When words get stuck in your head, they can grow into a prayer or even a sporadically written blog. It is kind of a dreary day around here, so I thought I would try to share something encouraging. For two years, verses from a baptism service have followed me as I work and pray:Bless our children, Lord, bless each one, Every daughter Lord, every son, Keep them safe O Lord, in Thy care, O Lord, hear our prayer. Make them wise O Lord, make them strong; Free from harm, O Lord, free from wrong, Free to love, O Lord, free to care, O Lord, hear our prayer
The first line inspired me to name this blog Bless Each One (I admit I was surprised when it wasn’t already taken). The only time I have heard them sung, to the tune of Kumbaya, was during a baptism shortly after I was hired. I have not found their original source even though I’ve searched our hymnals, googled the words and asked colleagues.
Although I don’t know where they came from, they often provide the inner background track to my prayer time. I pray for our children and youth often, usually reading through the church attendance list. I mostly pray silently, and it goes something like this:
Holy God, I pray for all the children in our church, in our community and each and every one around the world. Whether I know them or not, this generation includes future leaders, teachers, caretakers, spouses and friends for my children and their peers. [Bless our children, Lord, bless each one…] May our church be place where ALL children are accepted and loved for who they are, reflecting our commitment to welcome without exception. [every daughter, Lord, every son, regardless of gender] Shelter them from abuse, injury and hunger so that they may grow, unharmed, into the adults they are meant to be. [Keep them safe, O Lord, in Thy care…]
Lord, may your presence be known as they navigate tests, friendships, relationships, technology, difficult choices and busy schedules. [Make them wise, O Lord…] In times of war, in times of peace, when they are in crisis, depressed, struggling, addicted, bullied, abused and hurt; may they know Your unconditional love [make them strong…]. Let Your love grow inside them so that they develop compassion and a desire to serve and care for others [Free to love, O Lord, free to care…]. Amen.
It may not be poetry, but this is my prayer. Will you please share yours?