Father’s Day Novena
Today it is common for a man to say “we’re pregnant” when announcing that he and his wife are expecting a baby. This is as it should be, for a man shares in the partnership of creation with his wife and God. Throughout the pregnancy, the expectant father prepares for the child’s arrival, following the steps of the unborn baby’s development, gathering material things that will be needed, learning how to care for his newborn child. He also prepares mentally for the task ahead in guiding this new life entrusted to his care, perhaps drawing on the example set by his own father.
We pray today, God, for all the expectant fathers in the world. May they rejoice in their role in creation and may they turn to You for guidance as they prepare for the births of their children. May they welcome their newborn infants with joy, and willingly share in caring for and nurturing their offspring. Amen.
One of the most visible roles of a father is that of provider. Even in today’s two-income families, a father’s role as a breadwinner is not diminished. Many fathers work long hours to provide for their children. Some hold two jobs. When a father loses his job or, despite his best efforts, is unable to earn enough to provide for his family, he needs the support not only of his spouse but also of other family members, friends, and his church community. He needs to experience God’s love through others.
God, look kindly on fathers as they labor to provide for the material needs of their families. Guide them in making wise decisions regarding financial matters and the allotment of their time. Come to their aid when they grow weary or discouraged. Give hope to fathers who lose their jobs by strengthening their faith and trust in You. Let Your love flow freely to all fathers everywhere. Amen.
A father often assumes the role of protector of his family. He wants to keep his children from harm. Yet this is not always possible. Illness strikes. Accidents happen. As his children grow and form relationships with others, emotional hurts occur. When a father comes face to face with his limitations as a protector, he knows he can turn to God for help and guidance. It is God who protects us all.
I pray, God, that all fathers will develop a strong relationship with You and turn to You freely for help in protecting their children. I pray also for fathers who are facing the limitations of their ability to protect their children from pain, hurts, and fears. May they recognize Your presence in their time of need and take Your helping hand. Amen.
Today’s fathers share with mothers in the role of caregiving for their children. They handle mundane chores like changing diapers, giving baths, fixing meals, and chauffeuring. They get up in the middle of night with sick children, read bedtime stories, and help with homework. Fathers also care for their children’s souls by praying for them and by introducing them to God.
Today, God, I pray for all fathers busily caring for their children. May they find joy in their tasks and not grow weary from the burdens they shoulder. May their patience run deep and their stress level low. May they find You, God, in the midst of their caregiving chores, and know peace at the end of each day. Amen.</P.
One of the most important roles of a father is that of unconditional lover. A father’s love for each of his children is a constant throughout the good and bad times of life. It is a love that accepts each child as he or she is. It is a love that recognizes a child’s strengths and forgives his or her weaknesses. It is a love that forms the foundation of a relationship that will last forever.
God, may Your love flow freely between fathers and their children. May they take delight in one another and know the peace that blossoms from the love they share. May children soar with hope and trust under the loving gaze of their fathers. And may fathers feel secure in having the love of their children throughout their lives. Amen.
A father is a role model for his sons and daughters. They observe how he conducts himself in the community and in the home. They hear his stories of how he makes decisions and interacts with others in the business world. This is why it is important for a father to be guided by a code of conduct based on Jesus’ command to love God and neighbor. A father who does this leaves his children a wonderful legacy.
I ask You, God, to shower Your love on fathers as they strive to be good role models for their children. Help them to base their decisions and choices in life on what is fair, honest, wise, and loving. Help them to recognize and treasure the trust their children have in them. Amen.
One of the most visible roles of a father is that of teacher. We see fathers coaching sports teams or running alongside a bicycle, their hand gripping the back of the seat to provide balance for a novice rider. We see fathers in a car’s passenger seat, teaching a new driver. Or in a swimming pool, patiently working with a novice swimmer. We also see fathers teaching their children how to love and serve others, forgive and build relationships with others. And we see fathers teaching their children about God and helping them learn how to communicate with God.
Today, God, I thank You for my earthly father and for all the things he taught me. And I ask You to guide all fathers as they teach their children about the ways of the world and more importantly, about Your way of living. May they teach their children how to be loving, caring, compassionate people, and may they plant and nurture in their children’s hearts the seeds of faith, hope, and trust in You. Amen.
When their children become adults, fathers take on the role of friend. No longer responsible for caregiving or providing financial support, fathers remain available to their adult children, helping out or giving advice when asked and sharing in hobbies or other pursuits. Sometimes the transition from parent to friend is a rocky one, requiring work on both sides. Still, it is worth the effort, because the resulting relationship benefits all and reaches into the next generation.
I pray, God, for fathers who are having difficulty making the transition from parent to friend in their relationships with their adult children. Help them to tuck the past away and to rejoice in the loving adults that they have helped their children to become. May they come to know the joy of friendship with their children. Amen.
Today, many fathers are separated from their children for long periods of time. Some fathers have jobs that keep them away from the families for weeks or months at a time. When a father is divorced, he may see his children only on visitation days. It can be difficult for these fathers to carry out their fatherly roles. Yet it is essential that they strive to do the best they can, for children need their fathers in their lives.
I pray today, God, for all fathers who are separated from their children. Give them the wisdom to take advantage of every opportunity they have to be with their children. Help them to realize how important they are in their children’s lives. And let them know Your love, as it comes to them through their sons and daughters. Amen.