As well as the Service entitled: “PRAYERS FOR THOSE WHO HAVE SUFFERED ABUSE OF ANY KIND” to be found in our Circle of Care section, here below we present a selection of texts from Scripture, Reflections, Prayers, Litanies and Suggestions for Music that may be of help to you in developing an appropriate prayer response in relation to the issue of abuse of any kind.


The following prayer was sent to Archbishop Martin by someone who suffered abuse
so that it could be shared in our parishes. It captures our situation with simplicity and sincerity.

      Lord, we are so sorry for what some of us did
to your children: treated them so cruelly,
especially in their hour of need.
We have left them with a lifelong suffering.
This was not your plan for them or us.
Please help us to help them.
Guide us, Lord, Amen.


Some sample prayers of intercession –
[Include two or three of the following in your Prayer of the Faithful:]

Introduction:        In humility of heart, let us pray to God,
whose love and faithfulness endures forever.

1. We pray for all who have been abused
whether physically, mentally, emotionally or sexually:
that the Lord of all tenderness and compassion
will restore them and give them peace.

2. We pray that we may become more and more
a community that actively cares for and protects
the most vulnerable sections of our society,
particularly our children.

3. We pray for the Spirit of wisdom: that it will enlighten the minds of all
people and lead to a growth in awareness and a determination to put an end to
all acts of violence and abuse.

4. We pray for all in the healing professions who minister to those who suffer
as a result of violence or abuse:
that God will give them an abundance of love,
compassion and wisdom.

Concluding prayer:
God our rock and our strength on whom we lean,

help us to create an atmosphere of trust
which allows the unspeakable to be said.
Help us to live with our painful memories.
May we support each other and be safe places for each other.
We pray this in the name of Jesus, your compassion made flesh,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
now and for ever. Amen.

Paidreacha dIdirghui

A Dhia, ta aiféal orainn as ucht na rudaí a rinne cuid dúinn dod phaistí:
gur caitheadh leo chomh chrualach, in am a gátar ach go hairithe.
Dfhagamar iad le cruatan saoil.
Níorbh e seo do scéim dóibh súid ná dúinne.
Cabhraigh linn le cabhair a thabhairt doibh súid.
Treoraí sinn, A Thiarna, Amen.

Gui an Phobail 

Le humhail croí, guímis do Dia, maireann a ghrá agus dilseacht go buan.

1. Guimís ar son gach duine gur baineadh mí-usáid asta bíodh sin go fisiciúil,
go hintinneach, go maoithneach nó gréasach:
go ndéanfadh an Tiarna atá lan de cineáltacht agus trua athneartú orthú and
síocháni a thabhairt dóibh.

2. Guimís go mbéimid ina phobal ata gríomhach ag tabhairt aire agus cosaint don
cuid dár sochaí atá gan chosaint, ár bpáistí ach go háirithe.

3. Guimís ar son spiorad na crionnachta; go dtabharfar leargas dintinn gach
duine agus go dtreoraí se dfhás in eolas agus diongbháilteacht le deireadh a chuir le
gníomhartha dfhoreigean agus mí-úsáid

4. Guimís ar son na gairme cneasú a thugann fóirithint dóibh súid atá ag
fulaingt de thoradh ar fhoreigean nó mí-úsáid go dtabharfaidh Dia flúirse grá,
trua agus críonnacht dóibh.

Dia ár gcarraig agus ár neart ar a gclaonaimid
cabhraigh linn atmaisféar de mhuinín a chruthú
ina gceadaitear an doluaite a lua.
Cabhraigh linn maireachtan lenár gcuimhní pianmhar
Go dtugaimid tacaíocht dá chéile agus bheith mar áit slán da chéile.
Guimis in ainm Íosa, do trua,
a mhaireann agus a rialaíonn trí shaol na saol.



From the letter of St Paul to the Romans 8:26-27
When faced with great difficulty, we often can be at a total loss for words.
But the Spirit of God can express even our sighs to the heart of God.

