We thank you for children
who squeeze toothpaste all over the sink
who can never find their shoes
who hug us in a hurry and forget their lunch money,
who throw tantrums in the grocery store and pick at their food,
Thank you for allowing us the privilege of having these children in our lives.

We pray for children here today
who spend all their pocket money before Tuesday
who shove dirty clothes under the bed,
who get visits from the tooth fairy,
who don’t like to be kissed in front of the school
whose tears we sometimes laugh at
and whose smiles can make us cry.
May they know that our love for them is real and not dependent on how they perform

And today we pray, for young people in our world
who can’t run down the street in a new pair of trainers,
who will eat anything yet never get dessert,
who don’t have any rooms to clean up,
whose pictures aren’t on anybody’s dresser,
whose monsters are real.
Bring hope where there is none and calm in their despair

We pray for children whose nightmares come in the daytime,
who stare at photographers from behind barbed wire,
who are born in places we wouldn’t be caught dead,
who never get to go to the cinema
who live in an X-rated world.
Bring comfort where there is sadness and peace in their hearts

We pray for those 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 every girl to be carried
Every boy to have a second chance
Every child to be loved
And for each young person to be able to grab the hand of someone kind enough to offer it

For those we never give up on
For those we smother
For those who sometimes frustrate us
For those we love
And for those we don’t even know

We pray for children. Amen

(Prayer used at Youth Vision Sunday at Carnmoney Church on Sunday 20th May. Adapted from the famous poem by Ina Hughes: ‘A prayer for children’)

Also, have a look at this. Something we shared with our adults using the voices of our own children and young people.