Be a Present (Not Absent) Father


Is your family a real priority in your life or just a picture in your wallet?

OK, pull out your wallet. Let’s take a fresh look at those pictures. There’s one of your wife, good. One of the family, nice. One of your place of employment. Actually, no, there's not one of your place of employment. Why’s that?

Wallet pictures reflect priorities. Healthy priorities. They reflect your desire to be a present, not absent, father—a father who truly stands in the gap for his family.

Consider God’s perspective on this: “I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none” (Ezekiel 22:30). He found none. Not on our watch!

Let’s take a fresh look at those pictures. How can you best stand before God "in the gap on behalf the land"–your home, your family? You can do so on your knees, through prayer. In fact, using the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13 as a model is a great way to pray for your family.

Here’s how it works:

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name…This acknowledgement gives focus to your prayers. You’re praying to God Almighty–Creator, Sustainer, Sovereign Lord. There is no other who is worthy of our worship. He longs to hear from us.

[Y]our kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven… It’s said that a man is the king of his castle. Here’s a reminder that we’re seeking the expanded influence of God’s kingdom, the realm of His rule, in our homes. We want to see the spread of His kingdom and His will throughout our home and lives.

Give us today our daily bread. We look to God for provision. That’s why prayer, in our homes, and in particular grace before each meal, is important. It’s a reminder that we’re desperately dependent upon the Lord for all that we have. It’s a great testimony to your family that you are grateful to God for all He’s given.

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. We look to God for pardon, the forgiveness of sins. The more and more we experience that in our own lives–grace from our Heavenly Father–the more we can extend it to others. We definitely need grace for one another in our families.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. Lastly, we look to the Lord for protection. Jesus reminded us that we have an enemy whose expressed aim is to steal, kill and destroy; yet Jesus went on to say He has come that we might have life to the full (see John 10:10).

One more time, take a look at that family photo in your wallet. Why not take a moment right now and pray the Lord’s Prayer over them?

Written by Dean Ridings

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