Lift Them Up!


BULLETIN: My daughter was saved October 17, 2003!

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This program was designed prayerfully by a small group of mothers from Christ the King Parish in Seattle, Washington. I'm one of the mothers and, after a year in Sacred Heart Parish in Medford, Oregon, I'm back home in Seattle, and part of the wonderful Blessed Sacrament parish in the U. District.

I turned to God in the summer of 1996, and was confirmed Roman Catholic at Easter Vigil in 1997. At my first confession, I was stunned to find that the thing that weighed most heavily on my heart was not having given my daughter the gift of relying on God. Of all the things in my life I had done - it was depriving my daughter of God that hurt most of all. God's absolution lifted the weight of it as a sin from my soul, but I asked Father Andy (our late Pastor, Reverend Andrew Bullwinkel, 1943 - 1997) about trying to put right in the world things that I had gained absolution for in my soul, and he said I could do that. I began to pray for my daughter and other loved ones who didn't know they can rely on God.

As I came to know more parents in the parish, I found that others were concerned for their children -- even children who had been raised in the faith. We talked about forming a prayer group, and got permission from Father Andy to have our twice-monthly prayer meeting in the ex-convent.

Before launching the actual prayer meetings, the core group of five mothers held two or three planning meetings over snacks or lunch at one of our homes to prayerfully develop a format and choose the prayers and songs that would form the backbone of the prayer meetings. That format evolved into the program you see below.

We found it very helpful to light blessed candles, use holy water, and pray before beginning those planning meetings, and to come back to prayer if we ran into difficulties, got stuck, or felt pulled in different directions. We felt the program was right for us -- and it is here as an example for other parents who wish to pray for their children. Although Father Andy said it wasn't necessary for him to approve the program, we asked him to look at it and he did approve.

Although designed for a group, we have found that when we cannot meet, the program works well for an individual parent, too. It also works when praying for people other than your children.

We haven't sought permission to reproduce some of the songs and prayers, so please make sure your hymnals or music issues contain the songs, even if you use a printed program for convenience in your prayer meetings. We developed the mission statement and opening and closing prayers as a group, and you may copy and use those freely.

Don't forget to pray, not only for your children, but for their mates. Remember the lines from the Billy Joel song:

"Oh your mamma only told ya all I'd give you was a reputation...
She never cared for me,
But did she ever say a prayer for me?"
God bless you and yours!


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Lift Them Up!

Example Program

(We used the old convent living room and set up a circle of chairs around a table that held holy water, a blessed candle, montage photo frames of the people we were praying for, a basket with the names of those we were praying for written on cards, a bible that was special to one of the mothers, a crucifix, and a picture of Jesus. We had coffee, tea, juice, and muffins or whatever else someone wanted to bring for our break. A pre-meeting Rosary was optional. (I was raised Protestant and prefer to pray only to God.) We passed leadership of each prayer, song, or reading around the circle throughout the program, but designated the best speaker to do the welcome and announcements at the beginning of each prayer meeting and bring things back on schedule if needed.)

  • Welcome (including announcements)
  • Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be
  • Millennium Prayer (can be responsorial)

Prayer For A New Millennium
The Archdiocese of Seattle
Leader: Come, Holy Spirit
Fill the hearts of your faithful
Come among us as wind and fire
And ignite our lives with renewed faith.

Response: Come, Holy Spirit
Fill the hearts of your faithful
Help us to grow in the life of grace
And reflect your presence in our lives.


Leader: Come, Holy Spirit
Fill the hearts of your faithful
Give us courage and faith to use our gifts
In service of the church and your people.

Response: Come, Holy Spirit
Fill the hearts of your faithful
Enable our parishes, our families, and our communities
To respond to the challenge of the gospel.


Leader: Come, Holy Spirit
Fill the hearts of your faithful
Bless the young, support the old.
Sustain all those who minister to your people.

Response: Come, Holy Spirit
Fill the hearts of your faithful
Be the wind and fire that brings new life to your church
And open our minds and hearts to your presence among us.


Leader: Come, Holy Spirit
Fill the hearts of your faithful
May our prayer help us to embrace the call you give us
To be holy people in service to God and one another.

ALL: Come, Holy Spirit
Fill the hearts of your faithful. Amen.

  • Song: "Seek Ye First"
  1. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,
    and all these things shall be added unto you.
    Allelu, alleluia.

  1. Ask and it shall be given unto you; seek and ye shall find;
    knock and it shall be opened unto you.
    Allelu, alleluia.

