My Prayer for Children - God in your mercy hear our prayers
As I go to bed each night I pray for children. I pray for children who go to bed hungry And I pray for children who go to bed with stomachaches because they ate too much. I pray for children who make all A’s And I pray for children who are unable to go to school. I pray for children who greet me each day with a hug And I pray for children who scream screw you (or much worse) and make obscene gestures as they walk out the door. I pray for children who sit so quietly in class that they are barely noticed And I pray for the kid who gets all the ribbons and certificates so that when the one time they don’t, they wonder if they are now a failure. I pray for children being raised by loving parents And those who are raised by single parents And those being raised by grandparents Or aunts and uncles And for those who have step-parents and step-siblings. I pray for children who don’t know their older sibling is actually their parent And for those who are raised by foster families or who live in group homes. I pray for those who live in shelters or whose families couch-hop. I pray for kids who beg on the street And I pray for those kids who get adopted and also for those who don’t. I pray for children. I pray for children who can’t stop wiggling and whose teacher knows their name within the first 15 minutes of the school year. I pray for children who excel on the athletic fields And I pray for children who are always picked last at kickball.
I pray for children who can’t sit in their seat on the bus because their medication has worn off. And I pray for children who arrive at school before sunrise and leave afterschool daycare in the dark because their parents are working two and three jobs,
I pray for children who hate baths and for those who rarely know of clean water.
I pray for children who are over-medicated And for those who suffer for lack of a simple antibiotic. I pray for kids who are being raised by addicts and who have to put their parent to bed. I pray for children whose shoes are two sizes too small And I pray for children who have so many shoes that picking which ones to wear stresses them out. I pray for children who stuff leftovers from the cafeteria table in their coat pockets so they can take food home to younger siblings And I pray for children whose parents shame them because they are overweight. I pray for children. I pray for children who conform to the identities that society expects And I pray for those who are ostracized because they are a boy playing with a doll or a girl who wants to join the football team. I pray for those children who are lonely And I pray for those children who are so popular they never get a moment alone. I pray for children whose lives are so scheduled they never have the opportunity for imagination and play and wonder And I pray for children who are left to their own devices, to whom bedtimes are foreign, and who no one even notices when they come or go.
I pray for kids who fear the night and, in their fear, pray for school to start so they can feel safe. I pray for kids who do not know life without braces and crutches and glasses and hearing aids and wheelchairs And those who will never see or hear or talk. I pray for kids whose bodies betray them with disease And for kids who have been poked and prodded and feel some days like a human pin cushion. I pray for children trapped in the bodies that they don’t understand And for children whose mental illness causes so much pain they can only escape with alcohol or drugs or self-harm. I pray for children who find release in cutting themselves And for those who have found healthy release in music and art and dance and song and sports. I pray for the band kids and drama kids and chorus kids And I pray for them when they are called geeks and queers. I pray for those children who in their need for self-acceptance find it in calling others names. I pray for those who are offered opportunities to find their own faith in God And I pray for those whose religion has indoctrinated them to hate others and even hate themselves. And I pray for children who have been victimized by adults, who often declare to those innocent ears that God wants them to do their terrible deeds. I pray for children who have been scarred and abused and whose scars will never leave. I pray for children who are called losers And I pray for children never allowed to lose.
O I pray for the children
I pray for children who read well and do math well and to whom everything seems to come so easily And I pray for children who struggle in school, to whom letters always seem a blur and who forget whether you should add or subtractor multiply or divide. I pray for children whose parents use them as weapons in their unholy civil wars And I pray for children raised by nannies and au pairs. I pray for children who have dreams that they will never even have an opportunity to make real and I pray for children who are made to live their parents’ dreams and not their own. I pray for children. I pray for children who love freely, and I pray for children who have been taught to hate everyone I pray for children for they are God’s greatest gift - even if the world too often treats them as pawns. I pray for children who Christ declared should not be kept from Him. For God so loved the world God came in human form as a child first.
For God so loved the world he declared that unless we become like a child, we will never enter the kingdom. And if as I lay me down to sleep, I pray for myself - May I pray that I have the faith of a child. A faith that sees five loaves and two fishes and knows 5000 can be fed.
A faith that sees hope even in the darkness. O God may I learn to love as Jesus loved the children and as the children loved Him.
And may it begin with my prayers.
Oh God I pray for all your children of all ages.
For in each of them we find a part of you the One who creates them –
all by your hands
and your word
and your very spirit
which breathes life into us all.
February 8, 2022