Malankara World Journal - Christian Spirituality from a Jacobite and Orthodox Perspective
Malankara World Journal
Theme: 4th Sun After Pentecost, Father's Day
Volume 8 No. 485 June 15, 2018
III. Featured Articles: Father's Day

The Priesthood of the Father

By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Job is an excellent example of a man who loved his family and wanted God's best for each one of them. He also understood the role of the priesthood of the father and never hesitated to take responsibility for his loved ones.

He was up early in the morning, not so he could check the weather report or the stock market predictions. His first concern was not whether he could beat the traffic rush into work. He didn't turn on his computer to check his e-mail or log-in to read the Wall Street Journal. Instead, Job was up early in order to spend time with God. He worshiped the Lord and offered sacrifices for his wife and children. He was aware of their personal needs and he was a committed provider.

There are three things a man should do as a family priest:

  1. He needs to cultivate a strong commitment to the Lord. God must be first in His life. If he has allowed anything to come before God, then he will not have the godly wisdom he needs to provide for those he loves.
  2. He should cultivate compassion and be sensitive to his family's needs.
  3. He needs to cultivate consistency.

Job never swayed in his devotion, commitment, and love for the Lord, and you can have the same type of lifestyle.

If you are a single parent, God understands the challenges you are facing. If you simply cry out to the Him in difficult times, He will turn your trials into moments of blessing and praise. When you seek Him with your whole heart, He will come to your rescue as your faithful provider and living Lord, and give you a double portion of His strength.


Lord, show me how to pray for those I love and teach me more about You each day. I pray in the name of Jesus.

"In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil" (Job 1:1).

Source: My Devotional; © 2013 Leading The Way

You Have a Daddy Who Loves You

by Sharon Jaynes

Today's Truth

"I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters."
(2 Corinthians 6:18 NIV)

Friend to Friend

When I was a little girl, my father spent most of his waking hours working at his building supply company, observing construction sites, or socializing with his colleagues and associates. Even though his place of business was only a few blocks from our home, his heart was miles away in a place I could not find. My father didn't drink alcohol every day, but when he did, it consumed him. He was filled with a rage that always seemed to be simmering just beneath the surface of his tough skin. But when he drank, that lava of rage erupted out onto those around him.

As a child, many nights I crawled into bed, pulled the covers tightly under my chin or over my head, and prayed that I would hurry and fall asleep to shut out the noise of my parents fighting. Occasionally I'd tiptoe over to my pink ballerina jewelry box, wind up the music key in the back, and try to focus on the tinkling sound that came as the ballerina twirled with arms overhead.

I was afraid of my father. Even when he was sober, I kept my distance.

At the same time, I observed how other daddies cherished their little girls. I saw them cuddle them in their laps, hold their hands while walking in the park, or kiss their cheeks as they dropped them off at school in the mornings. Deep in my heart, a dream was birthed. I dreamed that one day I would have a daddy who loved me—not because I was pretty or made good grades or could play the piano well, but just because I was his.

In the Old Testament, God has many names, but in the New Testament, Jesus used the name "Father" more than any other. It's the name He invites us to use to address the Creator of the universe. Think about that for a moment. The God of all creation, who always has been and always will be, who is all-knowing, all-powerful, and present everywhere at once—that same God invites you to call Him Daddy! He said, "I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters" (2 Corinthians 6:18).

For many, the idea of God being their father may not be a pleasant one. We tend to project our experiences with our earthly fathers onto our expectations of our heavenly Father. Some never knew their earthly fathers, some had abusive fathers, some were deserted by their fathers, some had loving and endearing fathers, and some lost their fathers because of sickness or catastrophe. But even the best earthly fathers have feet of clay and will disappoint their children.

No matter what your experience has been with your earthly father, the truth is your heavenly Father is the perfect parent who loves you, cares for your every need, is interested in all you do, skillfully guides you, wisely trains you, never deserts you, generously supplies for your needs, is always available to you, and cherishes you as His precious child. God loves you with an everlasting love. He is especially fond of you.

