Faith Forward 2017 Closing Prayer

p28a1668.jpgI’ve received a few requests to share the prayer that I offered at the closing session of Faith Forward 2017. It was originally a prayer by Ina Hughes that I adapted for the Faith Forward community.


We pray for young people
Who put chocolate-covered fingers everywhere,
Who like to be snuggled,
Who stomp in puddles and ruin their new pants,
Who ask for $20 before they leave with their friends,
Who erase holes in science workbooks,
Who never put away their shoes.

And we pray for those
Who stare at photographers from behind barbed wire,
Who can’t bound down the street in new sneakers,
Whose only home has been a refugee camp
Who aren’t anybody’s Facebook friend,
Who are born in places we wouldn’t be caught dead in,
Who never get to go to a concert,
Who live in an X-rated world.

We pray for young people
Who bring us sticky kisses and fistfuls of weeds,
Who sleep with the dog and bury goldfish,
Who hug us in a hurry and forget their lunch money,
Who leave make-up all over the sink,
Who slurp their soup.

And we pray for those
Who never get dessert,
Who never had a safe blanket to drag behind them,
Who face injustice because of the colour of their skin,
Who don’t have any rooms or lockers to clean up,
Whose pictures aren’t on anybody’s phones,
Whose monsters are real.

We pray for young people
Who spend all their paychecks before Tuesday,
Who throw tantrums in the grocery store and pick at their food,
Who like ghost stories,
Who stay out past curfew while their parents stay up and worry,
Who get visits from the tooth fairy,
Who think they’re far too old to be hugged good-bye,
Who squirm in church and scream on the phone,
Whose tears we sometimes laugh at and whose smiles can make us cry.

And we pray for those
Whose nightmares come in the daytime,
Who will eat anything,
Who suffer because of how they embody their faith,
Who have never been spoiled by anyone,
Who don’t have anyone they feel safe enough to come out to,
Who go to bed hungry and cry themselves to sleep,
Who live and move, but have no being.

We pray for young people
Who want to be carried
And for those who must,
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 anybody kind enough to offer it.

God, we pray for young people as we leave this place,
grateful for what you have done in and through this time together.
As our minds begin to shift back to the families and
communities and and tasks we have left at home,
may you call our attention to you and the work that you have put before us.

Our is a world in crisis, a world crying out for help and healing.
But you, O God, you have not abandoned us.
You, the one who entered our world as a child, are still here,
bringing hope and joy and resurrection.
May we go from this place and become sites of your hope and healing,
especially in the lives of young people.
May we join you in restoring the world.
May we kick at the darkness until it bleeds daylight.

Amen

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