General Douglas MacArthur’s Prayer
A Father’s Prayer
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 that 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.”
By General Douglas MacArthur
(This reflection was written by General MacArthur, during his early days in the Phillipines during the Pacific War, and was left as a spiritual legacy to his son Arthur. Made public after the general’s death in 1964.)
Douglas MacArthur was an American five-star general and Field Marshal of the Philippine Army. He was Chief of Staff of the United States Army during the 1930s and played a prominent role in the Pacific theater during World War II.