As the shells rain down on hapless soldiers trembling in their foxholes, a man completely unknown as religious to his squad mates begins reciting the Lord’s Prayer. He remembers it from growing up attending Mass. Now in their time of desperation he delivers it up to God. Considered the most beloved prayer in Scripture and taught by Jesus to His followers, we would be wise to unpack it, study it and apply it rigorously to our lives. So let’s embark upon a prayer journey and take joy in 69 life-changing words.
1 Kings 15:11—Asa did what was right in the LORD’s eyes, as his ancestor David had done.
22:42,43—Jehoshaphat was 35 years old when he became king; he reigned 25 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Azubah daughter of Shilhi. He walked in all the ways of his father Asa; he did not turn away from them but did what was right in the LORD’s sight. However, the high places were not taken away; the people still sacrificed and burned incense on the high places.
A recent study “A Tale of Two Fathers,” found that “married fathers are far more involved today in rearing children compared to their counterparts 40 years ago. However, the percentage of fathers living apart from the kids has more than doubled in the last half-century.” Recent statistics show almost 50% of men less than 45 years old admit to having children out of wedlock. President Barack Obama stated, “Father’s Day reminds us parents that we have no more solemn obligation than to care for our children. But far too many young people in America grow up without their dads, and our families and communities are challenged as a result.”
Part of me is lost and I don’t like it. If I could skip this day in time or have never lived it I know I would be the worse for it but at least I would not sense this absence that came too fast and . . . heartrending and heartbreaking are too strong in meaning for what I’m feeling. Perhaps in this poignant period a more apt description is heartmissing. The good news is she is only three and a half hours away. The bad news is there are 206 miles between us.
I only saw him cry once and that was by accident. I came into the room to say “goodnight” and there beside the bed he and mom were shedding tears knowing his trip to Japan might cause him to miss the birth of my younger brother. Like many of his generation he is not comfortable sharing emotion yet his volume knob for caring still turns. He has always been my hero—imperfect yet dynamic. His love for God flows unabated. He stands faithful and noble today like the snow-covered Mt. Hood.
Growing up, my Dad often had to travel. The day he would arrive home was always a special event. Often we would make cool posters and cards for him—welcoming him home. Not only were we glad to see him safely returned, we also knew he would have a surprise for us. In my study today are many carvings, especially of elephants Dad brought home from different countries. They remind me of my father’s love.
When I was a kid, I had a hard time telling the truth. I would often resort to lying because I thought I could avoid being punished. My dad came home one day and found out that once again I was fibbing. Now as a parent I understand how my deceit was detected, then as an eight-year old I could never figure out how my parents knew I was guilty!