We come before you and we cannot hide our true selves.
We cannot hide our pain, our wounds, or our deepest needs.
Gracious God, you see us truly, and we cannot hide from you.
There is no camouflage that can allow us to keep any part of ourselves secret.
There is nothing about us that you do not know and, more importantly,
there is nothing about us that keeps you from loving us.
We are your children. You have formed us in your image.
And as your children, we are deeply loved and uniquely cherished.
We sometimes hide ourselves from the world.
We smile and tell those around us that everything is great.
We are afraid of allowing others to see us as wanting or in pain.
We want to be seen as strong and in control.
But you see us as we truly are. We cannot hide from you or from your love.
And as you love us completely, open our hearts
so that we can also love ourselves completely.
Heal our wounds and fill our hearts with your peace and your grace.
And as we hear the sacred story of others,
help us to create a space that allows for acceptance and understanding.
Help us to share ourselves with others completely and freely.
Help us to own our past and to recognize the value of our history.
Give us the courage to share our sacred stories with those around us.
Give us the wisdom to understand how our experiences and
how our past has shaped us and made us the people that we are today.
As we have learned from our past, help us to teach others.
Help us to share the story of your love and your teachings with others.
We stand before you, openly and as your children.
As you are with us always, we ask that you especially be with those among us
who need your strength and healing grace. We name ___.
We are your children, Lord.
We lift up your teachings in praise and thanksgiving.
And, as your children, we use the words that you taught us so many years ago,