Father’s Day Prayer of Mourning (Luke 15)

While written in response to a specific event, these prayers are easily altered to be applicable today.

These prayers were originally written in memory and honour of Jo Cox, Member of Parliament, UK, murdered at her surgery, and her surviving husband, Brenden.  Jo was assassinated primarily for her supportive stand on LGBTQ rights.  Jo was killed the week preceding Father’s Day.  

Both prayers might be used on Father’s Day, inserting current events and concerns.

Join me in prayer.
God of everlasting love and patience,
as you called the prodigal to return to the family home, so you call us to return to you.
Thank you for claiming us like a father,
embracing us as your own children,
for loving us with your infinite love.
Help us experience your paternal embrace
and hear your call afresh.
God, our minds are full of thoughts — come confusing, some even frightening–

about [the death of Jo Cox] [insert the name/s of those involved in a current situation].

Quieten our minds that we might discern your voice and see your way.
With your Word, move us forward in confidence
ever closer to the path you have set before us.
Empower us to respond to your call in this and all matters,
by giving you our hearts and lives,
to the glory of Jesus the Christ, in whose words we continue our prayer, saying, “Our Father…”

The painful events of the world break through our desire to be joyful and feel peaceful.

As Christians when part of God’s people are suffering, we suffer with them.

We open our ears to their cries, our hearts to their hurt and our lives to God’s call.
Today our prayer will focus on intercessions for all the fathers in our world.
We’ll share in the response, with me saying “God, like a father,” and you responding “Hear our prayer.” Pray with me.

Pray with me.

Mother Father God, creator and sustainer, we thank you for nurturing us like a mother. We praise you that your care and protection surround us like a father. On this Father’s Day, we remember all the people who have nurtured us, especially the important men in our lives, those who have seen, not just with their eyes, but with their heart. Hear our prayer for fathers around the world.
God, like a father, hear our prayer.
We remember fathers, whose families are torn apart by jealousy, fighting and misunderstanding.
We remember fathers who are older, but who still bear the responsibility of raising children and grandchildren. And we remember fathers who mean well, but make mistakes.
God, like a father, hear our prayer.
We remember fathers who are unable to support their children, and are forced into unimaginable decisions, who have to sell a child into marriage or human trafficking in order to feed his other children.
God, like a father, hear our prayer.
We remember men who, because of various circumstances, are unable to become fathers. We remember fathers who have adopted children and fathers who given up their rights as fathers.
God, like a father, hear our prayer.
We remember fathers who rejoice in the achievements of their children. Who joyfully watch a new generation take hold. We remember fathers who are single parents, who through personal sacrifice and perseverance provide a loving home for their children.  We especially lift up [Brendan Cox, who now faces parenting without Jo by his side] [Insert the name/s of fathers in distress].
God, like a father, hear our prayer.
We remember fathers who helplessly watch their
children suffer and die from malnutrition because of famine, drought, flood or war. We pray for the fathers who take their children in hope onto the high seas. We remember fathers whose children are sick or disabled and who will try anything to cure or help them.
God, like a father, hear our prayer.
We pray for fathers and their children around the world caught in the terrors of violence and living in fear — in Syria, Palestine, Afghanistan. [And this week at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida.] [Insert current events impacting fathers.] We weep with the fathers whose children have died or have been injured in acts of hateful homophobic violence. May they be surrounded by love, healing and hope. We pray for all fathers of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people. May they find courage and hope in the knowledge that their children are your own beloved children.
God, like a father, hear our prayer.
We weep with the fathers of those who inflict violence on others. And today, as difficult as it may feel, we pray for [the father of the Florida killer.] [Insert name/s of perpetrators of violence in current situations.]
God, like a father, hear our prayer.
Nurturing God, thank you for those who have nurtured us. Open our eyes to the plight of the many fathers and mothers around the world for whom life is difficult. Help us share your love and mercy with them.
God, like a father, Hear our prayer.

In the silence of this moment, hear the prayers of our hearts. [pause]
God, like a father, Hear our prayer.
Merciful God, honour our prayers, spoken and unspoken, humbly lifted to you in faith. Amen.