Child Watch® Column:
A Prayer of Thanksgiving to the God of all Children in America and the World

Release Date: November 25, 2015

Marian Wright Edelman

O God of the children of Syria, Nigeria and Liberia, of Sudan, South Africa and South Carolina,
Of Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Myanmar, of Israel, Iran and Iraq
Of the Congo, Central America, Charleston, and Cleveland, of Darfur and Detroit, of Libya, Yemen and Ukraine, Nepal and New Orleans,
Help us to love and respect and protect and welcome them all. 

O God of Black and Brown and White and Albino children and those all mixed together
Of children who are rich and poor and in between
Of children who speak English and Russian and Hmong and Chinese and Spanish and Arabic and languages and dialects our ears cannot discern, of refugee children without a country
Help us to love and respect and protect and welcome them all. 

O God of the child prodigy and child prostitute, of the child of rapture and the child of rape,
Of run or thrown away and sexually trafficked children who struggle every day without parent or place or friend or future,
Of LGBT children struggling to be who they are and Dalit children roaming across nations in search of a place called home,
Help us to love and respect and protect and welcome them all. 

O God of children who can walk and talk and hear and see and sing and dance and jump and play and of children who wish they could but can't
Of children who are loved and unloved, wanted and unwanted,
Help us to love and respect and protect and welcome them all.

O God of incarcerated, beggar, beaten, abused, neglected, homeless, AIDS, drug, violence, and hunger-ravaged children,
Of children who are emotionally and physically and mentally fragile, and of children who rebel and ridicule, torment and taunt,
Help us to love and respect and protect and welcome them all.

convening-cdf-logo.jpgO God of children of destiny and of despair without hope for the future, ravaged by wars of adults
Of refugee children without a country to welcome them, at sea in flimsy boats, or caged in juvenile and adult prisons and holding pens as they seek asylum
Of disfigured, diseased, and dying children,
Of children without hope and of children with hope to spare and to share,
Help us to love and respect and protect and welcome them all on this day of Thanksgiving as we affirm the sacredness of every child in our own country and all around the world.

Click here to share your comments and find out what others are saying.

Marian Wright Edelman is President of the Children's Defense Fund whose Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. For more information go to

Mrs. Edelman's Child Watch Column also appears each week on The Huffington Post.

Sign-up to receive CDF President Marian Wright Edelman's weekly Child Watch Column.

Let us know what you think about this column:

Enter this word: Change

Here's what others have said:

Submitted by Gail at: January 4, 2018
I have served children the majority of my career. I have recently been led to pray not only for our children in America but for all over the world. stages

Submitted by Donnell at: November 29, 2015
Thank you for this gift to the world Honorable Marian Wright Edelman.

Submitted by Gloria at: November 28, 2015
A beautiful prayer - thank you.

Submitted by imouse at: November 27, 2015
A prayer of Thanksgiving for all Children, in all places, and all circumstances.. Let these prayers be heard.

Submitted by Nancy at: November 26, 2015

Submitted by Kathie at: November 25, 2015
This is beautiful. Thank you.

Submitted by Chas at: November 25, 2015
Powerful, moving prayer. So many children need so much love, support and justice. Thank you.

Submitted by Tom Atlee at: November 25, 2015
A remarkable prayer. I would extend it to all the children in the seventh and hundredth generations after us - that we have the vision and care to love and respect and protect and welcome them all into a decent, habitable, and life-serving future world that we here and now are so responsible for creating.

Submitted by M at: November 25, 2015
A beautiful prayer....

Submitted by Charmaine at: November 25, 2015
Thank you. I forwarded it to all my colleagues at our International Center on Disability Studies at the University of Hawaii. This poem is beautiful, so beautiful and sad, very sad at the same time.

Submitted by Becky at: November 25, 2015
Wonderful prayer

Submitted by Rev. Mack at: November 25, 2015
Thank you for the words of blessing and continual advocacy.

Submitted by susie-q at: November 25, 2015
Thank you for this loving and lovely prayer that we will read together at our table tomorrow.

Submitted by Emsee at: November 25, 2015
A wonderful prayer!

Submitted by spiritsister at: November 25, 2015
AMEN! AMEN! God bless you and the work you do. May we not pass by on the other side of the road.

Submitted by Rosie at: November 25, 2015
Thank you, thank you Marian for your clarity and grace. This prayer will be shared, outloud and in the quieteness of our hearts. You are the blessing and I am thankful for your Voice!

Submitted by Ed from New Briighton at: November 25, 2015
i've been receiving Marian's emails for years, but none has touched me so much as this simple,heartfelt prayer. For all the people working to fulfill that prayer, and especially for Marian Wright Edelman, I give thanks in this season of gratitude.

Submitted by BETTY at: November 25, 2015
The prayer for the children of the world is so beautiful. May we repeat this prayer over and over until it becomes part of our daily prayer as are the "official" prayers of some many traditions.

Submitted by dlberek at: November 25, 2015
Thank you, Marian, for your prayer on behalf of all the children. It is needed more than ever in today's fractured world. And thank you for your prayer on behalf of God's children - which means all of humanity. (Not in God's Name by Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks makes an excellent case of that.) Shalom, salaam, peace.

Submitted by Jan at: November 25, 2015
This piece is absolutely the best. Thank you for sending this to all of us.