Blessed are you, God… a prayer for childrenCommon Good
A prayer by Jacqui Couper at Central Methodist Mission, Cape Town, on 26 September 2021
James 3:13-4:3,7-8-8a & Mark 9:30-37
Blessed are you God who longs for each one of us to enter your embrace,
who waits for all of us to hear Your longing for each one of us,
who reaches out to little children who don’t yet recognize this call.
Blessed are you God who searches the hearts and longings of each small child, and You know and see the
Hungry children with a hunger that eats up its own stomach
Disabled children with vulnerable bodies that are dependent on others for care
Abandoned babies with feeble cries that call for attention
Abused children with hearts that sob with the pain caused by others
Resilient children with a drive for survival and to be noticed.
All the while, we as adults are fighting about who is better and best
Who can lead?
Who is smarter and has the most?
Fighting like small children in big bodies about matters that exclude others and most of all the most vulnerable. Like children fighting for their toy, it’s mine, it’s mine. Give it to me, give it back. It is mine.
Forgive us for being blinded to what is not mine but ours.
Forgive us, God, for behaving like spoilt children, who gather up all the toys for ourselves and don’t want to share.
Forgive us that some of our children go to bed hungry, while we are proud of our full bellies.
Forgive us for excluding and keeping away the disabled children from our hearts as we are so scared to see and touch those who live in fragile bodies.
We know that you also see our hearts, and forgive, thank you.
Thank you does not seem enough but thank you for your grace and love that extends to each of us.
We ask for your grace,
To be our guide to welcome the children who make us feel uncomfortable.
To hold our hands and touch the children who are different.
To gently open our eyes to see the pain of those who have been abused and neglected.
To unblock our ears to hear the stories of little children.
For we know that children carry their pain into adult life and so the patterns of suffering return to us all.
Blessed are you who hold your childhood stories of loss and pain, may you know the gentle touch of God who welcomes you into love. May you return to your heart and know that you were always and deeply loved, from before you were knitted together in your mother’s womb until the sun sets on your life. God always stands at your heart door with a home coming welcome.