5 Prayers for the Fatherless on Father’s Day

May Patterson

May Patterson

Writer and Teacher
Updated May 31, 2024
5 Prayers for the Fatherless on Father’s Day

July 15, 2022: The last call my 87-year-old Daddy made was to my niece. “The woods are so beautiful today,” Daddy said. “I’ve been riding my ATV on trails all afternoon, thanking God for giving me eyes to see.”

That was Daddy’s last conversation. Ever.

Later that night, Daddy failed to show up for my sister’s surprise birthday party. It was unlike him to ever be late, much less not to come at all. Before long, we realized he’d never made it home. Soon, search parties formed and fanned out across his dark, rugged property with spotlights.

I waited at home with my mother. Minutes turned into hours. With each chime of the grandfather clock, my heart felt heavier. Mama kept texting Daddy and leaving him voicemails. Somehow, I knew he’d never get those messages, but I kept telling myself he was okay. After all, Daddy was always okay.

Finally, I heard a truck pull up in the drive. We ran to the door to see if it was Dad, but it was my husband instead. His face was ashen. He gathered Mama and me up in his arms, and we sank to our knees. He said, “There’s been an accident. He’s gone.”

A long chapter of my life suddenly snapped closed. You only have one Dad in this life, and now, mine was gone. A strange, painful realization came over me: I was now fatherless.

It felt awful. Perhaps you’ve experienced the same feeling, too.

Maybe you just lost your father. Or perhaps you never knew him. Or you might simply feel fatherless due to a troubled relationship. If so, I understand. And if you’re like me, Father’s Day can be hard.

But I’ve learned something. Although my earthly father is gone, I can still celebrate Father’s Day with my Heavenly Father. And so can you. Let me help by praying for you and with you. Here are five prayers for the fatherless on Father’s Day:

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Sad man crying grief

1. For Those Whose Grief Is Fresh

Right after Daddy’s accident, I felt pretty raw inside. Grief came in waves at the strangest, most unpredictable times. I learned that’s how grief is. But I also learned how God can comfort and strengthen you. Five days after my Father’s death, God enabled me to do something I thought was impossible. I spoke at his funeral and read my poem, So God Made a Father, to a huge crowd—without crying. Only God could’ve enabled me to do such a difficult thing.

I learned firsthand that this verse is true:

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” (Is. 41:10 NLT)

Let’s pray together:

Dear God,

For the daughter who feels waves of grief crashing around her: be her anchor. (Heb. 6:19)

For the son who doesn’t know how to navigate the loss of his father: be his teacher. (Ps. 32:8)

For the child whose cheeks are scored with mournful tears: be her comforter. (2 Cor. 1:3)

For the teen whose heart is raw and aching with grief: be his healer. (Ps. 147:3)

For the one who feels fragile right now: be their strength. (Ps. 73:26)

For those who fear the future without their Dad: be their hope. (1 Pet. 1:3)

For those who have lost so much: be their victory this Father’s Day, for the battle is already won. (1 Cor. 15:57)

Thank you, Father. You provide all that we need!

In Jesus’s name, amen.

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Daughter dancing on her father's feet

2. For Those Who Never Knew Their Dad

If you never knew your father, my heart goes out to you. It must have been very difficult for you to grow up without him. This Father’s Day, please find hope in this verse: “I will be your God throughout your lifetime—until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you.” (Is. 46:4 NLT)

Dear Lord,

I pray for those who never knew their father. That kind of pain is difficult to overcome because it spans a lifetime. Father’s Day can remind them of what they never had. While others celebrate, they often feel alone. Not having a Dad leaves an empty place in the heart—fill the empty space with your love. May it overflow!

Lord, please be the loving father they never knew, for you are a father to the fatherless and a defender of widows (Ps. 68:5). Hold them by the hand this Father’s Day (Is. 41:13). Love them as tenderly as you would love a child. Be their teacher. Lead them along the best path (Ps. 32:8). If they stray, gently lead them back to it (Ps. 23:4). Watch over them daily. For your perfect love lasts not only for a lifetime but forever and ever.

This Father’s Day, we celebrate you—our perfect Father. Amen!

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Comforting grieving spouse crying

3. For Those Who Dread Father’s Day

Last year, I dreaded my first Father’s Day without my Dad. Deciding beforehand to make it a day of gratitude really helped me get through it. If you’re dreading Father’s Day this year, I hope you will find comfort in this verse: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:6-7)

Dear Lord God Almighty,

I pray for those who dread Father’s Day this year. Please make this Father’s Day different.

