June 12th - World Day Against Child Labor

World Day Against Child Labor

Let Us Pray for Children

by Sister Ethel Howley

 

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest.” This was the prayer of Jesus when he preached in the home towns of his disciples.
It is our prayer for today’s children caught in industries throughout our planet that use their labor which is often harmful to their health and wellbeing.

We ask you, Jesus, to bless the very young children working in the mines – cobalt, leather, and diamond mines.  The profits from their labor stay largely in corporate and government hands. We pray, too, for the corporate executives and the government leaders that their hearts will be moved to initiate and enforce new policies beneficial to families in mining villages. 

May the Triune God be with world leaders as they create a world fit for children. We plead with our leaders to provide all children with the best possible start in life, access to quality education, and ample opportunity to develop their individual capacities in a safe and supportive environment. We pray for the children working in the cotton industry to make our clothes, in agriculture to bring us fresh produce and chocolate desserts, and also for those children making bricks for buildings in their own impoverished country. 

We ask you to bring them peace and contentment,
and education, rather than such hard labor.

With the Psalmist we reflect, “Children are a gift from God; they are a real blessing.” Then I remember the children who beg in the streets of developing countries, who collect discarded objects from garbage heaps to sell for food, and who shine shoes on the street corners.

God, our Father and Mother,
give them their daily bread.

As we listen to world news each evening and read the morning paper, we see racial violence, war, natural disasters, and migration round ups, all of which often lead to human trafficking – even trafficking of children for on line pornography.  Jesus, you once said, “Let the children come to me and do not stop them, because the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Children gathered at the United Nations some years ago wrote, “We are the children of the world, and despite our different backgrounds, we share a common reality.  We are united by our struggle to make the world a better place for all. You call us the future, but we are also the present.” 

We beg you, Holy Spirit, to fill their hearts 
with the wonder of your presence.
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