Let's Pray

Heavenly Father, thank You for loving me and making me Your child. Today, I'm just going to savor that one precious truth.
In Jesus' Name,

Now It's Your Turn

Read the following verses about being God's child.
2 Corinthians 6:18
Galatians 4:7
John 1:12

What does it mean to you to know that God is Your Father?

More From the Girlfriends

Throughout Scripture, God reveals His complex character by identifying Himself by different names—names that shed light on who He is and how He acts. He is El Roi—the God Who Sees, Yahweh Rapha—the Lord Who Heals, El Sali—God My Strength, and so much more. Join Sharon, Mary, and Gwen as they share about 40 of their favorite names of God. Begin today with Knowing God by Name—and grow closer to the One who knows you by name.

Source: Girlfriends in God  

God as Father and Our Prayer

by Erik Raymond

When you listen to believers talk about the Christian life there is a common theme: prayer is important and difficult. This is not a new phenomenon, even the earliest disciples requested some classes on prayer (Luke 11:1). Therefore, it is encouraging and instructive to hear Jesus' teaching on how to pray from what is called "The Lord's Prayer."

What is interesting to me is the way he begins: "Our Father..." (Matthew 6:9). In this Jesus calls us to the family room for a conversation with our heavenly Father. Before we go further, however, it is important, even imperative to acknowledge and overcome a major obstacle that this opening presents.

We all have the tendency to project a concept of fatherhood upon God instead of to receive the image that he projects. This is obviously due to the fact that we all have fathers. Some are or were better than others but none are or were perfect. All of our fathers had significant shortcomings—even on their best day.

As a result, we often see God in this light or at least with influence from this light. I have seen it over and over again in counseling: we project our thoughts of our earthly fathers upon our heavenly Father. As you might imagine, this causes major problems in the prayer closest. If your father was demanding and lacked grace then you see God this way. If your father was cold, distant, and uninvolved, then you see God this way. If your father was unable to deliver on his grand promises, then you see God this way. If your father did not keep his word then you see God this way. This is the spiritual equivalent of having your shoes tied together by some pesky kid before getting up from the table. It halts you at the starting blocks of the race; you are not going to go very far.

As Christians we must not project our image of God upon God but rather receive the one he supplies us in his Word. We come to the Lord's Prayer and we see that Jesus lays a heavy emphasis upon the Fatherhood of God. Evidently everything that follows flows out of the fact that God is a Father, and a good one at that. Therefore, understanding God as Father is essential not only to our knowledge of him but also our relationship to him.

Let me provide a few sparkling jewels from God's crown that showcase his Fatherhood. These jewels draw us to pray.

1. God's Loving Nature.

The best praise that we can give a person is to say that they are loving. It agelessly attractive to be a loving human. However, when we talk about God being loving we are not saying that like "Joe is a generally loving guy." No, God is quite unique. God is not only loving he is love (1 John 4:8). This passage in 1 John reminds us that this love is chiefly understood not in terms of a feeling but an event! God's love is displayed through the giving of Jesus Christ for us and our salvation. If you ever doubt God's love for you then you need to remember the cross. It is the great if...then argument. If God has not spared his Son then he will give you everything you need, with abundance (Rom. 8:32). God is love at his core! Everything that God does and says flows from this glorious source. All of the rivers of his thinking and doing and saying flow from the same source water, the ocean of God' love. We should note that we can say this not because what God says and does is evaluated by some third-party source or some love-o-meter as loving, but rather it is loving because the God who is love has done it! It is this God who is your Father! He invites you to come to him to receive and rejoice in his love. This draws us to pray.

2. God's Infinite Knowledge

Many parents have been stymied by various circumstances involving their children. Our heavenly Father knows of no such dilemma. He has never scratched his proverbial head. He is the "only wise God" (1 Tim. 1:17). There is no limit to his wisdom or counsel. As a result, we can come to him with our needs (he knows them already—Mt. 6:8), our future (he ordains it Ps. 139:16), our pain (he comforts it 2 Cor. 1:3). This draws us to pray.

