Lord whose love is boundless, whose mercy knows no borders, whose grace cannot be thwarted by fences, walls or barriers, forgive us for attempting to hold back your compassion, contain your care and put limits on your kindness. You are the one who welcomes the little children. You proclaim that the kingdom of heaven belongs to them. You are the Lord who admonishes your followers to feed the hungry and care for the sick, to bind up the broken hearted and welcome the stranger.
Lord, we plead for your Spirit of tenderness to overtake our hearts, our congregations and our country. Remove from us any impediment to doing justice and alleviating suffering. Show us your way that is the way of truth, abundance and life, your way that refuses to ignore the cries of the children, the pain of their parents, the desperation of those made in your image.
As those who follow Jesus Christ who told us to ask and receive, we humbly ask for wisdom, for courage and for the will to unleash the rivers of living water you place in our hearts. May your Spirit of comfort and gentleness envelop the children languishing in poverty, bring healing to those sick in detention centers and hope to those terrified in shelters.
Let loose through your disciples your Spirit who speaks truth to power, upends cruelty and arrests exploitation. Right now, help us to prepare a place for all your children, just as you prepare a place for us — a place of refuge and safety, a place of peace and welcome, a place where all know they are valued and beloved. Amen.