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St. Paul exhorted the Thessalonians to “pray constantly” (5:17). In that spirit, we offer this prayer Dennis wrote and prayed for men on Thursday, May 3, the National Day of Prayer in the United States of America. He calls men to engage in the battle for sanctity, unity. and peace in our families and our nation.

Lord, there is a battle raging around us that is deeply wounding spouses, children and families. Satan hates families and is out to destroy them. It is through the family that faith is passed on to future generations. Lord, help men to stand in the gap for their families.

The prophet Ezekiel cried out: I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found none (Ezek 22:30).

Lord, men need to be engaged in the battle for the family. Raise up holy men to fight for families. You are calling them forth to mission. Please encourage them to take up the battle for that which is most precious in your sight.

Lord, one of the key reasons that the family is faltering is very few men have been willing to “step into the gap.” This leaves families vulnerable to attack. Many men practice their faith timidly, or not at all, being only minimally committed to passing the faith on to their children. Lord, forgive us for the sin of lukewarm faith. Enkindle the fire of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of men, that they may burn with love for you and their families, that they may rise up and fight the good fight of faith.

Lord, there is a gaping hole in the families’ first line of defense. Who will stand in the breach, defending the family against the evil forces seeking to destroy it? We need holy and righteous men to step up to fight this battle.

Lord Jesus, you are our model of what it means to be a man. Every moment of your life on earth revealed the mystery of what it means to be man – that is, to be fully human and a model of masculinity. Nowhere else can we find the fullness of masculinity. Only in you Lord, can we find the highest display of masculine virtue and strength that we need in our lives and in our society. The Father sent you to reveal what it means to be a man, and the fullness of this revelation is evident on the Cross. You came into the world to give yourself totally to us. Empower each man with the fullness of masculinity. Prepare each man to give himself completely, to charge into the gap, to engage in spiritual combat, to defend women, children, and others against the wickedness and snares of the Devil!

Lord, the biggest spiritual battle is within man himself. As you, Lord Jesus, faced the three-fold temptation in the desert – passions of the flesh, possessiveness and pride – so must we. Give men the grace to lead holy and pure lives, that are pleasing in your sight. Bless them that they may be a blessing to their spouses and families. Lord, we can do none of this through our own efforts. We need you. You are our rock and strength. You are our deliver. May we stand in the gap, knowing that the battle is not ours’, but yours. You are with us, fighting along side us, for the glory of the Father.

Lord, sadly the word love has lost its meaning. Where do we find the true meaning of love? We have to look no further than your cross.

Lord, you make it clear that love is central to your mission. “Love one another as I have loved you” (Jn 15:12). All of your teaching can be summed up in this command. Love is not a side-job; it is the mission itself. Lord, when men love with the true love of you, Christ Jesus, they are willing the good of the other, pouring themselves out in charity for others. In you, Lord Jesus, we see that sacrifice is at the heart of love.

Whether married or single, every man is called to live as a husband and father in a very real and concrete way. Heavenly Father, you have charged every man with task of guarding the dignity of every woman. This is the high calling of every man, Lord. Through spousal love, men live out a strength that endures, a strength for which the world longs, and a strength that will stabilize a crumbling society. This is a very high calling indeed! Inspire men to rise up to this clarion call!

In his letter to the Church at Ephesus, your great servant Paul describes the beauty and dignity of the marital union, symbolic of Christ’s love for His bride, the Church:

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her…that she might be holy and without blemish. Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, and I mean in reference to Christ and the church… (Ephesians 5:25-32)

Lord, marriage in you is not merely a human endeavor. It is a higher calling; it is a great mystery…in a way, a longing for divine and eternal love.

Since marriage is an earthly image of your love for the Church, this is the epicenter of the battle between good and evil. Satan is out to destroy this image of love. Lord, we need men to be chaste and holy. When men act in this way, they radiate your light to our society so darkened by sin.

Oh Lord, our culture has abandoned unity, chastity and permanence in marriage and reduced sexuality to an endless string of hookups, devoid of commitments or emotional attachments. We have separated sexuality from the commitments of marriage and family. We have turned women into objects for our own selfish sexual pleasure. This has opened us up to the scourge of abortion, pornography, and sexual abuse. Instead of real and authentic love, this false “liberty” offers cheap pleasure that masks a deeper loneliness and pain. Instead of the security of a traditional family, it leaves children longing for the stability of the love of a mother and a father. Indeed, the “love” promised by sexual freedom has never been found. In its wake is carnage: countless broken hearts bound by fear, broken lives, broken homes, broken dreams and the broken belief that love is even possible. This is the rotten fruit of straying from your plan for human sexuality, Lord. Have mercy on us for failing to live our lives according to your will!

Lord, fatherhood is no longer honored, respected, or encouraged. We are so in need of good fatherly role models, Lord! Raise up men to answer the call. Inspire and empower men to step up and lovingly, patiently take up their God-given role as protector, provider, and spiritual leader of their homes. Equip men to go forward in the battle for families. Christ guide them to defeat the enemy. AMEN!