For those whose fathers have increased the joy in their lives, we give you thanks.
For those whose father's presence is greatly missed may we take time to gratefully recall all they have given to us, providing for us in our growing.
For those who have recently lost or who are facing the imminent loss of their own fathers, may they find comfort in their grief, hope in their despair, courage in the love that their fathers have given them.
We give thanks, God, for those good men who sustain and support us in our living, who love us no matter what! What a blessing they are to all who know them!
We give thanks to you, O God, for all those whose gift for fatherhood is so strong that they have allowed their caring to spill over into the lives of others providing the guidance and stability, the nurture and the love needed.
How distressing it is for us to consider that not all fathers have been good fathers. We pray, compassionate God, for those whose father has been a source of hurt and pain, for all those for whom one or more members of their family has caused them to suffer. May their wounds be healed. May they find in you, in us, in others, the nurturing, sustaining love that is needed for their growth and well-being.
We recall with sadness fathers who are separated from their children through life choices made by them or others. Give them the insight and wisdom, the courage and perseverance to parent in whatever creative and life-giving ways are open to them. Give them the courage to make the decisions which allow their children to prevail.
We remember before you single fathers and mothers who struggle to be both parents to their children --to provide all the emotional, physical and spiritual needs without the constant support of a spouse. May they find the strength, the courage and wisdom for their task.
We pray for those fathers whose relationships with their children have been difficult or disappointing. We pray, too, for those who have been denied a chance to be fathers, and for those whose years of parenting have been cut short by the loss of a child. We turn to You, most holy God, knowing, trusting that you can console where consolation seems impossible. May they receive comfort for their soul and peace and hope for living, that their gifts may not be denied to others.
Finally, O God, we rejoice with you, at the many fine men, who have taken their place as fathers with open hearts, with willingness and joy.
And we join all fathers everywhere in praying that their children may be well and happy, a source of joy for years to come.
Hear our prayers this day, O God, and give to us such assurance of your love that your love may spill from us into the lives of others.
A colleague of mine (Rev Jenny Sprong) in the Methodist Church of Southern Africa has shared this beautiful prayer. I'm not sure if any further acknowledgements are due regarding its authorship. If any readers are aware of its origin, please contact me firstname.lastname@example.org and I will publish that information.