I pray that for just ONE day, you will make:

Our memories golden, laden with gratitude.

Our sighs only from contentment, for you satisfy our need.

Our only bewilderment be because of your grace.

All of our tears, grateful tears, for our many blessings.

Each shrug only because we know we don’t deserve your love.

Fill the empty place in our hearts with your Spirit.

Fill the empty space at our tables with someone new to love.

And fill the empty holiday with joy, as only you can.

In Jesus’s Name, amen.

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/Drazen Zigic
Upset toxic adult parent arguing with son on couch

4. For Those Who Feel Fatherless Due to a Painful Relationship

While Dad and I loved each other, we had a far-from-perfect relationship (especially when I was younger). Maybe you can relate. Relational struggles—especially with your father—can alter your perception of God’s love. In order to grasp God’s love better, you must feed on it daily.

David paints the most beautiful picture of God as our loving Father on the canvas of Psalm 139: 1-10 (GNT). As you read each line, pause and praise God with me for the glorious way He loves us.

Dear Lord,

You know everything I do; from far away, you understand all my thoughts. I praise you for taking such a personal interest in me.

You see me, whether I am working or resting; you know all my actions.

I praise you for watching over me.

Even before I speak, you already know what I will say.

I praise you for listening to me.

You are all around me on every side; you protect me with your power.

I praise you for your protection.

Your knowledge of me is too deep; it is beyond my understanding.

I praise you for your greatness.

Where could I go to escape from you? Where could I get away from your presence? If I went up to heaven, you would be there; if I lay down in the world of the dead, you would be there. If I flew away beyond the East or lived in the farthest place in the West,

you would be there to lead me; you would be there to help me.

I praise you for your constant presence in my life.

All of the flaws of our earthly fathers are made right in you, heavenly Father. May we live every day like it’s Father’s Day by honoring and celebrating YOU. Amen.

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/milan2099
Adult Granddaughter with senior grandpa in wheelchair

5. For Those Who Want to Celebrate Father’s Day

Even if you’re fatherless, you still have many Father’s Day options. You can spend some time being grateful for your own father. You can send a card to other fathers who you love or admire. You can encourage new fathers. You can visit an aging father. Perhaps you can use this verse to inspire others: “As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him.” (Ps. 103:13)

Dear Lord,

We pray that our fathers who have passed into the next life have been welcomed into your loving arms. We praise you that our family will one day be reunited in your heavenly kingdom. What a joyous day that will be! Thank you for the promise of seeing our fathers again.

Lord, even if our fathers did not live up to your plan for their lives, help us to speak kindly of them. Give us the grace to forgive them, as you also forgive us. Help us not to hold on to bitterness and anger. Teach us how to be better parents and friends as a result of our experience. Help us accept that the past cannot be changed; enable us to let it go and move forward.

Thank you for those who served as loving father figures in our lives. May their love and selflessness be returned to them. Help them to know that their influence has truly blessed us.

Bless new fathers with the guidance they need to raise happy and holy children grounded in love for God and others. Teach these fathers how to love and respect their wives, which will be a great gift to their children.

In the name of Christ, amen. 

Although I lost my father almost two years ago, I’ve learned that I am not fatherless. If you’re a child of God, you are not fatherless, either. This Father’s Day, let’s refuse to wear that label because we belong to God the Father through faith in Christ. We’ve been given His powerful name to wear (Rev. 3:12), and we are His heirs (Rom. 8:17). We have a place at His very own table (Eph. 2:6) and a place in His family.

But here’s the best part: our Heavenly Father can never be taken away from us. He will be our loving Father, forever and ever (Jn. 10:28).

Happy Father’s Day!

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/vorDa

May Patterson has been writing and teaching Bible study classes for years. Recently she released her first book, “Seeking a Familiar Face.” Now, she has just released its companion Bible study workbook. May trained in small group dynamics for over ten years with Bible Study Fellowship, serving as a leader for four years. She has written for various magazines including Focus on the Family, Upper Room Magazine and iBelieve, and is a sought-after public speaker. May is married to her dear friend, Mike, and they have three grown children. She loves to tell stories, laugh, and talk about the adventure of seeking God. Read more from May by visiting: http://www.maypatterson.com.

Originally published Friday, 31 May 2024.