In the image of God, God created them, male and female God created them. (Genesis 1:27)

Is there anyone in our country who has been unaffected by rape and sexual abuse? As we sit in our family, churches, offices or schools, sitting beside us, are people bearing the long term wounds of sexual violence.  We know that sexual abuse damages not only the physical body, it also damages our emotional integrity and can profoundly undermine our ability even to relate to God. Those who survive rape often bear the wounds of their experience for life. Jesus came into the world to heal and redeem us, to remind us that we share a common human dignity. How do I work with the Spirit of God to bring about the healing and respect of others that our society so desperately needs?

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Lord we pray for all those affected by sexual abuse and rape.

May they come to a deep awareness of your love which desires to heal all our pain.

May we grow in compassion and understanding of all who carry the burden of having been abused, so that together we may discover anew the promise of hope that you offer.

Amen