The Spirit comes to help us in our weakness.
For when we cannot choose words in order to pray properly,
the Spirit himself expresses our plea
in a way that could never be put into words,
and God who knows everything in our hearts
knows perfectly well what he means,
and that the pleas of the saints expressed by the Spirit
are according to the mind of God.

From the first letter of St Peter 5: 5b, 7, 10b-11.
Wrap yourselves in humility to be servants of each other,
because God refuses the proud and will always favour the humble.
Unload all your worries onto Him,
since He is looking after you…
The God of all grace
who called you to eternal glory in Christ
will see that all is well again:
he will confirm, strengthen and support you.
His power lasts forever and ever. Amen.

The Lord is close to the broken hearted

I will bless the Lord at all times,
His praise always on my lips;
in the Lord my soul shall make its boast.
The humble will hear and be glad.
The Lord is close to the broken hearted

Glorify the Lord with me.
Together let us praise His name.
I sought the Lord and He answered me;
from all my terrors He set me free.
The Lord is close to the broken hearted

Look towards Him and be radiant;
let your faces not be abashed.
When the poor cry out the Lord hears them
and rescues them from all their distress.
The Lord is close to the broken hearted

The Lord is close to the broken hearted;
Those whose spirit is crushed He will save.
The Lord is close to the broken hearted

From Psalm 68 (69)
In your great love, answer me O God

I am wearied with all my crying,
my throat is parched.
My eyes are wasted away
from looking for my God.
In your great love, answer me O God

This is my prayer to you,
my prayer for your favour.
In your great love answer me O God,
with your help that never fails.
In your great love, answer me O God

Lord, answer, for your love is kind;
in your compassion, turn towards me.
Do not hide your face from your servant;
answer me quickly for I am in distress.
In your great love, answer me O God

As for me in my poverty and pain,
let your help, O God, lift me up.
In your great love, answer me O God

From Psalm 26
The Lord is my light and my help

The Lord is my light and my help;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
before whom shall I shrink?
The Lord is my light and my help

For there He keeps me safe in his tent
in the day of evil.
He hides me in the shelter of his tent,
on a rock he sets me safe.
The Lord is my light and my help

O Lord, hear my voice when I call;
have mercy and answer.
Of you my heart has spoken:
“Seek His face.”
The Lord is my light and my help

It is your face O Lord that I seek;
hide not your face.
Dismiss not your servant in anger;
You have been my help.
The Lord is my light and my help

Do not abandon or forsake me,
O God my help!
Though father and mother forsake me,
the Lord will receive me.
The Lord is my light and my help


From the Gospel according to Matthew 11:28-30
Jesus said to His disciples:
“Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened,
and I will give you rest.
Shoulder my yoke and learn from me,
for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.”

From the Gospel according to Matthew 18:5-7a, 10
Jesus said to His disciples:
“Anyone who welcomes a little child in my name welcomes me.
But anyone who is an obstacle
to bring down one of these little ones who have faith in me
would be better drowned in the depths of the sea
with a great millstone round his neck.
Alas for the world that there should be such obstacles!
See that you never despise any of these little ones,
for I tell you that their angels in heaven
are continually in the presence of my Father in heaven.”

From the Gospel according to Mark 4:35-41
With the coming of evening, Jesus said to his disciples, Let us cross over to the other side. And leaving the crowd behind they took him, just as he was, in the boat; and there were other boats with him. Then it began to blow a gale and the waves were breaking into the boat so that it was almost swamped. But he was in the stern, his head on the cushion, asleep. They woke him and said to him, Master, do you not care? We are going down! And he woke up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, Quiet now! Be calm! And the wind dropped, and all was calm again.

