Reading Time: 3 minutes

Praying for Ryan

Dr. Jim Denison is a cultural apologist who helps people respond biblically and redemptively to the vital issues of our day. He is also the co-founder and Chief Vision Officer of the Denison Forum, a Dallas-based nonprofit that comments on current issues through a biblical lens.

facebook twitter instagram

Ryan and Candice at their wedding shower (Credit: The Denison Family)

We received Ryan’s lab results this week.  As many of you know, our oldest son had cancer surgery last Thursday to remove a small tumor from his neck.  Pathology indicates that the cancer has spread slightly into the area around the tumor.  The good news is that this type of cancer is very responsive to radiation.  Next week Ryan will begin six weeks of radiation therapy in Houston.  We are very optimistic that he will make a full recovery.

Our family is deeply grateful for your intercession and support.  Now we ask you to continue praying for our son, that radiation would remove the cancer completely and that it would not recur.  We are asking God to give Ryan strength and perseverance.  And we are asking him to teach us all we are meant to learn from these hard days, as our Father redeems what he has allowed in our lives.

Here’s one example: Yesterday I received a remarkable email.  A very dear friend who has known Ryan since his birth sent me a prayer for fathers that he found online.  It was written by Thom Rainer, president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources.  Dr. Rainer had been impressed by a prayer written by General Douglas MacArthur, throughout which he repeated the phrase, “give me a son.”  Dr. Rainer realized that he needed to become a godly father before he could ask for godly sons.  So he rewrote General MacArthur’s prayer, substituting “make me the father” for “give me a son.”  Here is the result:

Make me the father, O Lord, who will show my sons the strength to face weakness; the courage to face fear; the grace to accept honest defeat; and the humility and gentleness to accept victory.

Make me the father who will show his sons not a path of ease and comfort, but the ability to accept the challenges of stress and difficulty.  Use me, I pray, to be the example of one who can stand up in the storm, and there learn compassion for those who fail.

Make me the father who will teach his sons the value of a clear heart and a high goal; to look in the mirror of their own faults before they find fault in others; to learn to laugh, yet never forget how to cry; to reach into the future without ever forgetting the past.

Make me the father, O Lord, who will show my sons enough of a sense of humor, so that they will always be serious, but never take themselves too seriously.  Give them humility, so they will always remember the simplicity of true greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, the meekness of true strength.

And after all these things are theirs, add for me, I pray, the wisdom to show them the dubious values of titles, positions, money, and material gain; and the eternal value of prayer, the Holy Bible, a Christian home, and a saving relationship with Your Son Jesus Christ.

Then I, their father, will dare to whisper, “I have not lived in vain.”

So will I.