Together With Children is the blog of the Office of Child Advocacy.
This week, the focus for the Season of Peace is teaching the good news of peace: addressing violence in the home. In the words of “A Vision for Children and the Church”, PC (USA)’s denominational vision statement, “. . . all children depend upon adults for safety and security in a world that does not always value children. . .”
Increasingly, our world is not a safe place for children. Children are conscripted to serve as soldiers, trafficked for labor and the sex trade, and made vulnerable in refugee camps. Children are at risk of injury or death in drive-by shootings in their own neighborhoods. Considering the vulnerability of children across the globe is sobering. But even worse, far too many children are not even safe in the places where they should be able to expect sanctuary: their own homes.
In tough economic times, many more families are living below the poverty line. Even previously secure middle-class families are at risk because job loss, rising costs and foreclosure. In families living on the edge, parents and caregivers are under stress and children are more at risk than ever of child abuse and neglect.
Today, take some time to reflect on child abuse and neglect. Review again question 1e and the statistics cited in “And How Are the Children?: Election Year Congregational Resources Fall 2012”, (produced by the Presbyterian Child Advocacy Network, a network of the Presbyterian Health, Education and Welfare Association).
Pray for these vulnerable children, using the following or a prayer of your own choosing:
Behind closed doors, children suffer silently. Their bodies are small and their keepers are strong. When they tell their stories, their voices are seldom heard. In denial, we hide our faces from the despair of their daily lives.
Savior, grant us clarity and compassion. Allow us to listen without judgment. Make us fearless and willing to speak up. Provide us with the resources to make a difference. Shine your light into the dark, hidden corners and heal the hearts of the broken. We pray this is your Spirit’s name. Amen.
- Jean Sniffen, member, Decade of the Child Team. As printed in “And How Are the Children?: The View at the Close of the Decade of the Child” Insert in the 2011 Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study