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Care for Children, part two: A Prayer

July 1, 2019

God of All Children Everywhere,
Our hearts are bruised when we see children suffering alone.
Our hearts are torn when we are unable to help.
Our hearts are broken when we have some complicity in the matter.

For all the times we were too busy and shooed a curious child away,
forgive us, oh God.
For all the times we failed to get down on their level and look eye to eye with a child, forgive us, oh God.
For all the times we did not share when we saw a hungry child somewhere in the world, forgive us, oh God.
For all the times we thought about calling elected officials to demand change, but did not, forgive us, oh God.
For all the times we thought that caring for the children of this world was someone else’s responsibility, forgive us, oh God.

With Your grace, heal our hearts.
With Your grace, unite us in action.
With Your grace, repair our government.
With Your grace, help us to find a way to welcome all children everywhere,
That they may know that Jesus loves them,
Not just because “the Bible tells them so,”
But because they have known Your love in real and tangible ways,
And they know that nothing, absolutely nothing, can separate them from Your love. Amen.*

— That’s part of a page we used in worship yesterday. (*https://nccumc.org/outreach/2019/06/a-sunday-of-solidarity-for-suffering-children-sunday-june-30/)

Before we did, I warned everyone that some might take offense at the line,”With your grace, repair our government,” and offered two things for consideration:

1.) Scripture does not specify parties or preferences when we’re directed to “pray for all those in authority.” (1st Timothy 2:2) As I understand it, all means all. So feel to join the rest of us as we “pray for all those in authority.”

2.) At the ordination of clergy, one of the traditional questions asked of us is if we are going on to perfection. I have zero problem asking for God’s grace to repair me, or the Church, or any other group. As we sing in America the Beautiful, “God mend thine every flaw/Confirm thy soul, in self-control/Thy liberty in law.”

— Let’s pick up here tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I’m printing out this prayer and putting it where I’ll see it regularly; its confessional elements in the second paragraph alone are, sadly, worth revisiting.

Lots to pray about.

Join the rest of us.

 

 

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