Our Father, we thank You for our Church Family
When You Don’t Have a Good Dad on Father’s Day
On Father’s Day, children of all ages hit the stores looking for cards that thank our dads for being loving and teaching us the important things in life. We look for ways to honor our dads. We express our affection and the debt we owe them.
But some of us struggle to know what we could thank our fathers for.
Some dads never made an appearance in our lives. Some are barely present physically, let alone emotionally. Others might be known for their destructive words and the bruises they leave behind.
Maybe they love their beer more than their babies or make it hard for us to believe any man could be gentle and loving.
They don’t just make us wonder if they love us; they make us wonder if anyone could love us.
We hate this day called Father’s Day, because it reminds us of the father we never had.
But on this day, we can still be encouraged. Though we may rightly lament the pain our earthly fathers caused (and seek help if we’re in an abusive situation), we can also find hope in our sonship before our heavenly Father. Though our earthly dads fathered us in sin, he fathers us in perfection and righteousness. We aren’t fatherless.
Here are six truths to remember about our flawless Father.
1. He Is Near When We’re Brokenhearted
Psalm 34:18 says, “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Our dads may have made fun of our pain or ignored our cries.
Perhaps they’ve continued to break our hearts over the course of years. But God is near to us when we’re crushed in spirit. He shows us compassion. When we don’t know how to pray, his Spirit helps us (Rom. 8:26–27).
He doesn’t ridicule our pain but brings purpose to it (Rom. 8:28–30).
2. He Doesn’t Condemn Us
As believers we will never be condemned by God (Rom. 8:1). Our earthly fathers may have found every possible fault and mistake in us because we weren’t the perfect child they envisioned.
But our heavenly Father placed all of our deserved punishment on Christ. We no longer have to walk in shame; our Father sees us justified because of the righteousness of Christ.
Rather than wrath and condemnation, we experience God’s loving discipline that protects, grows, and sanctifies us (Heb. 12:4–11).
3. He Adopted Us
Some dads make it obvious they never wanted their children. We were a “mistake” and “unplanned,” and he would rather spend his life doing something other than caring for children. In contrast, our heavenly Father is not only involved; he’s adopted us as his own.
Ephesians 1 tells us that God purposefully chose to adopt each of his children before the foundations of the world were laid, predestining them to be saved by Christ’s blood (Eph. 1:3–7).
Though our self-sufficient God didn’t need us for anything, he gladly chose to set his love on us.
4. He Will Never Forsake Us
Earthly dads can abandon us. They can remove themselves from our lives or remain deliberately distant. But God promises that he will never forsake us. He remains faithful—even if we are faithless (2 Tim. 2:13). He promises to see us to completion, raised in newness (Phil. 1:6). Though our dads may give up on us, God will faithfully sanctify us.
5. He Will Train Us in Righteousness
We may wish our dads had invested more time in teaching us how to love God, how to choose a good spouse, how to respect authority, or how to lead with kindness. Instead, they modeled the complete opposite. But our good and perfect Father has changed our hearts to love his law:
I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. (Ezek. 36:26–27)
We’re unable to obey God in our own power, so he gave us both new hearts that desire to obey and his Spirit to enable us to love his law.
6. He Gave His Son for Us
Earthly dads can be selfish. They may do everything for their own good—even if it’s at our expense. But our heavenly Father gave his Son for us:
Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.All we sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isa. 53:4–6)
Rather than allowing us to continue our hell-bound course in sin, God crushed his Son on the cross. He poured out his wrath on the Son to bring us near and give us eternal life. By this sacrifice, our guilt is taken away, and we receive Christ’s righteousness if we trust him (Rom. 10:9–10).
The Father loves us more than even the best earthly dad could comprehend. He has showered us in grace. Because of this, we are freed from bitterness. We are freed from anger.
We can find refuge and hope in knowing the greatest Father.
This Father’s Day, when the memories of our earthly dads’ failures overwhelm us, we can turn our hearts to our heavenly Father, who loved us perfectly before we loved him.
