Lord God, forgive our sins against You, our sins against one another, our sins against our children and youth. Lord we have not walked in the path of our ancestors passing to the next generation that which is good and lasting, but we have been a sinful people, neglectful, busy, self-determined, and self-absorbed! We have left our youth uncovered, left them to find their own way to You and in this dark world. Left them to false teachings and wolves dressed in sheep clothing. Left them for the pursuit of dollars and material possessions. Left them for soulish ties and worldly loves. Left them uncovered by the waters of Holy Baptism and clothed them instead in designer names and given them electronic babysitters. Lord God is it no wonder we now reap the whirlwind of what we have neglected to tend and to sow?
Forgive us O Lord and heal our land! Heal our children! Heal our youth! Heal our hearts! Heal our homes and families! Heal our communities and our world! Heal our churches and temples! Do not be angry with us forever but restore us and transform us into people who walk in Your ways and please You with our lives and the way we raise our children!
Do not meet out wrath upon us for our failure and preoccupations but pour out Your grace and restore us! Grant us a spirit of love for our youth like never before. In Your power may we rearrange our calendars and put the names of children all over this land who are in need of attention, love, guidance, covering and prayer. Take the weapons from their hands and substances from their mouths, and disobedience from their hearts and make them Yours and ours again. And now,
- Rest Your hand upon the child involved in crime and acts of violence
- Release that child who is being influenced by forces of evil and their own peers who have gone astray and bind them to Your way of fruitfulness and purposeful living
- Lift up that child who is afflicted and suffering at the hand of the demented and perverse
- Light the path of that child who is in the darkness and has no help to come out and deliver him or her from their torment
- Teach that youth who is confused and left to follow his or her own course
- And now, heal our households and bring children and parents together. Where there has division and rebellion set Your Spirit of peace, obedience and agreement
Lord, we can do nothing under our own power, but with You all things are possible—even turning the disobedient and stubborn from their ways to Yours which are pure and holy. May the waters of Holy Baptism flow in this land like never before and the child that has been turned away and left to their own resources now be loved and trained in the way they should go so even when they are old they will not depart from it! In Jesus’ name. Amen
image from: http://www.clcmanchester.org