What if you were so loved by your father that you ran to him as a little girl, jumped into his lap and asked him for just anything? What if you were so close to your Daddy that he was the first one you turned to when you were afraid, bullied, or discouraged? What if you didn’t have to think twice when asked, “who’s your biggest cheerleader?” Of course, it is your dad.

Was that your story? Was that your dad?

I am daring you today to pray. I am daring you to pray to your Heavenly Father as if you are his beautiful, beloved daughter. It’s time to let our stories with our fathers on this earth not be the roadblock between our prayers and our God.

My story was not great, but it may not be as dark and painful as yours. I didn’t live with a father who expected perfection, but maybe yours did. My dad didn’t hurt me, but you may be haunted by the terror yours inflicted. Our dad was not verbally abusive or abandon us, but you might be a survivor of that kind of story.

My sweet dad was just awkward. He didn’t know how to be close and I wasn’t always sure if he saw me. We didn’t talk a lot, so I wondered if he knew me. He couldn’t attend my games and plays because of work, but I thought he wasn’t interested in me. He didn’t say, “I love you” because of his awkward upbringing, so I looked for those words elsewhere.

Our stories of fathers, absent or present, supportive or oppressive, can overshadow the story that God, our perfect father wants to write in us.  Seeing God as a loving father proves difficult for those hurt or forgotten by an earthly father. But that brokenness in us can be healed.

As we read God’s love letter to us as his daughters, and we let the truth of who we are to him sink in, we can begin healing. I believe stories are best unraveled, interpreted, and understood in community. I found that community with a precious counselor. You might too. We find healing with each other.

Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed.  James 5:16

What if you and I could pray like a beloved daughter of God, fully known and accepted, secure in who we are? What if, before we even ask, we have full confidence that we have our Father’s attention and his affection.

He will take great delight in you;  in his love he will no longer rebuke you,  but will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17

What if we prayed in faith, trusting God like a little girl trusts her dad to catch her?

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!  1 John 3:1

Earthly fathers don’t always get it right. I am so sorry if you are one hurt by your father. But I am daring you to make a journey to wholeness. Take that journey and you will be ready for the greatest one of all- walking daily believing the promises and love of God as you pray. Powerful prayers will be unlocked as we draw near to the heart of God.

Is your image of God, shaped by the image of your dad stopping you from drawing near, from believing  God is good and ready to work in your life? Is the hurt caused by your dad keeping you from believing that someone could love you completely and perfectly?

Can you imagine with me the prayers that would be prayed if we really believed God’s love for us, the love a father has for his daughters who are made in his image and created for his beautiful purpose?

For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons (& daughters) by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” Romans 8:15