acts. Walking upright is considered the threshold of being human, the skill that most distinguishes us from our ancestors. It’s also immune to improvement. Ever since humans began walking four million years ago, the act has been essentially unchanged.
But walking can also be the source of meaning. As long as humans have worshiped gods, they have walked to get closer to them. In the Bible, the greatest spiritual breakthroughs occur when the heroes are on journeys: Abraham going forth to the Promised Land; the Israelites crossing the Red Sea; Israel exiled to Babylon. From the Hajj to the Stations of the Cross, the greatest pilgrimages involve walking. And many pilgrims purposefully make their gait more arduous in order to slow their pace even more.
Now I understand why.
The simplest consequence of walking on crutches is that you walk slower. Every step must be a necessary one. When you hurry, you get where you’re going, but you get there alone. When you go slow, you get where you’re going, but you get there with a community you’ve built along the way. At the risk of admission: I was never nicer than when I was on crutches.
In the 1840’s, when walking was just becoming a source of recreation across Europe, a new type of pedestrian appeared in Paris. He was called a flâneur, one who ambled the arcades. One emblem of that idleness was the fashion among flâneurs to take turtles for walks and let the reptile set the pace.
As a paean to slow-moving, I love this notion, and it became my own wish for my daughters. Take a walk with a turtle. And behold the world in pause.
This idea of slowing down became the Number 1 lesson I learned from my experience. The Liberty Bell has a quote from the Bible on its side. In the passage, God asks the Israelites every seven years to give their fields a year of rest. Every 49 years, the land gets an extra year of rest, during which all families are to be reunited and all people surrounded with the ones they love. That fiftieth year is called the Jubilee year.
And though I’m still shy of fifty, that tradition perfectly captures my experience. My Lost Year was my Jubilee Year. In lying fallow, I planted the seeds for a healthier future. In forming a Council of Dads, I reunited with the people I love.
So this weekend, consider doing what we’ll be doing to celebrate Father’s Day, find a friend, a family member, or whomever it might be; find a turtle; and take a long, slow walk.
Bruce Feiler’s New York Times bestseller, The Council of Dads: A Story of Family, Friendship, and Learning How to Live, has just been released in paperback. For more information, please visit www.brucefeiler.com or twitter.com/brucefeiler.