The days of families arriving on the church campus at 9:00 and staying until noon are over. Here are some suggestions on how to make the most of the “Hour + Fifteen” that families devote to the church on Sunday mornings, as well as ways to affirm and support them outside of that time, including helpful tips for parents and grandparents in passing on the faith.
Prayer for Children
By Ina Hughes
We pray for children who like to be tickled,
who put their sticky fingers everywhere,
who like to walk in puddles,
who can never find their shoes.
And we pray for children who stare at
photographers from behind barbed wire,
who have never had a new pair of sneakers to run down the street in,
who live in places where 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 fistfuls of dandelions,
who like to sleep with a dog,
who insist on burying goldfish,
who hug us in a hurry and forget their lunch money,
who sing off key,
who squeeze toothpaste all over the sink.
And we pray for those who never get dessert,
who have watched their parents 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 dresser,
whose monsters are real.
We pray for children who hide their
dirty clothes under the bed,
throw tantrums in the grocery store,
who pick at their food,
who like ghost stories,
who love visits from the tooth fairy,
who don’t like to be kissed in front of the school bus.
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,
who cry themselves to sleep,
who live and move and have no being.
We pray for children who want to be carried,
We pray for children who must be carried,
We pray for children who will grab the hand of anyone
kind enough to offer it.