The following prayer was prayed after the Sanctuary Choir at Second Presbyterian Church sang a stirring arrangement of Kurt Bestor's Prayer for the Children.
"Can you hear the prayer of the children on bended knee, in the shadow of an unknown room? Empty eyes with no more tears to cry turning heavenward toward the light.
Crying Jesus, “Help me to see the morning light of one more day, but if I should die before I wake, I pray my soul to take.”
Can you feel the hearts of the children aching for home, for something of their very own. Reaching hands with nothing to hold onto but hope for a better day, a better day.
Crying Jesus, “Help me to feel the love again in my own land, but if unknown roads lead away from home, give me loving arms, away from harm.”
Can you hear the voice of the children softly pleading for silence in their shattered world? Angry guns preach a gospel full of hate, blood of the innocent on their hands.
Crying Jesus, “Help me to feel the sun again upon my face? For when darkness clears, I know you’re near, bringing peace again.”
Can you hear the prayer of the children?"
Almighty God, Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer of Life, we thank you for your promise to walk with us through life's most treachery paths and perilous days. That is the promise to which we cling in the dimmest of times. That is the source of our hope in the face of despair. We thank you, O God, that you hear the voices of the children crying.
O Lord, we join our voices with those of your children who on bended knee humbly pray for food, for shelter, and for the unknown challenges of another day. May your church be an agent of your peace to those who are hungry, homeless, and hopeless who often have no more tears to cry.
God of grace, we pray for the voiceless, the oppressed, and the outspcasts in our world and in our midst. Give us the strength to speak out into the deafening silence of a world that often will not listen to their cries for justice, mercy, and equality. Grant us the vision and courage to act on their behalf.
Lord of the Universe and Ruler of All Nations, we ask that you grant wisdom to those who lead. May they look upon the world with a deepening desire for peace, the willingness to work together to achieve it, and the desire to look to you to repair this shattered world.
God of Mercy, bring comfort to those who mourn. Sine your light where there is darkness. Break the power of discord with your shalom. Make us agents of your peace and forgiveness in all we say and do. May our lives be an example as we walk with each other in your perfect harmony.
We pray all of this in the name of Jesus, the Christ, the Prince of Peace, who taught us to pray as he once taught his disciples to pray, saying...