God of mercy and compassion,
be present with your tormented children
struggling with mental variances,
bound by anguish,
imprisoned by pain,
driven to hopelessness, anxiety, and despair.
Be present, also, with the community
that struggles to understand,
to show compassion,
while also walking alongside.
Teach us how to love those we find
difficult to love,
who hurt us in their quest to separate themselves
or lash out in response to the ways in which
we isolate them
from the very community
they need most.
Remind us to call them by their given names
instead of the names whispered behind their backs --
names that are behaviorally descriptive
rather than names that reflect
the children of God they are.
Help us to celebrate your presence
with your marginalized children,
and to recognize your healing work in them,
however incremental that healing happens ...
however isolated those moments are among the moments
of pain and imprisonment.
Open our eyes to see with clarity
the ways in which you welcome your children
in unconditional love.
Open our hearts to do the same.
Grant us wisdom to know how to protect
your most vulnerable children
from harming themselves
in their prisons of pain.
Send us out to create spaces that offer hope
to the hopeless
to the helpless
according to the example of Jesus, Son of the Most High God.
*This prayer is based on Luke 8:26-39. This Sunday is Fathers' Day. As you pray for men who have served as fathers and for those who have either lost their fathers or never had them or been hurt by that relationship, please remember to be cautious in your use of the name "Father" for God and add to this prayer according to your particular context.
Julie participated in the 25th Seminar for Certified Zentangle(R) Teacher Training in June, 2019, trained by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. In addition to creating art as a personal spiritual practice, Julie also incorporates the Zentangle(R) method in Prayer Art Retreats in a variety of contexts, including church groups, friend gatherings, and at a local art gallery. Check out the Upcoming Events page for a calendar of events, or use the Contact Us page to inquire about scheduling an event with your group!
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