Prayer for father and daughter

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.

prayer for father and daughter

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.

prayer for father and daughterGod, 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.

prayer for father and daughter

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

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A Prayer for My Daughter

by William Butler Yeats

Once more the storm is howling, and half hid
Under this cradle-hood and coverlid
My child sleeps on. There is no obstacle
But Gregory’s wood and one bare hill
Whereby the haystack- and roof-leveling wind.
Bred on the Atlantic, can be stayed;
And for an hour I have walked and prayed
Because of the great gloom that is in my mind.

I have walked and prayed for this young child an hour
And heard the sea-wind scream upon the tower,
And under the arches of the bridge, and scream
In the elms above the flooded stream;
Imagining in excited reverie
That the future years had come,
Dancing to a frenzied drum,
Out of the murderous innocence of the sea.

May she be granted beauty and yet not
Beauty to make a stranger’s eye distraught,
Or hers before a looking-glass, for such,
Being made beautiful overmuch,
Consider beauty a sufficient end,
Lose natural kindness and maybe
The heart-revealing intimacy
That chooses right, and never find a friend.

Helen being chosen found life flat and dull
And later had much trouble from a fool,
While that great Queen, that rose out of the spray,
Being fatherless could have her way
Yet chose a bandy-legged smith for man.
It’s certain that fine women eat
A crazy salad with their meat
Whereby the Horn of Plenty is undone.

In courtesy I’d have her chiefly learned;
Hearts are not had as a gift but hearts are earned
By those that are not entirely beautiful;
Yet many, that have played the fool
For beauty’s very self, has charm made wise,
And many a poor man that has roved,
Loved and thought himself beloved,
From a glad kindness cannot take his eyes.

May she become a flourishing hidden tree
That all her thoughts may like the linnet be,
And have no business but dispensing round
Their magnanimities of sound,
Nor but in merriment begin a chase,
Nor but in merriment a quarrel.
O may she live like some green laurel
Rooted in one dear perpetual place.

My mind, because the minds that I have loved,
The sort of beauty that I have approved,
Prosper but little, has dried up of late,
Yet knows that to be choked with hate
May well be of all evil chances chief.
If there’s no hatred in a mind
Assault and battery of the wind
Can never tear the linnet from the leaf.

An intellectual hatred is the worst,
So let her think opinions are accursed.
Have I not seen the loveliest woman born
Out of the mouth of Plenty’s horn,
Because of her opinionated mind
Barter that horn and every good
By quiet natures understood
For an old bellows full of angry wind?

Considering that, all hatred driven hence,
The soul recovers radical innocence
And learns at last that it is self-delighting,
Self-appeasing, self-affrighting,
And that its own sweet will is Heaven’s will;
She can, though every face should scowl
And every windy quarter howl
Or every bellows burst, be happy still.

And may her bridegroom bring her to a house
Where all’s accustomed, ceremonious;
For arrogance and hatred are the wares
Peddled in the thoroughfares.
How but in custom and in ceremony
Are innocence and beauty born?
Ceremony’s a name for the rich horn,
And custom for the spreading laurel tree.

Literary Analysis

“A Prayer for My Daughter” is a reflection of the poet’s love for his daughter. It is also about surviving the turmoil of the contemporary world, where passions have been separated from reason. The setting of the poem is unspecified. The speaker is the poet himself talking to his daughter. The tone is gloomy, precarious, and frightening, as well as didactic.

The poem opens with a description of the speaker praying for his innocent infant daughter, Anne, lying in the middle of a storm “howling, and half hid.” The poet demonstrates his feelings through the use of symbols of weather. The newborn baby girl is sleeping “Under this cradle-hood and coverlid,” implying the innocence and vulnerability of Anne. Though the external world is violent, she is protected from it. The storm is a metaphor for the Irish people’s struggle for their independence, which was an uncertain political situation in Yeats’s day. He further presents the situation of the storm with “roof-leveling wind”, representing turbulence, in the midst of which the poet has “walked and prayed for this young child an hour.” Intense and threatening forces surround her like a “flooded stream.” The poet symbolizes the sea thus: “Out of the murderous innocence of the sea.” Despite his apprehensions for his child in this turbulent world, he is hopeful for her.

The poet continues on to comment on his hopes for her beauty:“May she be granted beauty and yet not.” His vacillation is that beauty in women sometimes brings disasters. For example, some such people have a difficult time choosing the right person as a life partner, and neither they can “find a friend.” The speaker lays emphasis on the need for feminine innocence. The poet advances his argument in the next stanzas by citing examples of beautiful women such as Helen of Troy, whose beauty was said to be the cause of the Trojan War. By the end, the poet wants his daughter to be courteous, as love cannot come unconditionally and freely. She must earn love with good efforts and kind-heartedness, and she cannot win it by merely physical beauty because “Hearts are not had as a gift but hearts are earned.” Summing up his theme, the poet wishes his daughter to possess such qualities that could help her face the future years confidently and independently.

Structural Analysis

The poem is written in a lyric form containing ten stanzas with eight lines in each stanza. The poem follows a regular rhyme scheme, which is AABBCDDC as shown below:

I have walked and prayed for this young child an hour  A
And heard the sea-wind scream upon the tower,          A
And-under the arches of the bridge, and scream          B
In the elms above the flooded stream;                         B
Imagining in excited reverie                                        C
That the future years had come,                                  D
Dancing to a frenzied drum,                                        D
Out of the murderous innocence of the sea.                C

The meter of this poem alternates between iambic pentameter and trochaic pentameter, as inI have walked and prayed for this young child an hour / And heard the sea-wind scream upon the tower.” The poem is rich in literary devices such as symbolism, personification, paradox, sibilance, assonance, alliteration, and onomatopoeia. The line “murderous innocence of the sea” is an example of paradox. Sibilance is found in the words “sea-wind scream,” while “scream” is also an example of an onomatopoeia. The use of personification can be noted in the lines “future years … dancing”, which implies the transience of life. The poet uses symbols such as “sea wind” and “flooded stream” which denote turbulent forces at work. Alliteration is present in the phrase “be granted beauty.”

Guidance for Usage of Quotes

The poem is concerned with the chaotic modern world. It shows a father consumed with apprehension for his daughter’s future in an uncertain political situation. The father is tense about how he can possibly protect his daughter from the raging storm outside, because she is very beautiful. Therefore, he prays for her as well as gives advice about how to live successfully on earth. Similarly, modern-day fathers can send quotes from this poem to their daughters as a piece of advice for special occasions:

“In courtesy I’d have her chiefly learned;
Hearts are not had as a gift but hearts are earned
By those that are not entirely beautiful;
Yet many, that have played the fool
For beauty’s very self, has charm made wise,
And many a poor man that has roved,
Loved and thought himself beloved,
From a glad kindness cannot take his eyes.”

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