3. God's Listening Ear

If God were inattentive it would stop all prayer. This is not true, however. God does hear he is listening. He hears the righteous (Prov. 15:9). He hears our pleas and accepts our prayers (Ps. 6:8-9). Solomon was told that God in fact had heard his prayer (2 Chron. 7:12-13). Elijah was someone with a frame like ours, says James, and God did amazing things in response to his praying (James 5:16-18). To embolden this truth, God also never sleeps. We learn from the Psalmist that he never sleeps or slumbers (Ps. 121:4). Wake up at 2:00 AM with a nightmare, he is there ready to listen and comfort. Call upon him at 2:00 PM after a problem at the office, he is there. His eye is continually upon you listening and protecting.

Sometimes we need to just remind ourselves of who we are dealing with.

Doubtless Jesus, who knew his heavenly Father intimately and infinitely, was pulling a pretty substantial trailer filled with a rich theology of God the Father. He bids us to come behind him to learn. Learn by reading the Word and learn by experiencing his blessings. As you do continue to look at the image of God your Father as projected by the Scriptures and not your experiences. This will bring a daily celebration of Father's Day.

About The Author:

Erik Raymond is pastor at Emmaus Bible Church in Omaha, Nebraska. He and his wife, Christie, have six children.

Source: Daily Update

Dads and Father's Day: What You Should Know

by Adrian Rogers

"Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord; that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labor of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee. Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table. Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the Lord. The Lord shall bless thee out of Zion: and thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life. Yea, and thou shalt see thy children’s children, and peace upon Jerusalem."
- Psalm 128

I am convinced that America's families will not be changed until the dads in America are changed. The key is the father. God has given us a survival manual, and it begins with the father. He is to be a God-fearing, hard-working, worshipping man of God. He is to be bold, but he must also truly fear God.

What is the fear of God? Not a cringing dread of God, but love on its knees. And I am convinced that the man who fears God the most loves God the best.

Dads, your children need to see the fear of God in your life. I've made an observation of fathers. Do you know what makes a good dad? He is a man who is both strong and tender at the same time. Strong, but not afraid to hug, to kiss, to love, to speak softly and gently to the children.

These children of yours are like olive plants round about your table. Dads, if you will do this, if you will put the emphasis upon your family, we are going to see good in this nation again.

Source: Love Worth Finding

Does God Even Care About Me?


"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father's care."
- Matthew 10:29 (NIV)

A good friend's father abandoned the family when she was young. As a result, she struggled relating to God as her Father. Another friend's dad was harsh and critical. It took years for her to feel unconditionally loved by God.

As a young Christian, I was thankful I didn't have major issues with my father. Although my dad wasn't a Christ-follower, he allowed my mom to take me and my little sister to church. And though he never said, "I love you" nor attended any of my school performances, I knew he loved me in his own way. My father was a good man, hardworking and faithful to his family. However, he was an uninvolved presence in my life.

So if I had a problem, I went to my mother. If I got into trouble, I called my mother. When I wanted advice, well, you can guess whom I called. This didn't seem odd to me.

For years I congratulated myself on navigating my father's distant personality with minimal negative impact. I was deeply aware it could have been worse, and I thanked God for a happy childhood. It wasn't until years later as an adult that I pushed a little deeper into relating to God as my heavenly Father, based on my earthly experience.

Back then I'd heard everyone (even those with great dads) has some kind of "father issue" with God because of their human (and inherently sinful) earthly fathers. While I wanted to dismiss it, I decided to revisit the topic. Could it be true for me? Was there something missing in my relationship with God?

As I dug deep, I discovered that although I was confident of God's love, I didn't really trust Him to be there in times of trouble. Would He step in if I had a problem? Does God even care about me?

Every question revealed the same disturbing truth: I didn't really, truly, deep in my heart, trust God. Believe in? Yes. Love? Yes. But … trust? The words were easy to mouth, but my heart wasn't singing the same tune.

This realization shed light on so many issues that hadn't seemed troublesome enough to address. Like why I had trouble praying for myself. And why I had so much fear for myself and my children, or why I neglected to seek God's wisdom in decision-making.

Seems I really did have "father issues" that affected my intimacy with God. I didn't know what it was like to have a father to turn to in good or bad times. But I wanted to learn. I desperately wanted to know God as a perfect Father.

So as awkward as it felt, I made some changes.

