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Litany of the Child

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CB106410 little boy learning to walk little_boy_with_doll_cropped Little Girl Blowing Dandelion Seeds

Loving God,

You have created us for life together

and placed in our midst the young who are symbols of both hope and vulnerability.

Hear our prayers for all Your children:

to sustain their hope and joy and youth,

to comfort and console their vulnerability.


Hear us as we pray.


We pray for children

who put chocolate fingers everywhere,

who like to be tickled,

who stomp in puddle and ruin their new pants,

who sneak popsicles before supper,

who erase holes in math workbooks,

who can never find their shoes.


And we pray for those

who stare at photographers from behind barbed wire,

who can’t bound the street in a new pair of sneakers,

who never “counted potatoes”,

who are born in places we wouldn’t be caught dead,

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 sleep with the dog and bury goldfish,

who hug us in a hurry and forget their lunch money,

who cover themselves with band-aids and sing off key,

who squeeze toothpaste all over the sink,

who slurp their soup.


And we pray for those

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 any rooms to clean up,

whose pictures aren’t on anybody’s fridge,

whose monsters are real.


We pray for children

who spend all their allowance before Tuesday,

who throw tantrums in the grocery store and pick at their food,

who like ghost stories,

who shove dirty clothes under the bed and never rinse out the tub,

who get visits from the tooth fairy,

who don’t like to be kissed in front of the carpool,

who squirm in church and scream in the phone,

whose tears we sometimes laugh at and whose smiles make us cry.


And we pray for those

whose nightmares come in the daytime,

who will eat anything,

who have never seen a dentist,

who aren’t spoiled by anybody,

who go to bed hungry and cry themselves to sleep,

who live and move but have no being.


We pray for children

who want to be carried and for those who must,

for those we never give up on,

and for those who don’t get a second chance.



For those we smother and

for those who will grab the hand of anybody kind enough to offer it.

We pray for our children,

for your children,

for all children,

for childhood’s dreams and nightmares.

In each child let us behold anew your promises of the creation.

Sustain these little and not so little ones.

By Your grace may they live the lives

for which they were created.


We pray in Jesus’ name,

who taught us to pray,


Our Father

Who art in Heaven

Hallowed be Your name.

Your kingdom come

Your will be done

On Earth as it is in Heaven

Forgive us our debts

As we forgive our debtors

And lead us not into temptation

But deliver us from evil

For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are Yours

Forever and ever, Amen.