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Child Watch® Column: "A Christmas Prayer: O God of All Children"

Release Date: December 20, 2013

Marian Wright Edelman

As millions of Christians around the world prepare to celebrate Christmas and their belief that God entered human history as a poor tiny baby, let us remember all the poor babies and children who struggle to live and realize their God given potential in our own rich land and all around the world today. And commit to act to assure hope and justice for them all.

O God of the children of Somalia, Sudan, and Syria, of South Africa and South Carolina,
Of Afghanistan and Pakistan, and of India, Iraq, Iran, and Israel
Of the Congo and Chicago, of Darfur and Detroit
Of Myanmar and Mississippi and Louisiana and Yemen
Help us to love and respect and protect 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 Spanish and languages our ears cannot discern,
Help us to love and respect and protect them all.

O God of the child prodigy and the child prostitute, of the child of rapture and the child of rape,
Of runaway or thrown away children who struggle every day without parent or place or friend or future,
Help us to love and respect and protect 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 them all.

O God of 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 them all.

O God of children of destiny and of despair, of war and of peace,
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 act to protect them all.

--Copyright 2013 by Marian Wright Edelman

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.

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Here's what others have said:

Submitted by kemond1 at: December 24, 2013
It' sad that it takes a miracle to make a society of people care enough to act on blatant problems or issues generated by their own pop culture or non-family friendly policies. Especially when the vulnerable recipient of ill will are children. Thank God for CDF. I hope & pray with you. Let's face it the devils team is doing a kick ass job at stealing, killing, & destroying, the hopes and dreams of many. It's time to stop all engines big or small that fuel the cradle to prison pipeline in America. We all just have to dismantle the pipes in our neighborhoods and replace pipes with hope, love, and vision for a new day. My pray is that we as Black folk refocus on the original task at hand, (raising our children with morals & keeping them safe from harm.) And in so doing rebuilding a people with purpose, values, and plans, to deliver many from the ill will of others outside of the kingdom of God.

Submitted by Tricia at: December 22, 2013
It's very inspiring...You are a Class Act Ms. Edelman!

Submitted by Leek at: December 21, 2013
So beautiful!

Submitted by Anonymous at: December 21, 2013

Submitted by Island Principal at: December 21, 2013
I thank God for our Mrs. Wright Edelman. May God bless you and keep you as you continue to bring awareness to the issues our children face daily.

Submitted by just_me at: December 21, 2013
i loved every bit of this messege. i have had friends who were in very similar situations as the ones read above, and let me just say it was hard to see them going through what they did. one was my best friend. and she has made a great life for herself. she now has a beautiful baby boy who is 2 years old and is finishing school. she has grown so much in the past 2 years its almost as if she never had her trials and tribulations.

Submitted by Gomer at: December 21, 2013
Let's my heart broken as your's oh Almighty in front of children. Jesus Christ came as a poor to save all of us without any effort from us. God of love, help us really to love and respect and act to protect them all. Merry Christmas to all worldwide children. Blessing !

Submitted by Rev. D'Mrtri Crafton Burke at: December 21, 2013
This is a beautiful, powerful and inclusive prayer. May we endeavor to love, respect, and protect the children in our homes, community, state, nation, and around the world.

Submitted by Math34 at: December 20, 2013
Beautiful! My niece and husband just received a baby boy. - They've been trying to adopt for a very long time. I pray for all children - that they will be loved as much as my niece's little child.

Submitted by Jackie at: December 20, 2013
Lord god almighty shine your light on all off the children in the world. Heal those who are hurt. Love those who are empty. Ignite joy in those who are sad. Give hope to all. God, please guide the caretakers to protect and love all the little children of the world.

Submitted by Anonymous at: December 20, 2013
Thank you. This I will save.

Submitted by anatkelman at: December 20, 2013
Love this. So poignant and meaningful. Thank you for this reflection and wisdom shared. Blessings to you and all who serve.

Submitted by Clarion at: December 20, 2013
Mrs. Edelman, what a loving and caring heart you have for our children. What a credible witness you are for our Father - who looks at the heart. May He continue to guide and protect you as you continue to let your light shine. Know that I am walking in your footsteps; tiny, beginner steps - but I'm walking. You are a tremendous encouragement to me. You set the example for us all. May the Lord richly Bless and Keep you.

Submitted by Karen at: December 20, 2013
What a wonderful prayer. Let us add peace for them all.

Submitted by Anonymous at: December 20, 2013
Thank youfor this wonderful Christmas Prayer And the great work you have done Are doing and will do. The world is a better place because of your service on behalf of children. May the Peace of God showere on you

Submitted by God's Eyes on the Scene at: December 20, 2013
Christians used to care about Children..? Now they seem to love their own *Wealth more..?

Submitted by Anonymous at: December 20, 2013
YES! YES! YES! In the end what else matters - If we honor and love, welcome and respect, cherish and teach all the children of the world, imagine how extraordinary our world will become - Marian Wright Edelman, you do God's work!

Submitted by Connie Valentine at: December 20, 2013
Dear Mrs. Edelman. We are worried about children right here in the US who are being taken from their safe mothers and placed in the full or partial custody of their violent and sexually abusive fathers. It is estimated this has been happening to 58,000 childran per year. This is preventable abuse. Please help these injured children. Please contact me at This is one of the most pressing social justice issues of our times.

Submitted by Susanne at: December 20, 2013
So beautifully and eloquently said, Mrs Edelman Wright. Words that deposit the deepest needs of the world's children into our hands and hearts and inspire us to make a difference however we can. God bless you, Mrs Edelman Wright, the activities of the CDF, and all the children of the world.

Submitted by Carolyn Scantlebury at: December 20, 2013
I pray that God continues to listen and Bless Mrs. Edelman's prayer and her strength. This is one of the most beautiful inclusive prayers that I have ever read. May God continue to strengthen you and speaking truth to Power forever, and ever. I Love you and all that you have done and continue to do for this World. BLESSINGS!!