I intentionally got more personal in prayer, even addressing God as "Dad." (Mark 14:36) Faced with decisions, even small ones, I asked God for advice. (James 1:5) And when fear started to well up, like when I navigated a fear of flying, I declared, "I don't trust the pilot, I don't trust the mechanic who tightened the bolts, I don't trust the weather, I trust YOU!" (Psalm 91)

Little by little, my faith and trust grew. I took doubtful thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:5) and intentionally exchanged them with thoughts that affirmed God's trustworthiness to help in times of trouble.

I also took today's key verse to heart: "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father's care" (Matthew 10:29). It took years to rewire my thinking with the truth about God's ability and willingness to be my heavenly Father. And honestly, I'm still a work in progress.

When I slip back into my independent ways, I must choose to believe what's true: I have a Heavenly Father who wants to be my hero, champion, protector and confidant — if I'll only let Him.

Dear heavenly Father, You're perfect in all Your ways. Your Word says You are a loving father, and I long to know You that way. Only You know the gaps in our relationship based on my imperfect understanding of You. Please reveal them to me, and help me work through them. In Jesus' Name, Amen.


Matthew 6:26, "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" (NIV)

Psalm 91:14-15, "‘Because he loves me,' says the LORD, ‘I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.'" (NIV)


This weekend is Father's Day in the USA. Maybe deep down you're longing to connect to your heavenly Father in a personal and intimate way. To learn more about how you can begin a relationship with God through Jesus, click here.


How does your relationship with your earthly father impact your relationship with your heavenly Father?

What's one step you can make today to close the gap between you and your heavenly Father? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Source: Encouragement for Today
© 2018 by Glynnis Whitwer. All rights reserved.

God Intended Fathers to Be Moral and Spiritual Example

by Eric Metaxas,

Unlike in physics and chemistry, very few of the findings in the social sciences can be characterized as incontrovertible.

But there's one major exception: the impact of fatherlessness on American children.

To name but a few grim examples, 63 percent of teen suicides are from fatherless homes; 90 percent of homeless children and runaways are from fatherless homes; and 71 percent of all high school dropouts are from fatherless homes.

And there's a lot more depressing data where these numbers came from.

That's why Prison Fellowship Ministries and the Colson Center are happy to assist in the efforts of an important new initiative called "Epic Fatherhood."

Epic Fatherhood is the brainchild of the Fatherhood CoMission, a "group of ministry and business leaders working together to champion fatherhood both inside and outside the Church through clear, compelling evidence of God's design for dads as noble difference makers in their families and the world."

If anything was ever easier said than done, it's championing fatherhood in today's culture. Not because there's any lack of "compelling evidence" that committed fathers can be "noble difference makers" -- the depressing social science data I cited earlier makes it clear what their absence can lead to.

The problem is that fatherhood has been valued almost entirely in economic terms. People think that if kids in single-parent homes suffer, it's because they miss their dad's paycheck, not his role as a moral and spiritual authority and exemplar.

And that was before the current movement to redefine marriage! We've almost lost the biblical idea of human fatherhood as an icon of God's fatherhood and that this image-bearing lies at the heart of what it means to be a man.

By way of correction and restoration, Epic Fatherhood is sponsoring a Father's Day initiative which includes sermons, apps, and even a church movie night, featuring a choice of three movies about fatherhood.

The goal is for churches to stand beside and honor the godly fathers in their congregations, not just on Father's Day but throughout the year.

Prison Fellowship Ministries' partnerhood in Epic Fatherhood is motivated, in large measure, by the well-documented connection between family structure and crime. This connection was summed up by the late James Q. Wilson in Commentary magazine twenty years ago.

After noting that "six percent of the boys of a given age will commit half or more of all the serious crime produced by boys of that age," he told us about the family life of those boys: "they tend to have criminal parents, [and] to live in cold or discordant families (or pseudo-families)."

When he read Wilson's piece, Chuck Colson realized that Wilson was, without knowing it, describing the children ministered to through our Angel Tree program. Chuck also realized that, arguably, the most important thing about Angel Tree wasn't the delivering of Christmas presents, as important as that is, but maintaining the ties between offenders and their families.

