Our Father in Heaven, You are the Good Shepherd, and by You we are led to green pastures of protection and still waters of peace.
But despite all of Your steadfast promises of the goodness and mercy You've put at our heels,
We are afraid.
We cannot help but be afraid for our children,
Afraid for the sheep over whom we cannot keep a constant, watchful eye.
Give us a wakefulness in prayer.
Our strength is too small, our capacities too human. Though we might wish to always protect the children whom You've entrusted to us, we acknowledge with great reluctance that we have neither Your omniscience nor omnipresence.
This is why our great hope - our only hope - is prayer.
When there is cause for alarm, when real danger presents itself, grant to us and to our children a protective fear that makes feet nimble for flight.
When there have been wounds inflicted upon our children of which we have not known, grant to them the courage to speak of that pain. And then, teach us to listen, and help us forgive.
It's in this world that is broken and beat up that we make our home.
We might wish for escape.
And certainly we plead for Your return.
But until then, grant to us the sustaining courage to live as Your people - free from fear.
We affirm our hope in You, Father. It is our privilege to call you, "Abba!"
We affirm our hope in You, Jesus. Your death teaches us that wounds are not ever final, and the world will finally, under Your righteous rule, be put to rights.
We affirm our hope in You, Spirit. In our moments of weakness, You pray and groan, interceding wisely and compassionately on our behalf.
Answer us in the day of our trouble!
May the name of the God of Jacob protect our families!
Send us help from the sanctuary!
Some trust in chariots, and some in horses,
But we trust in the name of the Lord of God.
(Scripture References: Psalm 22, 23; Romans 8:15-26)