Children's Sabbath

Prayers for the Children of the World

Join United Methodist Women Regional Missionaries and International Ministries’ staff in lifting up our prayers as we observe the 2014 Children’s Sabbath.

Prayers for the Children of the World
A child peeks into the Yei United Methodist Church in Yei, South Sudan.

The 2014 National Observance of the Children’s Sabbath is on October 17 – 19.  Marion Wright Edelman, president of the Children’s Defense Fund, announced this year’s theme as, “Precious in God’s Sight: Answering the Call to Cherish and Protect Every Child.”

Children are sacred gifts of the Divine. Jesus teaches us to “Let the Little Children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.” (Mark 10:14)

United Methodist Women!

Let us take the children to Jesus as we work with those who are crossing over our border and finding shelter in a National Mission Institution or receiving help from a United Methodist Women member.

Let us take the children to Jesus as we support educational work with Syrian and Palestinian refugee children through our ecumenical partners in Jordan, Lebanon, Gaza and Palestine.

Let us take the children to Jesus as we support the development and empowerment of women in Africa who will raise educated and healthy children when United Methodist Women walk in solidarity and generosity with them in South Sudan, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Cameroon, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Kenya and all over the continent.

Let us take the children to Jesus as we support the work of educating girls in Pakistan — Christian and Muslim — as we continue the mission walk started by the missionaries of our foremothers over a hundred years ago.

Add your prayer to those of United Methodist Women Regional Missionaries and International Ministries staff.

Gracious, merciful and loving God, teach us to see with open eyes, feel with new hearts, touch with healing hands and hear with clear ears the needs of our children.

Let our eyes, hearts, hands and ears be your instruments to bring Good News of care, love, justice and peace to children who know no peace, who have seen and experienced life’s injustice and inhumanity.

May we be humanity in a world that can be inhumane, justice in a world that can be unjust and peace in times of chaos and confusion.


Please bless these young lives with what they need to find joy and justice and peace, so that this world and their world will be a better place for all of God’s children.
— Andris Salter, United Methodist Women National Staff Associate General Secretary for the Section on Ministry Opportunities

God of mercy embrace the children in your bosom so they will be spared of the violence waged upon humanity. Hold the future for us when we cannot do so by saving the children. You have called them into your embrace; please do the same with all children in suffering and innocent children all over the world. Amen!  
— Emma Cantor, United Methodist Women Regional Missionary, Asia

Gracious Lord, you care so dearly for children and said in your word, “Let your children come unto me.” There are so many places in the world today where children are hurting and do not experience your peace. We pray that you move the hearts and minds of people to bring hope and not holocaust to the millions of children who are suffering violence and displacement. We pray that the children may see your love in the people around them and experience your peace. Amen.
— Elmira Sellu, United Methodist Women Regional Missionary, East and West Africa

God of Love,
Hear the cries of children around the world.
Hear the mourning, screams, silent voices of fear and pain.
How many tears and how much more blood will bring us a sense that we are all your children, no matter what race, nationality, religion, class and gender?
God of Mercy,
Forgive our sins of selfishness and insecurity that make us seek self-protection and power over others first.
Grant us courage today to listen to your call of protecting, nurturing, and loving the most vulnerable ones among us so that we may be a messenger of your peace in the world.
— The Rev. Hikari Kokai Chang, Regional Missionary, Wesley Foundation in Japan

Creator God,

You gave us life. You are the source of all life.
And you have given us children to take care of your life.
Children are source of our joy, hope and our future.

Yet, we confess that we have not lived up to our calling in this world.
Children around us are dying of hunger, of disease and of violence.
Innocent lives are abandoned and abused.
Often times, we feel helpless and powerless in the face of such despair and brokenness.
Have mercy on us! Forgive us of our greed and our complacency.

Grant us the courage to trust you and to lead the world to your guidance.
Help us to see and to know that children are our future and our purpose for being.
We live for your children, as we are your children.
Thank you for the promise of your abiding presence in our lives.
We commit our lives unto you.
Use us as instruments of your love and your peace for all the children of the world.
Heasun Kim, Scranton, United Methodist Women National Staff seconded to Women’s Leadership Center, Seoul, Korea.

I pray that our eyes may be open
To be one another’s keeper
To look out for the children of the world
Offer a kind word, a book, an encouragement
I pray that we may teach our kids to hope
To be kind, to love, to stand against injustice
Because in teaching our kids humanity
We improve humanity
I pray we may remember we are the hands and feet of God
Without us, there is no life
Life is in a grant, a shared moment, a prayer, a classroom
May we always offer life to children
And may we take time to accept what children offer us
The magic of hope and love
Donna Akuamoah, United Methodist Women International Ministries executive

Compassionate and resurrected Christ, when you lived this earthly life, you took children in your arms and blessed them. We therefore bring the numerous children around our world who are caught in the violence of war and conflict. You are alive and present in the midst of the bombings, the traumatic separation and displacement of children from their mothers, fathers, families, friends and loved ones, and even in he death of innocent children. We pray that in the midst of this turmoil and chaos, these bombings and barbaric acts, your powerful, loving, healing and forgiving hands will bring peace, love, forgiveness, reconciliation and restoration. I ask this prayer in your name, which is above all other name. We believe that with you, “all things are possible to them that believe in you.” Amen.
Rev. Serna Samuel, United Methodist Women Regional Missionary to the Caribbean

Gracious Lord, there is so much going on in our world today that is not what you wanted it to be, and the most affected are our innocent children. Lord, I pray that you continue to be there for them and let the world know that they are a gift from you alone. Amen.
Finda Quiwa, United Methodist Women Regional Missionary, Sub-Sahara Africa

Grant us peace, O Lord, grant us peace. Hear the children cry; see the children flee. Sense their fear and touch their souls. Grant us courage to stand up, step out and act with the children in Jesus’ name.
— Carol Van Gorp
, United Methodist Women International Ministries executive

Posted or updated: 10/16/2014 11:00:00 PM
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