It's why at Prison Fellowship Ministries, restoring an offender means restoring him to his family and equipping him to take an active role in breaking the cycle of crime in his family and community. It is never too late for a man to assume the role God intended him to play.

About The Author:

Eric Metaxas is a co-host of BreakPoint Radio and a best-selling author whose biographies, children's books, and popular apologetics have been translated into more than a dozen languages.

A Prayer for All Fathers on Father's Day

by Matt Haviland, Founder, A Father's Walk

Father's Day can hold many emotions for both men and women - those who had a loving father that passed away, those who never knew their dad, those expectantly waiting to become a dad soon, and countless other situations surrounding the father-child relationship. God can use Father's Day to draw us closer to Himself - the one true Father who remains faithful and full of unconditonal love. Use this Father's Day prayer to bring God's peace and glory into your home and life today.

A Prayer for All Fathers on Father's Day


We come before you today humbled and in awe of Your grace and mercy. Lord, we thank You for the way You have designed what a family is supposed to look like and the specific roles You have ordained to a mother and a father of how to lead their children. Yet Lord, through our sinful ways we have taken what You have made holy and created our own version of today’s families. Because of this, our children are suffering. It is for the fathers, families, and children of our nation that we do pray today.

Lord, we pray specifically for fathers and fatherhood across our land. Your Word clearly instructs fathers to bring up their children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). God, we thank You for the men who are leading according to Your statutes and the ones that are laying their lives down for Your purposes. We pray that You will continue to use these men to lead their families and other men. We pray You will strengthen the fathers of our nation and that You will continue to empower churches, organizations, and individuals to invest in fathers and fatherhood for the sake of our children.

God, we pray for the single fathers out there; whether they are raising their children alone or even if they are doing the best they can with the time they have. We pray for strength, protection, wisdom, and discernment to help them through whatever trials they may be facing. Thank You Lord for these men and please guard their hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, help meet all of their needs, that they may experience Your peace that surpasses all comprehension.

Jesus, we pray for the dads out there who are being alienated from their children right now. We pray, oh Lord, that You would shield and shelter them from the pain and possibly the anger that may be rising up in them, for You to strike down the barriers that are hindering these dads from seeing their children. God, do not let this destroy them as men, fathers, or in their relationship with You. They need You in a mighty way and we pray You would show Yourself strong on behalf of anyone that is being alienated from their children and that You would reunite these families together.

Lord, we lift up the dads right now that are not stepping up to the plate as fathers, for whatever reason. Once again, we have allowed the evil one to get into our lives and wreak havoc on what You have said is good. We pray for these men to come to their knees and repent, that they would turn from their ways, seek You, and come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Father, we pray for their children and the moms who are parenting alone because of these men’s decisions. We pray You would step in as a father to the fatherless and a defender of widows in these situations, that their story would be another testimony that nothing is too hard for You.

Finally, Father we lift up the men and women that are on the front lines in the battle for fatherhood and the war against fatherlessness. God, You clearly put leaders of all calibers in positions of influence: from the highest ranks to the least of these. However we know that with men these initiatives would fall short, but with You all things are possible. We pray for everything from the right funding for the programs to continue, to godly leadership from beginning to end. We pray for a revival of manhood and for fathers to lead their families by beginning each day on their knees. God Your Word says that You will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers (Malachi 4:6). As our Creator, Savior, and heavenly Father, we believe that this will bear eternal fruit- that generational curses will become generational blessings, restoring our families back to the way that You intended.

We come into agreement as we read and speak this prayer out loud that this is a nation that is desperate not only for our earthly fathers to rise up to the challenge, but more importantly, that they need to follow You, Father, as their ultimate guide and example.

It is in the wonderful, precious, and matchless name of Jesus Christ that we pray, Amen.

Copyright © 2018, All rights reserved.

Malankara World Journals with the Theme: Father's Day

From Malankara World Journal Archives:

Volume 7 No 421: June 16 2017

Volume 6 No 354: June 17 2016

Volume 5 No 291: June 19 2015

Volume 4 No 223: June 12, 2014

Volume 3 No 147: June 13 2013

Volume 2 No 81: June 14 2012


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