The Pastor's Daily Prayer
(paragraph 2 of 13)
I thank you also, O faithful God, for my family, my wife and children, and for all my relatives. You have given them to me purely out of fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me. Preserve them in good health, and give them their daily bread; but above all keep them in your grace and in the true confession of your name unto the end.
It is fitting for any pastor to give thanks for his family. They are his most ardent supporters and bring great joy to the pastor. It is a good reminder that the pastor's wife and children are not owed him, but are gifts from a gracious God. "He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD." (Proverbs 18:22) "Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward." (Psalm 127:3)
My prayers for my family often include that they be spared of whatever may harm them in body and soul. The soul is of particular concern. The body, no matter what happens to it, will be raised anew and glorious at the resurrection of the dead. However, the most fervent prayer of any Christian is that his/her children be kept safe in the Lord's hands. Rev. Alois Schmitzer, under whom I served my vicar year, includes this verse in his correspondence to his children, and I think it is most fitting: "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth." (3 John 4) That remains my prayer, too.