Sponsored by the Children's Defense Fund, the National Observance of Children's Sabbaths Celebration is a way for faith communities to celebrate children as sacred gifts of the Divine, and provides the opportunity for houses of worship to renew and live out their moral responsibility to care, protect and advocate for all children. Learn more here.

A Prayer for Children's Sabbath: "By Faith"

O God, by faith, like Abraham, let us obey Your call to leave our comfortable homes and set out for strange places although we do not know for certain where we are going. Embolden us to venture to our legislators’ offices, struggling schools, and communities burdened by poverty to seek justice and strengthen children.

By faith, like Noah, let us heed Your signs and warnings and build sturdy arks to rescue our chil- dren from current and coming floods. Mobilize us now to respond to the rising tide of poverty in which too many children are drowning and the achievement gap tsunami that swallows up millions of poor and minority children.

By faith, like Isaac and Jacob, let us seek Your blessings on our children’s futures. Open our eyes now to see how we can assure all children the gift of a good education so they can realize their promise.

By faith, like Moses, let us leave Pharaoh’s house and head across the wilderness to lead our oppressed children to freedom. Help us to improve early childhood experiences and education so that every child’s potential is unlocked.

By faith, like Joseph, let us turn evil into good and welcome our erring brothers and kin with a spirit of reconciliation and love. Help us to cherish each child and never give up on a single one.

By faith, like the child David, let us go out without fear to face the Goliaths of our day with slingshots of righteousness and justice confident of Your divine guidance and protection. Amen.

(Adapted from Guide My Feet: Prayers and Meditations on Loving and Working for Children by Marian Wright Edelman)

A Litany for Children's Sabbath

With all our heart and with all our mind, let us pray to the Lord, saying,
“Lord, bless us that we may be a blessing.”

For the body of Christ, that we treat every child as made in your image; that we welcome every child as you welcomed the children, and that we bring good news to the poor that you announced, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, bless us that we may be a blessing.

For our nation and our leaders, grant wisdom and courage to change what is unjust and recognize that until all the children are well, none of us is well, we pray to the Lord.
Lord, bless us that we may be a blessing.

In a world where children hunger and starve, where they sicken and die, where they face bullets and bombs, where they know the exile of prison and refugee camp, help us protect and defend them, we pray to the Lord.
Lord, bless us that we may be a blessing.

For ourselves and our community, that we let our eyes weep over injustice, our hearts burn with determination, our voices speak out to demand change, and our hands move to make a difference, we pray to the Lord.
Lord, bless us that we may be a blessing.

On this Children’s Sabbath day, for our nation’s more than 16.4 million children in poverty, that we use all that we have and all that we are to raise up the next generation, we pray to the Lord.
Lord, bless us that we may be a blessing.

For all who have died, especially those who died too soon and too young, those whose lives were cut short by poverty, we pray to the Lord.
Lord, bless us that we may be a blessing.

Leader and People:
God of all mercy,
We confess that we have failed to live our lives as ones made in your image,
We have not loved each other as sisters and brothers,

We have not welcomed all children and so welcomed you,
We have left stumbling blocks in the way of too many children.
Forgive us our sins,
As a woman searching for a cherished coin,
As a father welcoming a beloved child home,
And uphold us by your Spirit
That we may do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with you,
Through our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

(Offered by from the Children's Defense Fund, which organizes Children's Sabbath)

 

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