Prayers of the people

A church member recently reminded me that November is National Adoption Awareness month. I know many lives at Rainbow have been touched in some way by adoption, foster care, and child advocacy work. I therefore invited a variety of people to reflect on these realities by writing prayers.

I will begin by sharing a prayer that I carried with me every day when I worked as a hospital chaplain in a neonatal special care nursery and labor and delivery unit. It’s not about adoption specifically, but I shared and prayed these words often with families and individuals as they navigated loss, faced difficult choices, and made seemingly impossible decisions in caring for little ones.

When I speak to you of my sorrow, it moves somehow
From its crouching place within.
Still I just don’t feel complete;
Life rarely seems to meet my dreams.
God of my hope, God of every birth,
Nurture in me, right spirit.

What followers are prayers written by Rainbow community members:

imagesGod, we pray for the many children in foster care in our country and around the world. We pray that they have a safe, loving and nurturing environment to grow up in. May we be a positive presence in the lives of these children as they experience difficult transitions and uncertainty.

We also pray for their birth parents and families that they can experience growth and supportive care as they try to become better parents and heal from their own wounds. We pray for the social workers, foster parents, judges, lawyers, child advocates, foster agencies and all those who support children and families in times of crisis –may they have clarity of mind and spirit as they do their best to provide safe and stable environments for these children and families.

A Prayer for Child Advocates

For those engaged in walking with children
Who look into eyes that reflect back the chaos in their lives
Who stay awake at night wondering about their safety
Please Mother God bring us light
As our relationship grows with children in need and we hear their stories
Teach us to also see the humanity in the adults connected to their lives
Show us how to build bridges of nurture and understanding to the whole family
Please Mother God show give us hope
Teach us to notice children along our path in the ways they need most
Show us when to fight for a better way, a better life
Call us to patience and perseverance when loving feels too hard
Please Mother God bring us light
Sometimes barriers and differences keep us from feeling like we can connect
Remind us human contact, exchanged smiles and shared tears
Are more than enough
Please Mother God give us hope
Help us to be attentive to the gift we have through the children in our lives
Help us to use our energy wisely and to see our work as our prayer
Give us friends to walk with us and listen to our stories
When the love we have for children who are not our flesh and blood
Threaten to break our hearts
Please Mother God bring us light

We pray for the expectant parents, birth parents, and adopted persons, who know that grief can be a lifelong journey. We pray that they may find comfort in Christ and the support of loving family members and friends.

We pray for foster families, that you give them compassion in hard moments, patience with the system, and peace when the children leave. May they demonstrate love to children who have come from families that are unable to love them as they deserve to beloved.

Bless and comfort all those birth parents who make the very difficult but selfless decision to place their child for adoption. Bless those individuals who unconditionally love and care for their adopted children.

Bless those individuals who open their hearts and homes to be foster parents. Bless the social workers, CASA workers, guardian ad litems and judges who strive to insure a safe and nurturing environment for all children.

A prayer for the children, who don’t ask to be part of a reality that gives them a label some spend a lifetime understanding. A prayer for the adults who walk with them, offering unconditional acceptance. Bless the ones who let them go, both as babies and young adults, that they acknowledge they have given of themselves in the best way they know.

A prayer for peace and serenity for birth parents who have made the loving and difficult decision to place their child for adoption, a prayer for the couple who is hoping to become parents through adoption and a prayer for the child who has the love and support from two families, one that gave her life and the other who will provide a future full of love, hope and guidance.

Help the children who feel unloved, who are abused and neglected, who feel like a burden. Help them to know that they ARE worthy. Help us to seek them out and walk alongside them; using our voice on behalf of them. They so often feel like they have no voice. “And He will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’’ Matthew 25:45

It doesn’t matter if you are adopted or not or where you are from.

It only matters that we love each other like a family.

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