Recently, I came across this prayer by General Douglas MacArthur. I’m a bit of a history buff, and cherish the values and heroic character of men like MacArthur. For those of you who don’t know, General MacArthur was forced to abandon the Philippines to the Japanese early in World War II only to return and lead the United States in victory in the Pacific theater of World War II. His prayer below has inspired me, and I would like to share it with you.
Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid; one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory. Build me a son whose wishes will not take the place of deeds; a son who will know Thee and that to know himself is the foundation stone of knowledge. Lead him, I pray, not in the path of ease and comfort, but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenge. Here let him learn to stand up in the storm; here let him learn compassion for those who fail. Build me a son whose heart will be clear, whose goal will be high; a son who will master himself before he seeks to master other men; one who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past. And after all these things are his, add, I pray, enough of a sense of humor, so that he may always be serious, yet never take himself too seriously. Give him humility, so that he may always remember the simplicity of true greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, and the meekness of true strength. Then, I, his father, will dare to whisper, “I have not lived in vain.”
Bennett, William J. (2011-10-04). The Book of Man: Readings on the Path to Manhood (p. 414). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.