I’ve received a number of requests for a copy of the “Prayer for Children” that I read this morning in my sermon. You will find the text below.
A PRAYER FOR CHILDREN
We pray for children who sneak popsicles before supper, who erase holes in math workbooks, who can never find their shoes. We pray for children who stare at photographers from barbed wire, who can’t bound down the street in a new pair of shoes, who have been born in places we wouldn’t be caught dead in, who never go to the circus, who live in an X-rated world.
We pray for children who bring us sticky kisses and fists full of dandelions, who hug us in a hurry and forget their lunch money. We pray for children who never get dessert, who have no safe blanket to drag behind them, who watch their parents watch them die, who can’t find any bread to steal, who don’t have a room to clean up, whose pictures aren’t on anyone’s dresser, whose monsters are real.
We pray for children who spend all their allowances before Tuesday, who throw temper tantrums in the grocery and pick at their food, who shove dirty clothes under their bed, who get visits from the tooth fairy, who don’t like to get kissed in front of school, who squirm and fuss in church, whose tears we sometimes laugh at and smiles can make us cry. And we pray for children whose nightmares come in the daytime, who will eat anything, who have never seen a dentist, who are not spoiled by anybody, who go to bed hungry and cry themselves to sleep, who live and move and have no being.
We pray for children who want to be carried, and for those who have to be. For those we never give up on and for those who never get a second chance. For those we smother, and for those who will grab the hand of anyone kind enough to offer it.