From the Gospel according to John 10:11-18
Jesus said:

“I am the good shepherd:
the good shepherd is one who lays down his life for his sheep.
The hired man, since he is not the shepherd
and the sheep do not belong to him,
abandons the sheep and runs away
as soon as he sees a wolf coming,
and then the wolf attacks and scatters the sheep;
this is because he is only a hired man
and has no concern for the sheep.
I am the good shepherd;
I know my own and my own know me,
just as the Father knows me
and I know the Father;
and I lay down my life for my sheep.”

From the Gospel according to John 14: 1
Jesus said to His disciples:

“Do not let your hearts be troubled .
Trust in God still,
and trust in me.”

From the Gospel according to John 14: 27
Jesus said to His disciples:

“Peace I bequeath to you,
My own peace I give you,
a peace the world cannot give, this is my gift to you.
Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.”



God of endless love,
ever caring, ever strong,
always present, always just:

You gave your only Son
to save us by the blood of his cross.

Gentle Jesus, shepherd of peace,
join to your own suffering
the pain of all who have been hurt
in body, mind, and spirit
by those who betrayed the trust placed in them.

Hear our cries of distress
over the harm done to our brothers and sisters.
Breathe wisdom into our prayers,
soothe restless hearts with hope,
steady shaken spirits with faith:
Show us the way to justice and wholeness,
enlightened by truth and enfolded in your mercy.

Holy Spirit, comforter of hearts,
heal your peoples wounds
and transform our brokenness.
Grant us courage and wisdom, humility and grace
so that we may act with justice
and find peace in you.

We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

[from a prayer produced by the US Conference of Bishops]


Praise to you, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
source of all consolation and hope.
By your Sons dying and rising
He remains our light in every darkness,
our strength in every weakness.
Be the refuge and guardian
of all who suffer from abuse and violence.
Comfort them and send healing
for their wounds of body, soul and spirit.
Rescue them from bitterness and shame
and refresh them with your love.
Heal the brokenness in all victims of abuse
and revive the spirits of all who lament this sin.
Help us to follow Jesus
in drawing good from evil, life from death.
Make us one with you in your love for justice
as we deepen our respect
for the dignity of every human life.
Giver of peace, make us one in celebrating your praise,
both now and forever. Amen.

(Bishop of St Cloud, USA)


A Blessing: For Broken Trust  By John O’Donoghue

Sometimes there is an invisible raven
That will fly low to pierce the shell of trust
When it has been brought near to ground.

When he strikes, he breaks the faith of years
That had built quietly through the seasons
In the rhythm of tried and tested experience.

With one strike, the shelter is down
And the black yolk of truth turned false
Would poison the garden of memory.

Now the heart’s dream turns to requiem,
Offering itself a poultice of tears
To cleanse from loss what cannot be lost.

Through all the raw and awkward days,
Dignity will hold the heart to grace
Lest it squander its dream on a ghost.

Often torn ground is ideal for seed
That can root disappointment deep enough
To yield a harvest that cannot wither:

A deeper light to anoint the eyes,
Passion that opens wings in the heart,
A subtle radiance of countenance:
the soul is ready for its true other.


The Alexian Brothers’ Prayer to Christ the Healer
In the comfort of your love,

I pour out to you, my Saviour,
The memories that haunt me,
The anxieties that perplex me,
The fears that stifle me,
The sickness that prevails upon me,
And the frustration of all the pain
that weaves about within me.
Lord, help me to see your peace in my turmoil,
your compassion in my sorrow,
your forgiveness in my weakness,
And, your love in my need.
Touch me, O Lord, with your healing power and strength.


A Prayer for Inner Peace & Transformation     Joyce Rupp

Dear God, come with me into this day. Be with me where the dark things are. Take my hand through the valley of shadows; cast out fear and pride from my heart. Allow me to see the great hollow spot in me that has never been transformed into you. Take me to the ‘LazarusGulf’; do not spare me from the terror of it. Only, please God, do not let go of me for I will fall into my fear and leave you.

