A Prayer for when Sexual Abuse is Discovered

My God, my God,
where were you?
My innocent child,
my beautiful innocent child,
a child of God, your child,
this child has been abused.
First and foremost,
protect my child, Lord.
Keep them from further harm.
Heal the hurt.
Mend the memories.
Restore what is lost.
Show me how to help
and how to get them the help they need.
Let there not be lasting, lingering effects
from this deed done.

God of all the dark places in the world,
you know what I am feeling inside.
Such a feeling of guilt:
how could I have missed this?
how could I not have known?
how could I not be there to protect?
These feelings are enough to engulf me,
but they are matched thought by thought
with rage and outrage and anger.
How dare he?
If there was a trigger to pull,
I would pull it.
With every wailing prophet,
I call down judgement and destruction,
never in my life have I longed this much
for a God of wrath.

And yet the next moment
I am filled so much with sadness
for this broken hurting world;
so many little ones abused,
so many warped people hurting others,
probably after being hurt themselves as children.
God of all of us, how can you bear it?
Jesus, thank you that you too felt the outrage,
you too spoke of millstones around necks
and people being drowned in the bottom of the sea.
Yet your actions were all of love;
even in extreme pain, you spoke the word “Forgive”.

Holy Spirit, I need your presence with us on this journey.
Lead me in good paths, not bitter ones.
Teach me how to trust again.
Be our companion as we work for justice and accountability,
accompany us as we walk step by step towards healing.
And yes, even touch the heart of the one who offended,
convict, convert and illumine their minds,
so that they can understand the wrong they’ve done,
and never do it again.

My first and last thought is for my baby, my own,
a child of God, wounded and hurting.
You who sees the littlest sparrow falling,
reach out and catch this one,
mend them inside and out,
and keep them in your loving care forever.  Amen.

New Book Coming Soon!

Carol Penner has written a devotional book for Lent that explores the challenges of repentance and forgiveness. Forty reflections and prayers to deepen your walk with God as you prepare for Easter.  

You can order it here!

About Carol Penner

I am a Mennonite pastor currently teaching theology at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario. I’ve served congregations in Ontario and most recently, Alberta.

I love to write and to lead worship! If you are finding my writing helpful, I would love to hear from you! Feel free to use or adapt the material here, it is all written by me. If printing material, please credit “Copyright Carol Penner www.leadinginworship.com” (and say whether you modified it). If publishing, please contact me for permission. Contact me at carol@leadinginworship.com

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