A DAD’S PRAYER

a dad's prayer

image courtesy of photo bucket.com

This is a repost from December 2010. I guest posted at my friend April’s site. She has a heart of gold. Please check out her site here, http://amblessedbeyondmeasure.com

One of our Christmas traditions is Italian food. Itʼs a little different year to year, but the origin is the same. Lasagna, stuffed shells, spiedinis, and spaghetti to name a few.

We go to church on Christmas Eve, come home, eat dinner, then the kids open one small present. The remaining presents get opened Christmas morning. Before that we eat a small breakfast, I start on my first cup of coffee, we gather around the Christmas tree and I pray. Itʼs our tradition.
That tradition started when I was a child. There were no presents open at our house until my dad prayed, gave thanks to God, and read Luke chapter 2 through verse 20. Being very young, I remember thinking, “Iʼm never gonna get to open my presents, heʼs gonna read the whole Bible!” I didn’t think too much of the process at the time, I just figured it was what we did. After a few years, I began to think about it as just our tradition.
The process of a tradition has a life unto itself. It starts with learning of the tradition. The next phase in the process is endurance. Somewhere during the journey through the long endurance process we begin to find gratification and passion. Our priority pendulum begins to swing to the opposite side from our starting point.
What was liver and onions before ice cream as a child, becomes our favorite entree followed by a good cup of coffee as an adult. The priority of presents gives way to the priority of God and honoring Him first.
My dad read the Bible at Christmas for his family for over fifty years. Thatʼs a pretty long tradition. There were a few years as kids we werenʼt paying too much attention. After all this wasnʼt church…This was present opening time! I didn’t get the correlation between the two. I had no comprehension of the omnipotence of God. I have a little more understanding of it now. Which means the more I grasp the awesome power of the Creator and Sustainer of this world and life, I have no comprehension of the omnipotence of God.
Several times my dad would have to stop reading to reprimand my brothers, sister, and me. We were all a bit on the A.D.D. side. Couple that with Christmas excitement and, “Walla” you have a parentʼs nightmare. Weʼd be forced to move our sitting locations so as not to poke, push, or harass each other. My dad would finish reading Godʼs word and sit back to watch his children enjoy the fruits of his efforts. He usually got one present from my mom, literally a pair of sox or something comparable.
There were some tough financial years for many people along the way, my family was one of them. We always received something. I canʼt say the same for my mom and dad. My dad wonʼt be reading Godʼs word Christmas morning this year, at least not on this physical earth. Heʼs been taken home to perfect peace, joy, and rest in the presence of our Father.
The tradition started by my mom and dad will live on, even beyond my lifetime. Iʼll pray, read, and sit back and watch my children enjoy the fruits of my efforts provided from the hand of our Father. Thereʼs been some bickering and arguing along the way, but thatʼs what makes it real. My kids will remember their process from endurance to gratification and passion.
I’ve already watched a good portion of that process. May God grant me enough years to see the entire process in them.
I thank God for the tradition He born in my dad. Iʼll forever remember and cherish my dad’s prayer. He would lean forward, bow his head resting his elbows on his thighs as he clasped his hands in front of him, resting them on his knees.
My dad squeezed his eyes, furrowed his brow in earnest, then he would start, “Letʼs pray – Heavenly Father”…..

18 Comments

  1. bill (cycleguy)
    Monday, December 24, 2012 @ 7:47 am

    How I wish I had had a father who cared about things like that. You were a blessed man Floyd. The fact you are carrying along that same tradition is a tribute to your father, but also to you as his son and now a father yourself. Merry Christmas my friend and may you and your family know the joy of celebration.

    Reply

    • Dan Black
      Monday, December 24, 2012 @ 8:40 am

      I feel the same way Bill. At least we can change our family tree and create good traditions with the children we have.

      Reply

      • Floyd
        Monday, December 24, 2012 @ 10:59 am

        Good call, Dan. I’m honored to know you and call you my friend and brother. Your son will be the recipient of God’s perfect traditions and it has already started. May He bless you and your family this season and all the seasons of life. Merry Christmas.

        Reply

    • Floyd
      Monday, December 24, 2012 @ 10:57 am

      Thanks, Bill. I am blessed indeed. Sometimes I think our Father gives the ones who need it a little more to get us over the hump of our flesh. Merry Christmas to you as well. May God pour out His abundant favor on you and your entire family.

      Reply

  2. Betty Draper
    Monday, December 24, 2012 @ 10:31 am

    What a bessing to have such beautiful memories. No matter how we grew up, it’s never too late to start the tradition of, “lets pray” at all occassion. Merry Christmas

    Reply

    • Floyd
      Monday, December 24, 2012 @ 11:02 am

      Amen, Betty. What a wonderful tradition. I can still hear the words in my mind. The slight pause between the words and the ernest longing in calling out to our Father in heaven. It’s a good tradition for every day that we spend here until we are with Him there. God bless you and your family, Betty. Tell Ace I said “Merry Christmas.”