Praise be to you, shining shield of love. Alleluia to you, great God of warmth whose strong hand in my own keep s taking me to places I’d rather not go. My trust is in you, divine companion. O maker of mine, O giver of my life, trudge with me down my path of death into the murky mud of my sin.
Stay with me as I see how unlike you I am, and then, beautiful gift of goodness, turn my heart around to face you. Allow me to behold the radiance of your astounding, wonderful beauty. Then, my loving God, I will be home.


The following reflections are based on prayers written by Brother Roger of Taizé:

Christ Jesus, Saviour of every life,

You take our burdens upon yourself.
You suffer with all who bear the cross of suffering
in whatever form it takes.
So that, with you, we can move forward:
from worry and anxiety to trust, from darkness to light.

With you accompanying us, even what pains our heart,
even our own darkness can be made bright
by the inner light of the Holy Spirit.

You stretched out your arms on the cross
and reconciled us to one another and to the Father.
You brought God and humanity together in your body.
Wrap your arms around our broken lives
and restore us to the harmony that exists in you.


Jesus our hope, Peace of our hearts,
in you we find the consolation
God wants to pour into our lives.
And we understand that, in prayer,
we can bring everything to you entrust everything to you:
even the things of which we are ashamed
even the things of which we are afraid.

Help us to live each day as a day that belongs to you,
and to rejoice at what you accomplish in our souls.
In this way we can be channels of your peace,
living vessels of your presence.
Jesus, help us to live by the words you speak to us:
“My peace I leave you
Do not let your heart be troubled anymore.”

In the Gospel of Matthew, even before Jesus is born he is also called:
“Immanuel – a name which means ‘God-is-with-us’” [Matt 1:23]
Jesus’ first work is to accompany us.
We hear it again the invitation to Jesus from the two disciples on the Road to Emmaus: when “they pressed Him to stay with them” [Luke 24:29]
We invite Him to accompany us as we pray:

(Our response is: ‘Stay with us Lord’)

When peace is fragile. Stay with us, Lord
When tempers are raised. Stay with us, Lord           
When atrocities occur  Stay with us, Lord
When forgiveness is rejected Stay with us, Lord
When talks break down Stay with us, Lord
When agreements are broken  Stay with us, Lord
When darkness weighs upon us Stay with us, Lord
When we cannot see you Stay with us, Lord
When burdens feel too heavy Stay with us, Lord
When hope seems faint  Stay with us, Lord
When we are weak Stay with us, Lord
When faith seems difficult  Stay with us, Lord

We ask the Risen Lord to continue to walk with and protect those who are burdened –
(our response is: Walk with them, Lord)

For all who have lost hope  Walk with them, Lord
For all who suffer Walk with them, Lord
For all who are sick and in pain Walk with them, Lord
For all who are struggling Walk with them, Lord
For all who have been badly hurt in life Walk with them, Lord
For all who are grieving Walk with them, Lord
For all who are depressed Walk with them, Lord
For all who feel rejected Walk with them, Lord
For all who feel unloved Walk with them, Lord
For all who are oppressed Walk with them, Lord
For all who are anxiousWalk with them, Lord


Some suggestions for music:

Stand beside me John Columba McCann OSB
Healer of my soul John Michael Talbot
The Lord will heal the broken heart (God of life) Liam Lawton
The Cloud’s Veil Liam Lawton
Heal us, Lord Liam Lawton
Christ be near at either hand Traditional
A Mhuire Mháthair Tradisiúnta arr. Ian Callanan
Sé an Tiarna m’Aoire Fintan O’Carroll
Calm me Lord Margaret Rizza
Your Mercy Like Rain Rory Cooney
Be still and know that I am God anon.
Be still my soul K. von Schlegel/Sibelius
My soul is longing for your peace Lucien Deiss
Within our darkest night Taizé
Lord Jesus Christ, your light shines within us Taizé
Create in me (Ps 51) David Haas
You are mine David Haas
In God alone David Haas
Keep me safe O God John Foley