Today is my oldest daughter’s eighteenth birthday and I can hardly believe it. Where has the time gone? Just yesterday she was eating strained carrots and guzzling a bottle. This is my prayer for her on her 18th birthday.
Dear Lord, I thank you for the unique personality of my daughter. I thank you that she is who she is and I ask that you continue to nurture in her that one-of-a-kind-ness that she has. What a joy it has been for her mother and I to raise her and yes, even sometimes, learn from her. Thank you for giving her to us.
I ask that now, as she turns 18 and is, in a real way, an adult in charge of her own decisions that you help her mother and I to let go a little more. It is hard for us, but we have tried to teach her, guide her, and encourage her in the way she should live. Grant us the courage to now slowly and gently back-off as she exercises her own choices.
Father, she doesn’t quite now what she wants to do with her life yet. I am glad. It is too soon for her to know. She wants to go to college and has one picked out. I pray that the admissions and application and requirements and scholarships (oh please Lord, scholarships!) come through and she is able to pursue higher education. But my biggest prayer is that as she finds her path that you would guide her and direct her and yes, protect her from both materialistic greed and from idealistic wastefulness.
Someday she will probably get married, although if she is called to singleness, I pray you grant her peace about that. But assuming she marries, I pray that the man she chooses will be a good man–no, scratch that–a great man who is kind, caring, and understanding. I pray that he is a man who is committed to you and your ways and who is thoroughly grounded in the Scriptures. I pray that he will be a man that will protect her but also allow her to be who she is and not expect an impossible ideal for a wife.
In the time before she marries convict her towards purity, and keep her chaste. When she does finally choose, help her mother and I to not get in the way and be an obstacle or an unpleasantness for the young man.
I ask Father that she live in a world that is at peace. Right now things don’t really look so great but I ask that as she learns and builds her life that problems like war, terrorism, economic uncertainty, drug abuse, broken families, and societal confusion would all be gone. I pray that she never knows poverty, war, famine or sickness. In the biblical metaphor, I ask that her cattle always be fruitful and that her wine vats always be filled. Yet, I know that adversity will likely come. When it does grant her the character to withstand it and the integrity to maintain fidelity to her faith convictions.
I ask that now, as she is no longer a child, that her relationship with her wonderful sister would deepen and strengthen. May they ever be fast friends and confidants; advocates and helpers for one another. I yearn for there to be an almost magical bond between my two daughters as they share life together in this wonderful gift of family.
Bless her, O Lord, with fulfillment and meaning in all that she does and lift her above her peers to places of recognition and leadership. I know that is bold to ask, but that is what I want for her.
You know all the good I desire for her, but I know that your plans are better than mine. I have loved her since she was in my wife’s womb, but you have loved her since the foundation of the world. I recognize that she doesn’t belong to me, but you. So now I submit to your best plan and ask that she be used to fulfill your kingdom purposes.
I ask all of this, and more, in the name of Jesus Christ my Lord, by the power and presence of the Holy Spirit, and in the knowledge of the Father’s love for all his children. Amen.