April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. During this time, let us pray for God’s wisdom and guidance in order to open ourselves to these realities and respond with love and action.
Leader: Loving God,
R: Open my eyes
To see the girl who won’t take off her coat because she is ashamed of the clothes underneath.
To see the bruises left by a human hand.
To see the wounds on a child’s heart that will not easily heal.
L: Open my arms
When a teen needs comfort after a friend’s betrayal.
When a young parent just can’t stand a baby’s cries another minute.
When a boy needs someone to play ball with.
R: Open my mind
When I’d rather deny that violence in our families exists.
When I don’t know how to help.
When a child asks, “Why does Mommy drink so much?”
L: Open my mouth
To scream, “STOP!” when stopping is needed.
To say, “I care.” when caring is needed.
To seek help when help is needed.
R: Open my ears
To hear the cries of babies who need love and care.
To hear the stories of children tell about the monsters that visit at night.
To listen to the frustrated parent.
L: Open my heart
To care. To notice. To not forget.
All: Help me to be the eyes, arms, mind, mouth, ears, and heart of Jesus. Grant me the courage to see, touch, think, say, hear, and care.
Leader: “Let the children come,” Jesus said. Will you be ready when they do?
Adapted from Harder (2010, April 8). Let the children come. Weekly prayers for peace. Mennonite Church USA, Peace and Justice Support Network. For a bulletin insert layout, go to Dove’s Nest.