The following prayer was written by General Douglas MacArthur –
Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid; one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory.
Build me a son whose wishbone will not be where his backbone should be; a son who will know Thee….Lead him, I pray, not in the path of ease and comfort, but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenge. Here let him learn to stand up in the storm; here let him learn compassion for those who fail.
Build me a son whose heart will be clean, whose goal will be high; a son who will master himself before he seeks to master other men; one who will learn to laugh, yet never forget how to weep; one who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past.
And after all these things are his, add, I pray, enough of a sense of humor, so that he may always be serious, yet never take himself too seriously. Give him humility, so that he may always remember the simplicity of greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, the meekness of true strength.
Then I, his father, will dare to whisper, “I have not lived in vain.”
Though most of us are not nearly so eloquent, I suspect that all Christian parents have uttered a similar prayer. Mindful of the great responsibility that God has given those of us with children, we pray fervently that God would help us as we strive to train our children in the ways of the Lord.
While still childless, Hannah made this vow to God: “O Lord of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your maidservant and remember me, and not forget your maidservant, but will give your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life….” (I Samuel 1:11). It was a vow she kept, and her son Samuel became one of the greatest spiritual leaders Israel ever knew.
May Hannah’s prayer and Gen MacArthur’s prayer be the prayer of all Christian parents this day.