Lara d’Entremont is a wife, mother, and biblical counselor-in-training. Her desire in writing is to teach women to turn to God’s Word in the midst of their daily life and suffering to find the answers they need. You can find more of her writing at laradentremont.com.
Fatherhood • God the Father • Holidays • Suffering
6 Prayers For A Church Family or Congregation
One thing I am learning as I get older is just how much I care about and appreciate my church family. My church is very active in helping those in it wherever it can.
If you are part of a church then I think you will agree that it is so important to pray for those in your church family.
There are many different areas of life that we all go through, some good and some bad, but prayer is always a great thing! Here are 6 prayers you can pray for your church family!
For Our Pastors
Dear Father In Heaven,
I can’t say enough words to thank You for the men you’ve placed in pastoral roles in my church. I pray that You would continue to mold them into the children You have called them to be. Grow their intellect. Empower them to be bold.
Give them peace in the midst of difficult sermons to preach. Lead them Father, as they continue to lead the congregation for You! Lord, You are sovereign over all things and I pray that You will open the hearts of this congregation as our leaders lead us in song and sermon.
Thank You for them, Father! Amen
Your Close Brothers/Sisters
Thank You for leading me to my church family! I am surrounded by a few extremely close brothers and sisters that I love with my whole heart. I pray that as we get older and closer that we will never lose sight of what brought us together and that was You, Father.
I pray that You watch over them and keep them safe, Lord. May we always be accountable to one another and never demean one another but always encourage each other in the times of blessing and of trials.
I thank You for my brothers and sisters, Lord! I love You! Amen
Those In Conflict
The church has been the same since its beginning. There have been disputes among believers since the beginning. Paul opposed Peter in Galatia. (Galatians 2:11-14) Paul reminded the church of Philippi to do nothing rivalry (Philippians 2:3). There is a reason why You are in charge, Father.
We could never keep order in the church without Your presence there. Father, I pray for those in conflict right now that they would not give the devil a foothold in their lives, but that they would come together in Your Name to resolve any conflicts between them. I pray that You will be glorified in everything they do.
I pray this in Your Son’s precious Name! Amen
Those Whom Are Ill
Father In Heaven,
I pray for those who are hurting in my church family today. Lord, some have minor health problems while others have some very serious ones. I pray that You will be with them and heal them, Father.
You are the Great Physician and I believe in Your power to heal! Lord, please give peace to those who are in the midst of serious health issues. Father, I pray that they turn to You and know that You are right there beside them in their time of crisis.
May Your will be done in their lives this day. Amen
The Workers Are Few
And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. (Luke 10:2)
Our congregation is struggling so much. The ones who are leading are exhausted because they are being stretched so far. I pray that You will convict others to rise up and help lead. We need more worship leaders, teachers, greeters and other positions to be filled.
Lord, so many want to be fed the Word of God but they won’t raise a hand to help carry the flock. I pray that You will bring about a passion in the hearts of those who are sitting by idly knowing that they could be doing something to grow and nurture the church.
I pray for strength for the ones that are giving so much to keep the church running. Be with them, Father. Amen
Expanding And Growing
We are in an exciting time in our church! Our family is growing so much and I have seen personally so many things happen for Your glory here! We are at a crossroad and it looks an expansion is necessary. Father, I pray for Your wisdom to overflow into the congregation as we hold our congregational monthly meeting to talk about this.
May we not expand the church for our own pride or accomplishments. You are the One who has accomplished the growth of this church. You are moving big time right now and we all need to focus on You and not ourselves. Give us wisdom as to what to do in this expansion. May we build exactly what You are leading us to build.
I give You all the praise in this, Lord! Amen
The church has many functions and it is a job for us all to be in prayer. Whatever issues your congregation is facing, pray about them. Pray for your close brothers and sisters.
Pray for those you don’t know well. Just as we are washed by the Word, we can cover the church congregation with prayers and petitions before God.
May God bless you as you continue to live a life worthy of the calling!
Read Derek Hill’s personal testimony here: From the Muck and Mire to a Higher Calling
Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.Would you to get the daily question in your messenger? Just click the button below to get started.
as: Church family, congregation, Prayers
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