8 March 2023 | Becici, Montenegro [Karen Holford]
In a specially created prayer for International Women’s day, Karen Holford, Women’s Ministry Director for the Trans-European Division, brings to mind the mix of experiences women face daily.
Today, on this International Women’s Day
we come to praise you God,
For the wonderful ways in which you father us and mother us.
We praise you for your strength and your gentleness,
Your provision and your protection,
Your power and your mercy.
We praise you for creating women who reflect so many facets of your image.
And we thank you for the wise and wonderful gifts
that women bring to this world
Through their compassion and their creativity.
We pray for the baby girls around the world who will be born this year.
May they be welcomed into families with joyful faces and loving arms,
And not be rejected, discarded, and abused because they are not boys.
May they have mothers who hold them close to their heart
and tell them they are beloved
We pray for the school-age girls around the world.
May they be allowed to study safely
May they be encouraged to use their gifts and follow their dreams.
May they have teachers that expand their horizons and enrich their potential
And may they never be told that any subject they want to study
is only for the boys.
We pray for the teenage girls around the world.
May they know that they are exquisite and precious.
May they not compare themselves to malnourished models and airbrushed actresses.
May they be treated with care and respect and be allowed to make their own choices.
May they have protectors and mentors and inspirers who will guide them into greatness.
We pray for the young women emerging into adulthood.
May they find husbands that love them, and are committed to them.
husbands that fight for them, and not with them or against them,
May they birth and love a new generation of respectful boys and courageous girls
who know who to love and empower each other.
May they have friends and family who replenish their energy and their spirit
when their capacity to nurture has been depleted by night feeds,
teething pain and sleep deprivation.
We pray for the women who are facing abuse,
war, isolation, illness, tragedies, and challenges.
May we reach out to them with love and generosity.
May we comfort their suffering and tears
May we stand by them when everything in the world seems to be against them
May we join together, encourage each other, break glass ceilings and change the world.
We pray for the older women around the world
May they share love and wisdom and be joyfully confident in who they have become.
May they share your love in rich and deeper ways
From the well of their own beloved hearts
May they reach out to the younger ones who are bewildered
And care for their elders who are confused.
May each woman experience that everything they do for others,
The shopping, the cleaning, the water-carrying, the lullaby, the laundry,
The email, the spreadsheet, the research project, the brain surgery, and the work of art,
Is a gift of love to you.
And even if no one else ever notices it,
Or expresses gratitude for it.
You do, and it brings joy to your heart.
Because every woman is a precious princess
In your kingdom
And one day, whatever she has had to endure on this earth,
you will comfort as you wipe away all her tears with your loving hand
and hug her close to your heart.
And whatever she has had to live without on this earth,
We know you will restore a million times in the earth made new.
We praise you for women, for your love and compassion for them and for each one of us.
May we each reach out and bless a woman in your name, today and everyday.
For more information on the #EmbraceEquity campaign, visit the International Women’s Day website. [Photo: Tor Tjeransen AME- CC BY 4.0]