Some years ago, a group of women in the Episcopal Church attempted to publish an alternative to the Book of Common Prayer and asked women to contribute original prayers for this book.  Various categories were listed for the prayers, one of which was the category of abuse/domestic violence.  So I wrote and submitted the following prayer.  My prayer was rejected.  Why?  Because it was, according to the editorial committee, “too direct.”  In other words, it wasn’t “nice enough.”   

Well, I hate to tell those people on the editorial committee this, but sexual abuse, abuse of any sort, and domestic violence are simply NOT nice!!  They wanted me to submit a prayer in the category of abuse/domestic violence that was NICE??  That tiptoed around the subject matter??  I don’t think so!!   

Below is my prayer . . .

 Tender Mercy

(Icon, Virgin of Vladimir)          

A Prayer for Victims and Survivors of Abuse and Domestic Violence 


Lord, may our lips give you praise, and may our prayers rise to you like incense. 

For all the innocent little children who are at this moment being victimized—
May God’s hands hold your souls, shield them from evil, and keep them pure;

May God’s beauty and strength flow into your bodies and take away your pain and your shame;
May God’s peace form as a blanket around your minds and shield you from the horror, chaos, and confusion that accompany exploitation and violation of innocence.
*Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For all the people who as innocent children were victimized and who now
struggle to reclaim their souls, their bodies, and their minds—
May God’s firm hands stop you from harming yourselves or others;
May God’s eyes give you vision to see your true and innocent  selves;
May God’s ears enable you to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit;
May God’s feet move you gently and steadily on His Path. 
*Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For all those who are presently being violated and exploited and who are living in fear for their lives and the lives of their children—
May God’s gift of clear vision help you see through the fog of denial and deceit;
May God’s gift of courage enable you to stop the process of evil before it consumes you and those whom you love;
May God’s gift of discernment allow you to recognize the forces of good;
May God’s gift of tears help you mourn that which is worthy of being mourned;
May God’s gift of love enable you to know that you are beloved, unblemished, and cherished children of God, forgiven and blessed inheritors of His kingdom.

*Oh, God, you who sacrificed your beloved Son Jesus for us that we might have hope, please hear our prayers  for victims and survivors of sexual abuse, sexual assault,  and domestic violence. We ask that you help these people find bright new lives that are free from the tarnish of abuse.  We ask, also, that in times of weakness and trial, you send your angels to comfort them and give them strength.  We ask this in Your name, in the name of Your beloved Son, Jesus, in the name of the Holy Spirit, and in the name of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Theotokos, with her Son, the ever loving Mother of the motherless.