  1. Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in their midst;
    and whatsoever ye ask, I will do.
    Allelu, alleluia.


  • Opening Prayer
As we gather together, we are called to look into our own hearts as we pray for our children, and ask the Lord to make our hearts new.

(Followed by silent prayer to get our own hearts right with God)


  • Mission Statement
We gather together to pray, sing, and lift up our children to the light of God's everlasting love, so that they will come to know, love, and serve him.

We come, not to judge them, but to love them -- not to put them down, but to lift them up.


  • Prayer for Our Children
We pray for our children and grandchildren, that they come to know you our Lord God the Father, Jesus our Savior, and the Holy Spirit our comforter, in their whole being -- mind, body, and spirit.

God our Heavenly Father, cherish them and protect them from all evil. Bring us all into the fullness of your Kingdom.

We praise you, we thank you, and we pray this prayer in Jesus' name, Amen.


  • Prayer for Specific Children
Dear Jesus,

So many times while you walked this earth, parents would bring their children to you for your blessing. Today Lord, I bring _______________TAKE YOUR TIME AND SAY ALL OF THEIR NAMES______ to you that they may also experience your loving touch.

Lord you, better than anyone, know where they are struggling in their life. You, better than anyone, know what they need. In your mercy, Oh, God, touch my children. Forgive what needs forgiving. Heal what needs healing. Love what needs loving. Strengthen what needs strengthening. In a special way Lord, I ask you to help them in these areas.

Precious Jesus, I know you won稚 refuse my prayer, for you love my children and loved ones even more than I do. Please, Lord, be merciful to my children and loved ones. Thank you for this gift of them in my life.

I entrust them completely into your care. Lead them, Lord, ever closer to you. Thank you.

Amen.


  • Individual Prayers for Our Children
    Optional


  • Prayer For All Children
We now ask Our Lord to chase away all the evil spirits haunting our children and all children, never to return, and to fill our children and all children with the gifts and blessings of the Holy Spirit.

  • Prayer For All Mankind
    by Lucille Gentzler
Oh, Lord, my God, I pray to you for all men who live upon this earth -
That thy spirit be poured out upon all -
That those who do not know thee, and so cannot love thee
Come to know thee and love thee above all things of this world.
That those who know thee, but do not love thee
Come to know thee and love thee above all things of this world.
That those who do know thee and love thee
Come to they feet in humility and gratitude
To learn to know thee and to love thee above all things of this world --
For it is thy boundless love which has created us,
And they endless mercy which sustains us all.

  • Closing Prayer
As we leave this place and go out into the world to be faith examples to our children, guide us on our journey.

  • Our Father (with Praise Ending)
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. They kingdom come, thy will be done, on Earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

  • Song: One In The Spirit

  1. We are one in the Spirit, We are one in the Lord,
    We are one in the Spirit, We are one in the Lord,
    And we pray that all unity may one day be restored.

    Refrain:
    And they値l know we are Christians by our love, by our love,
    Yes they値l know we are Christians by our love.

  1. We will walk with each other, We will walk hand in hand,
    We will walk with each other, We will walk hand in hand,
    And together we値l spread the news that God is in our land

    Refrain:
    And they値l know we are Christians by our love, by our love,
    Yes they値l know we are Christians by our love.

  1. We will work with each other, We will work side by side, We will work with each other, We will work side by side, And we値l guard each one痴 dignity and save each one痴 pride.

    Refrain:
    And they値l know we are Christians by our love, by our love,
    Yes they値l know we are Christians by our love.

  1. All praise to the Father, from whom all things come,
    And all praise to Christ Jesus, His only Son,
    And all praise to the Spirit, who makes us one.

    Refrain:
    And they値l know we are Christians by our love, by our love,
    Yes they値l know we are Christians by our love.

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Blessings To Take Home

1 John 5:14-15
We have this confidence in God: that he hears us whenever we ask for anything according to his will. And since we know that he hears us whenever we ask, we know that what we have asked him for is ours.

Philippians 4:6
Dismiss all anxiety from your minds. Present your needs to God in every form of prayer and in petitions full of gratitude.

Acts 16:31
Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, and all your household.

Matthew 19:13-14
Then little children were being brought to him in order that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples spoke sternly to those who brought them; but Jesus said, 鏑et the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.

Revelation 7:17
The lamb on the throne will shepherd them; He will lead them to life-giving waters.

Acts 2:38-39
Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off--for all whom the Lord our God will call."

Isaiah 44:3
For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.

Joshua 24:15
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.


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