After over twenty years of youth ministry, if I had to pick one decisive influence in the life of the average teenager, I would say it is their relationship with their father (or lack thereof.) My own story of coming to faith in Christ is inextricably linked to my relationship with my own father, and I now have the great blessing of being a father to three wonderful kids of my own. Learning to be a father has been and continues to be one of my highest priorities because I know what an difference a father makes.
A couple of years ago, I was studying Psalm 72 and learned that John Calvin regarded the psalm as a prayer uttered by King David on his death bed for his son King Solomon. I’m no king, but Calvin’s thought inspired me to write a modern day prayer of fatherly blessing using Psalm 72 as a model. This adaptation has helped me to pray specifically and purposefully for my children. Perhaps it will help you pray for young people in your life, whether you are a father or not.
A Prayer for My Children, Inspired by Psalm 72
by Glenn Cook
Give these children your wisdom, O God, and your righteousness to my heirs.
May they treat each person they meet with love and grace. With their riches, may they help the poor.
May the work of their hands produce prosperity for many, without producing greed.
May these daughters and this son defend the cause of the weak, the poor, the powerless and those without a voice.
Give them power to fight and overcome evil.
May these children and their children fear you, creating a Godly heritage that will shine as the sun.
May their presence be welcomed and sought-after like rain in the desert.
In their days may they bring blessings and never-ending peace to those who seek it.
Give them influence in this world, power to effect change far and wide.
Give them favor with strangers, and may they win the respect of their adversaries.
May they possess many true friends who respect and honor them and their families.
Let them help the helpless, and befriend those in need.
May their kindness bring comfort to the weak, and their strength bring fear to the wicked.
Give them long life, and may they enjoy the favor of many.
May they benefit from many prayers, and may they know countless blessings.
Let theirs be a time of prosperity and not famine. Let them see the redemption of our cities and nations.
Bring honor to their names, and may they be found true friends of the everlasting God.
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things.
Blessed be his glorious name forever;
May the whole earth be filled with his glory! Amen and Amen!