As much as I would like to believe I’ve done all those wonderful things that Father’s Day cards say, I have to be honest and confess that I have not consistently measured up to the standards of those cards and most importantly have not measured up to the guidelines that God has given me in Scripture as a Father.
That is why I am so thankful that my children recognize that while I may be their earthly father, they have a heavenly Father who will never disappoint or turn His back on them or fail to carry out His promises to them.
One of the best ways to remind them of this was bedtime prayers. In prayer, we are demonstrating to them and reminding ourselves of our reliance on someone outside ourselves. Sometimes Clare and I did it with them together. Sometimes one or the other of us would do it.
Luther’s Small Catechism gives us these guidelines as we close our day before sleep.
(In the evening, when you go to bed, you shall bless yourself with the holy cross and say:)
“In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.”
(Then, kneeling or standing, repeat the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. If you choose, you may, in addition, say this little prayer:)
“I thank You, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have graciously kept me this day. And I pray, forgive me all my sins, where I have done wrong, and graciously keep me this night. For into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul and all things. Let Your holy angel be with me, so that the wicked foe may have no power over me. Amen.”
(Then go to sleep immediately and cheerfully.)
God bless your Father's Day and everyday.