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     For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom all fatherhood derives its meaning, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of GodEph. 3:14-19

Dear heavenly Father, Paul’s prayer moves me to gladly bow before you today, not floundering in fear, but marinating in your mercies; not groveling in my guilt, but groaning in your grace. For you’re the father I always wanted—the Father from whom all fatherhood derives its name and meaning. As the Spirit applies the gospel to my heart, I trust and ask you to “re-parent” me, Father.

I want to know you better and better and better as Abba, Father—the most caring, engaged, and loving parent ever. Free me from the illusion that my earthly parents could’ve ever been enough. Apply your healing grace to the wounds and holes in my childhood. You were there, even in the lack. You were there, even in the brokenness.

Father, I also need you to re-parent me as a parent. Help me become a more grace-engaged parent of my children, at every stage of their lives. You’ve already forgiven me for the years I spent parenting by fear and control, and guilt and pride. Now I pray for the redeeming of those years, through the inexhaustible riches and the measureless power of the love of Jesus.

Free us to process more of our family story with kindness and hope. What failures do I need to own? What stories do we need to share with each other? I praise you that your name is Redeemer and that your mercies are new every morning. Father, be pleased to do well beyond all I can ask or imagine. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ tender and triumphant name

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Scotty Smith

Scotty Smith is the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. You can follow him on Twitter.

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