by Tim Challies; INFORMING THE REFORMING;
Somewhere out there in the great, wide world, someone is praying for you. He probably doesn’t know you and you probably don’t know him. You may not meet one another for many more years. But he’s praying for you nonetheless and has been for a very long time.
He is the father of a daughter. He is the proud father of a daughter who is very precious to him—more precious than anything he owns, more precious than anything he has ever done, ever made, ever accomplished, more precious than his very life. She is so precious that if he gained all the riches of this world but lost her heart along the way, he’d consider himself an abject failure.
This father knows that a time is coming when a young man will approach him and ask for permission to marry his daughter. He knows that a time is coming when a young man will insist that it is in his daughter’s best interests if she leaves her father and mother—leaves behind the ones who brought her into this world and who gave her such privileges and who raised her so well—and is joined to him instead (for such is the endearing conceit of young men). And, though it may be hard for this father to admit, he knows that this young man may just be right—that his daughter’s best life will be outside of his care and in another man’s, outside of his home and in one this new couple will build together.
From the day he welcomed his precious little daughter into the world, he knew that he would at some point entrust her to another man. And so he began to pray. From the day he laid eyes on his beautiful little girl, he knew he would some day lead her down a church aisle to place her hand in another man’s. And so he began to pray for him. From the day his heart became so deeply bound to hers, he knew hers would someday become bound to someone else’s. And so he began to pray all the more earnestly.
He prayed that this young man would come to saving faith—that he would repent of his sin and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. He prayed that this young man would grow in holiness—that he would conscientiously put sin to death and come alive to righteousness. He prayed that this young man would become a capable provider—that he would study hard and work diligently and make good on all the privileges afforded to him. He prayed that this young man would grow in godly character—becoming loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled. Ultimately he prayed that this young man would prove worthy of his daughter—that he would know her to be as precious as she actually is and that he would treat her with all the love and dignity she deserves.
This is an interesting thought, isn’t it? It is an interesting thought, and an encouraging one, that since you were tiny, this man has been praying for you. He has been praying for you without knowing who you are, praying for you without knowing when you would meet, praying for you with longing that in the day that you emerged from the great crowd of humanity, he would see that God had heard his prayers and answered them.
This is an encouraging thought but also a challenging one, for it now falls to you, young man, to be worthy—as worthy as any man can be—to receive from his hand what he counts more precious than jewels, more valuable than his own heart, of greater worth than his own name and even his own life. It falls to you, young man, to honor his diligence in so faithfully interceding for his daughter. It falls to you, young man, to be God’s answer to a father’s prayers.