Fathers Pray Too

June 15, 2017

Mothers have gained the respect of the world for their powerful praying. Most can name mothers whose prayers have made a difference: Susannah Wesley,

Roger Campbell

Roger Campbell

mother of John and Charles Wesley, the founders of the Methodist church; the mother of John Newton, who wrote “Amazing Grace,” and others. But fathers pray too. And we ought to honor them for it.

When I met Bill, he was a grandfather. He had started coming to our church because his grandchildren were involved in our youth program. One night, while visiting him, I learned his unusual story.

Bill had left home in his early teens, rebelling at the faith of his father, an old time circuit riding preacher. Now, after all these years, he was beginning to question his doubts. There were two reasons for his change of attitude: both of which made him face up to the uncertainty of life and the importance of being prepared to meet God at any moment.

The first reality jolt Bill received was when a front wheel on his gravel hauling truck buckled just as he drove into the gravel pit where he had been working, following a speedy drive on a busy highway. The second came when a fellow driver was killed in an accident on a run that Bill was supposed to have made. He began to feel that God had spared his life for a purpose and wanted to find out what it was.

These two warnings might have gone unheeded, however, had it not been for Bill’s memory of a praying father, who had long since gone to Heaven. Now, as we sat talking in Bill’s living room, he let me know that he wanted to find the faith he had seen in his father so many years before.

The patriarchs of Israel: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, were praying fathers, as were Moses and Joshua. The great walled city of Jericho seemed impregnable but Joshua’s obedient faith brought the walls down. This prayerful leader left a statement of faith that removes all doubt about his confidence in God to answer his prayers for his family: “…as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).

Jesus told His hearers about a man whose younger son brought him great grief. Longing to try his wings, he asked his father for his portion of the family inheritance and upon receiving it headed for another country where he hoped to make a name for himself, but before long his dreams turned into nightmares. He had dreamed of adventure, but found adversity; he had dreamed of prosperity, but found poverty; he had dreamed of romance, but found himself in rags; he had dreamed of finding happiness but found himself feeding hogs and feeling hungry enough to share their fare.

All this time, the grieving father was waiting, watching and longing for his son to return and one day his prayers were answered. While pining away in the pigpen, the prodigal remembered his praying father and decided to go home. When he was in sight of the old homestead, he saw his father running toward him. In the words of the Bible, the father “ran and fell on his neck and kissed him” (Luke 15:18). One writer says the father was out of breath but he wasn’t out of love. What a great reunion that must have been!

Praying fathers make a difference in the lives of their children. This would be a good day to tell your father how much you appreciate his prayers for you. And if you’re a prodigal, it’s time to answer your father’s prayers by going home.

Roger Campbell was an author, a columnist and broadcaster who was a pastor for 22 years. Contact us at rcministry@ameritech.net

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