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Father Encourages Son Through Prayer

John Ashcroft writes:

Many kids wake up to the smell of coffee brewing or the sound of a rooster crowing. My wake-up call was my father's passionate praying filtering through the house. Sometimes I'd ease downstairs and join him. One knee was usually raised, so I'd slip in underneath, shielded by his body as he pleaded for my soul.

I never caught Dad praying for our happiness. He realized that the pursuit of happiness for its own sake is a frustrating, disillusioning, often futile effort. Happiness usually hides from those addicted to its sugar, while it chases after those caught up in something more lasting than momentary excitement.

I never heard him pray for a bigger house, car, or bank account. Instead, he prayed that our hearts would be ignited and inspired to do things of eternal consequence. "Turn our eyes from the temporal, the physical, and the menial," he prayed, "and toward the eternal, the spiritual, and the noble."

My father never pressured us toward achievement. He knew that the push had to come from inner reserves, not outward designs. He simply dangled before us the possibilities. Thanks to his example, we sometimes took the bait.

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