Holy One, we recall the story of Joseph in the book of Genesis. Joseph was a teenager who was bullied, beaten, thrown into a pit, and sold into slavery. He knew what it was like to be knocked down by everyone in his world. And, thankfully, life got much better for him. So we pray that life does, indeed, get better for every young person who faces difficulty, harassment, or violence.
life get better for the young people in our community. The young
people who are intimidated and recruited by gangs. The young people who
are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered. The young people with
disabilities or mental illness. The young people who are pregnant – and
have to think about adoption, abortion, and other decisions that are way
too heavy for someone so young – yet they have to make these decisions
even as they feel ostracized. May
life truly get better for all young people, no matter what they face. Being a
teenager is hard enough without all the extra “stuff.” The tough stuff.
So, we pray that life gets better for all of them.
Caring God, don’t let
this prayer simply be an empty platitude to make us feel better. Things don’t always easily get better. Sometimes these
teens are given more than they can handle by the world. And they need
our help. So, we pray for you to help us, to help them.
to build a world that is more inclusive of, and accessible for, young
people who need our help. For some of us, this is easy. For
others, it’s not. When we don’t know what to say or do, inspire us with
words and actions that can help bring smiles and remove stigma. In
everything we do, may we empower and love them like every other child.
us to provide a sense of community, belonging, and safety for young
people, so they aren’t intimidated by or recruited into violence. This will
take creativity in our community, as we witness an upsurge in violent acts. So, we pray to you,
Creative Creator, to help us find a way to make our streets safer and
us to overcome the religious stigma against LGBT youth. Prejudice in
the name of Christianity is a strong force in our world. So we, as
Christians, have a special role in overturning this discrimination in
the church and wider society. Give us the wisdom to listen to, stand
beside, and support LGBT communities. And give us the courage to be a
public witness to your love for each and every one of your perfectly
designed lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered children.
us to offer a welcoming and safe place for youth with disabilities and
mental illness. Not to feel sorry for them, or to treat them like
helpless children, but to empower them to achieve their greatest
potential despite their difficulties. May these young people, like all
young people, know they are loved and created by you – and will be loved
and cared for by us.
Help us to offer empathic ears and
welcoming arms to pregnant teenagers. May we support them during their
difficult decisions, and help them to find organizations like United Action for Youth, Faith Aloud, and Avoid the Stork. Plus, Holy God, may our schools offer our youth comprehensive sex education
so that they can be empowered to make judicious decisions with the best
information available. In the end, we pray for a dramatic drop in teen
pregnancy – an end of teen pregnancy – so that every family can be
started at a time that makes sense for them.
Holy God, may all
the young people who face difficulties, like Joseph, find that life
truly does get better. For every single one of them. No more prejudice.
No more bullying. No more beatings. No more suicide. Just better. Every
day. Because of you. And because of us. And because it’s the right thing
to do for kids. May there be more fun. More smiles. More inclusivity.
And more empowerment.
Like Joseph and his family, help to make life better for all of us, Gracious God. Amen.
This prayer was inspired by the It Gets Better Project.