Families Living in Peace Prayer

Loving God, thank you for our families.
Thank you for the people who light up our lives,
whose tender presence is dear beyond all words,
people who have enriched our lives beyond all measure.
Give us love for our families,
accepting them as they are,
encouraging them to be all they can be,
appreciating them as we want to be appreciated.
You know our relationships inside out,
you know that we have people in our family we love,
but there are also people in our family we only tolerate,
and people in our family we can hardly stand.
Give us patience with our families this week.

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A Prayer for When I am Self-destructive

Lord, I am an instrument of your peace.
Where there is self-hatred, let me sow love;
where there is negative self-talk, kindness;
where there is loathing of my body, acceptance;
where there is nursing of old injuries, release;
where there is envy of others, gratefulness;
where there is perfectionism, humanness.
O Divine Mother, grant that I may not so much seek
to be self-hurting, as self-healing;
to be self-denying, as self-cherishing,
to be numb, as to feel.
For it is in being loved by you, that I know I am lovable;
through your confidence in me, I confidently face each day,
it is in being yours now and eternally, that I live in peace.

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Prayer for Imprisoned Sexual Offenders

Great God, hear my prayer for every person in prison
convicted of a sexual offence.
These are the people I count as enemy,
that our society counts as enemy;
rapists, abusers, child molesters.
Jesus, you are the key of David,
you walk through every locked prison door,
you look with love into the heart of each one.
You know the history of aggression,
and that when the unspeakable is done to us,
blind pain can cause us to lash out….

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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….

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Prayer for Male Survivors of Violence

od of Comfort:
We pray today for men and boys
whose lives have been scarred by abuse and violence.
We pray for boys bullied and molested
by people who should be their friends.
We pray for boys sexually abused and exploited
by people they trust who should protect them.
We pray for boys who cry their tears alone
with no one to comfort them.
We pray for men who have suffered physical assault
and have fear as a constant companion.

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Knit Together or Frayed: A Poem about Relatives

Close can be comfortable
and close can be uncomfortable.
Knit together in our mother’s wombs,
we emerge and…
the fabric of the family holds us tight.
Loved and cherished from a young age,
we feel close-knit and strongly supported.
Or the opposite.
Abused, neglected or abandoned in childhood,
we can feel frayed at the edges,
unravelled at key points,
at loose ends in the world. 

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Did I See You? A Reading About Abuse

Did I see you?
When I was hungry, you broke bread with me.
When I was sick, you sat by my bedside.
When I was in prison, you petitioned for my release.
When I was sexually assaulted, you listened to my pain.
When I was afraid to be alone, you stayed with me.
When I felt guilty and ashamed, you told me it was not my fault.
When I had to go to court, you went with me.
When I was filled with anger and hatred, you did not reject me.
When I was filled with sorrow and hopelessness, you held my hand.
When I kept my story secret for years, you understood why.
When I called on God for help, you came and helped me.

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Abusing a Precious Gift

When all is not what it seems,

when evil masquerades as good,

when it seems the wrong path is calling us,

Jesus, we need your help.


When sexually explicit images appear before us,

when curiosity and desire urge us to linger,

when it seems innocent just to look,

Jesus, we need your help.

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Advent Prayer for People Living with Violence

At this time of year as we sing “Silent night”

with its echoes of calm and heavenly peace,

we say a prayer for all who live in homes

where peace is absent.

We pray for children who live with fear,

whose homes are not a place of safety,

who live with beatings, both physical and verbal.

We pray for seniors and other vulnerable people

whose caregivers do not care

as they are neglected or degraded.

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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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