      Reply

  3. Hazel Moon
    Monday, December 24, 2012 @ 3:25 pm

    My mom did the Bible reading in our home, Dad was not a good reader, so he let mom do it. We got new sweaters, PJs, shoes, underwear, and one toy. It was opening the gifts that made it so much fun. I am happy that you are following your Dad’s tradition to read the Bible to your family. Thank you for sharing your story at “Tell me a Story.”

    Reply

    • Floyd
      Monday, December 24, 2012 @ 3:30 pm

      It is a wonderful tradition. Funny how our priorities change with wisdom… Thanks, Hazel. And thanks for letting me share it on your “Tell Me A Story” site. Merry Christmas, my friend.

      Reply

  4. Jason Stasyszen
    Tuesday, December 25, 2012 @ 1:35 pm

    Love how the tradition was just “something you did” until later you realized the correlation between the gift God has given us in Jesus and the gifts we give each other in love. That’s some great spiritual impartation and even some psychology! You’ll never be able to separate those those two things as long as you live. That’s such a great gift your dad gave. 🙂 Merry Christmas Floyd.

    Reply

    • Floyd
      Tuesday, December 25, 2012 @ 2:50 pm

      I couldn’t agree more. Well said and thanks, Jason. God bless you and your family this Christmas.

      Reply

  5. jake
    Wednesday, December 26, 2012 @ 9:58 pm

    Tradition has only become a common word in my vocabulary this year. My family doesn’t have very explicit traditions. We more or less gather in the same places at the same times and it stops there. My traditions are all coming out with church, which my family chooses not to participate in, which is fine for now. It’s been interesting for me to understand or at least acknowledge the contrast between a life of tradition and one without or dealing primarily in novelty. I see the value in both, but actually am jealous of your story– I might steal this tradition when I have my own family. I’ll keep you posted on how that goes.

    Blessings, friend.

    Reply

    • Floyd
      Thursday, December 27, 2012 @ 10:07 am

      It was hard even this year keeping my emotions in check as I read from Luke. These are the traditions that honors God and gives us peace and joy that can’t be grasped by our senses alone. It is soul filling. I know you’ll add this tradition to your life when the time comes. Definitely keep me posted. Thanks, Jake.

      Reply

  6. Crystal Mary Lindsey
    Thursday, December 27, 2012 @ 4:19 pm

    Hello Floyd, its a pleasure to meet you. I enjoyed your story so much! I often find it difficult to comprehend that men can be like your father or yourself. My grandfather passed away when I was eight, and I feel he may have been an open prayer and carer. My mother and grandmother was our example. You tell your story very well, you are an excellent writer and draw a picture that transports the reader to the scene. God Bless you and your family.

    Reply

    • Floyd
      Thursday, December 27, 2012 @ 5:03 pm

      Thanks, Crystal. My dad was a blessing for all of us. He was a man’s man, but bowed his knee in humility to our Father and set an example that this world needs. I’m not him, but I’m doing my best to honor God with the strength that He provides. May God bless you and yours as well.

      Reply

  7. Joanne Norton
    Friday, December 28, 2012 @ 1:05 pm

    How neat! Can hardly imagine that in my former lifetime and even my present time. Would love to see it in my grandkids’ homes. D. and I are alone now, nearly all the time, so giving gifts to each other is always considered a blessing from Him. We truly try to always put our Lord first. Maybe I can push some buttons soon and pass it down generationally. THAT would be a great God-blessing job. Hmmmmm! Thinkin’ now, thinkin’ how. You got me started.

    Reply

    • Floyd
      Friday, December 28, 2012 @ 6:16 pm

      What an honorable tradition to start in any family. I can’t express enough how that is first impression of Christmas now. What a blessing indeed! I know if you start it, it will be done for sure and forever! Thanks, Joanne.

      Reply

  8. Sylvia R
    Tuesday, January 1, 2013 @ 6:15 am

    What a beautiful depiction of this family tradition you “endured” as a child and saw as the pure gold it was in your adulthood! I wish we had established a tradition like this to pass on. Too many Christmases past were too much just about the presents, Maybe I can slip someone a link to this post and pray that someone will pick up the baton we dropped! Thank you for this warm tribute to your dad and valuable example for the rest of us.

    Reply

    • Floyd
      Tuesday, January 1, 2013 @ 10:43 am

      Thank you, Sylvia. I was blessed to have humble and strong parents. I can’t imagine what life would have been like for a stubborn, strong willed kid like me if not for that foundation. God always knows what He’s doing. All of us are proof of that. I pray that this becomes a family tradition for your children’s children.

      Reply

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