Newsroom image of kids

A Christmas Day Prayer for America as We Celebrate the Birthday of the Most Famous Baby in History

Release Date: December 24, 2012

Marian Wright Edelman

O God, forgive and help us transform our rich and powerful nation where toddlers and school children die from guns sold quite legally.

O God, forgive and help us transform our rich and powerful nation where small babies are homeless and cold quite legally.

O God, forgive and help us transform our rich and powerful nation where small children suffer from hunger quite legally.

O God, forgive and help us transform our rich and powerful nation that lets children be the poorest group of citizens quite legally.

O God, forgive and help us transform our rich and powerful nation that lets the rich continue to get more at the expense of the poor quite legally.

O God, forgive and help us transform our rich and powerful nation which thinks security rests in missiles and in bombs rather than in mothers and in babies.

O God, forgive and help us transform our rich and powerful nation which protects guns before children.

O God, forgive and help us transform our rich and powerful nation for not giving You sufficient thanks by giving to others their daily bread.

O God, help us never to confuse what is quite legal with what is just and right in Your sight.

Help us to stand up together and speak up together and pray together and act together to make America safe, just and right for all Your children.

Copyright © by Marian Wright Edelman

Please sign CDF's letter to the President and members of Congress demanding they #ProtectChildrenNotGuns

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 Madelyn at: January 23, 2013
We need to protect ALL children, even the unborn. Until all people in our Nation realize that ALL life is precious from conception to natural death, our vision of life will not change and the culture of death will predominate. God bless America and may we pray to change hearts.

Submitted by curtis at: January 3, 2013
Hitler did one hell of a job protecting children and mothers after he got rid of the peoples guns. As do all dictators. Law abiding gun owners are not the problem. Guns are not capable of being fired without a finger on the trigger. This country is as free as it is only because of the individuals that own guns. This country was liberated from the tyrannical rule of the Monarchy at the time because of, not in spite of guns. Yes it is a terrible thing when some one who is disturbed to the point of committing crimes of that nature happens. The problem is coddling and keeping the perp alive for years after the crime. Fix that and there will be much less of this going on.

Submitted by advocate T at: December 28, 2012
In 1991, i began writing about my concerns for the children of America. My observations, based on my experiences as teacher and principal was published in 2009 in the award winning book Crying in the Wilderness: a Voice for America's Children. My cry then, and now is that America needed a wake up call to discover why children are at risk and how to help. The working title was America's Children, an Endangered Species. In view of what has occurred in Sandy Hook, the working title is more accurate than ever. Yet, with daily shootings and loss of children in communities across the nation every day, those of us who care are still crying in the wilderness. Your apathy is killing the future. WILL YOU EVER LISTEN????? Guns are not the only issue. Violence permeates the media, games, the Internet, films in the name of entertainment. We -- YOU -- have a responsibility to protect innocent children across this great nation of ours. Are you willing to fight for their future, and ours? Children in America need your urgent help to protect them from unprecedented budget assaults at the federal, state and local levels. Cascading federal, state, county and city budget cuts adding up to hundreds of billions of dollars are being borne on the backs of babies. As Congress considers over the next weeks and months key budget choices including turning off sequestration and ending the Bush tax cuts for the richest Americans, I urge you to lift a truly strong voice for all children, and support a federal budget that protects children and low-income families from budget cuts, invests in children to promote long-term economic growth for the nation, and ensures that the richest Americans and corporations pay their fair share. At a time when one in five children are poor, and homelessness and family unemployment are rampant, I hope you will protect children from all budget cuts and make sure the wealthiest Americans and richest corporations pay their fair share.

Submitted by hildie at: December 28, 2012
The above prayer is so true. If only our leadership could find the courage to reprioritize based on what is "right" not on politics or financial gain

Submitted by Evelyn at: December 26, 2012
We are a rich nation and hunger should be a thing of the past, but it's not. No child should be hungry or cold or abused or killed in a nation under God with liberty and justice for all.

Submitted by twinkle at: December 25, 2012
something needs to be done

Submitted by Autumn at: December 25, 2012

Submitted by Greg at: December 25, 2012
Hail to the God of Guns... Assault weapons are its priests and nuns Sacrifice is what the Gun God needs He needs to see how humanity bleeds. Worship the NRA if you please, Raise your weapons and fall on your knees The soul of a nation must we seize Raise your Gun and fall on your knees It is the God of Guns whom we must please... Fire your weapons and fall on your knees Violence is the nation’s seed Watch our children die and Bleed. This is the Gun God’s call we heed WE are baptized in the Gun God's need Sacrifice our children and let them bleed. To the Gun God's thirst, the Gun God's Need!

Submitted by Wallis at: December 24, 2012
I wish others would share these sentiments

Submitted by Wallis at: December 24, 2012
I pray with you.

Submitted by Victor at: December 24, 2012
Just Wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!!! GOD BLESS YOU Marian

Submitted by happy atheist at: December 24, 2012
Asking your imaginary god to intervene and do something is less then useless. Why not actually elect public officials who will do this and not be beholden to the money and supporters the national rifle association provides.

Submitted by Rights at: December 24, 2012
The fact that our citizens have the right to bare arms is a major reason other countries have not attempted to invade ours. Children are the most important people in our lives. But banning guns only means that criminals or those with mental illnesses will be the ones with guns. People who abide by the laws will be the ones helpless against that type of law. Focus more on the mental illness in our country that goes overlooked or dismissed. Focus more on providing citizens with the education to know the signs of metal illness. Do not leave innocent famines helpless against the criminals who would use weapons even more knowing that families had no way to protect themselves. I'm not a gun activist but I do believe that taking away our right to bare arms leaves the innocent more vulnerable and the criminals more powerful. Provide schools with police officers or security officers trained to deal with situations that may arise. Make sure doors in schools are equipped with metal detectors or whatever It takes to protect them. It's always been the same throughout history. Making things illegal sets the scene for black market sales. Which again, means only the criminals will be able to obtain weapons to terrorize our country. I don't mean to ramble but there have to be other options beside making the innocent vulnerable to more criminal activity.

Submitted by Mary at: December 24, 2012
Right on.

Submitted by Rev. Nancy Nyberg at: December 24, 2012
This is a beautiful and challenging prayer.

Submitted by Suzanne at: December 24, 2012
As Christmas Greetings and good wishes are sent between friends and relatives, let us not forget the poorest and most powerless among us....the children!

Submitted by Dr. Pat at: December 24, 2012
This is a prayer that we all need to be sharing.

Submitted by noenda at: December 24, 2012
Merry Christmas Marian Wright Edelman. Thank you for this prayer.