On this silent and holy night, we pray for those parents who will watch their children take their first deep breaths and enter a world of light. We pray also for those who will watch their children cling to final exhales in the dark. We pray for children who have parents that fight to make a place for them, even if it means a humble manger in a stable. We also pray for discarded children who have parents that choose lovers, chemicals and adventure over their own offspring. We pray for children snuggled in beds while their parents hide presents under decorated trees. We also pray for those children who live in fear of the angry footsteps of wounded, abusive parents.
Lord, grant that someone, somewhere will give them room in the inn tonight.
We pray for loved ones who warm themselves in the glow of family and friends tonight. We also pray for strangers who loiter in the cold of loneliness and those who are bloodied by broken homes and shattered relationships. We pray for those loved one who could not make it home tonight, but are held in our love. We also pray for those whose distance from their families cannot be measured in miles. We pray for those cherished friends whose images adorn our mantles and refrigerators. We also pray for those whose pictures have never been in anyone’s wallets.
Lord, grant that someone, somewhere will give them a seat at a table tonight.
We pray for our teenagers, who bring idealistic joy to world. Let them hear good tidings of great joy sung above the hushed sounds of angel wings. We also pray for those runaways whose demons sleep under bridges and in cars with them tonight. We pray for our teens that wear peace signs and hippie buttons and just want someone to take notice. We also pray for those whose innocence crept away choking and spitting on the red haze of war or the dark realities of an X-rated world. We pray for teens that will play new video games and dribble new basketballs on the morrow. We also pray for those who will have to carry AK-47s in order to live one more day.
Lord, grant that someone, somewhere will do more than just speak worn out words about how you are the Prince of Peace tonight.
We pray for shepherds and other blue-collar workers keeping watch by night in fields and factories. We also pray for those who will go to bed hungry for jobs and opportunities to earn some daily bread. We pray for those who dress up like Santa in order to spread joy and we also pray those who have to wear dirty clothes for days on end. We pray for those who are ignorant of the many hidden privileges that have surrounded them in security. We also pray for those who live, move and have their being in a world that has never given them a second chance. We pray for those who fall asleep on soft pillows of contentment and for those who will wake to a nightmare of noisy concrete, barbed wire and iron bars. We pray for those who descend on the sick and dying like a chorus of caring heavenly hosts. We pray those who are dying of diseases that can be cured in other zip codes and those who are shot up with needle of routine indifference toward injustice.
Lord, grant that someone, somewhere will figure out that you were born to do more than hang around, cursed on a tree.
We pray for those who sing Christmas carols full of life. We also pray for those whose innocent blood cries out from the ground, out of tune with Creation’s song. We pray for those who travel in freedom and we pray for people trapped in barrios, ghettos and gated communities. We pray for those who own very little and we pray for those who are owned by their things. We pray for those who will laugh and feast with hope in the morning. We also pray those whose dreams have been blown up by suicide bombers or crushed by tanks. We pray for those who yearn for your kingdom to come and long for your will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. We also pray for who feel the lash of a hard bottom line that drives them to stain their souls in slavery to profit margins. We pray for those who will wake up to the sounds of children laughing and also for those who will wake up far away in the sterile silence of a homeless shelter in the morning. We pray for those imprisoned in their own death row of ignorance, prejudice and hate. We also pray for those who whose hands will be repeatedly nailed as they work to open those doors and release people into your new life.
Lord, grant that someone, somewhere will stop watching the front door long enough to notice that you sneaked in through the back door and left it...unlocked.