Not only was Ira dedicated at Christ's Church for Brooklyn but also at the Manhattan Church of Christ. So many in that family have reached out to us in so many ways. It was only appropriate that Ira meet those who have ministered to him and his family. Larry Mudd, the worship minister, wrote the following liturgical prayer after asking Laura and I what we wanted out of the service:
We praise and thank you, Loving Father,
For bringing Ira and his families to this time,
For carrying them through long and difficult struggle
To this moment of light and life.We praise and thank you, Lord.
We praise and thank you, Blessed Jesus,
For Your many gifted servants
You have used to minister to this special child:
The doctors and nurses, and so many others.We praise and thank you, Lord.
We praise and thank you, Holy Spirit,
For your steadfast, faithful love
In and through the darkness of these months,
Often hard to feel, but never missing.We praise and thank you, Lord.
We praise and thank you, Almighty God,
For this singular, special moment
As we gather around your throne together
To love and bless this precious child.We praise and thank you, Lord.
Many times, we feared this day would never come;
So at this moment especially, we are mindful
Of the beloved children who were not able to go home,
But instead are at home with you, FatherMay they live in the hearts of those who love them.
We pray for their Moms and Dads.Strengthen their hearts and spirits, Lord.
We pray for their Grandmas and Grandpas.Strengthen their hearts and spirits, Lord.
We pray for their brothers and sisters.Strengthen their hearts and spirits, Lord.
We pray for their family and friends.Strengthen their hearts and spirits, Lord.
We are also mindful of others
Whose battles still continue.
As you have done for Ira, Lord,
Let them come home from the hospital.Heal and make them whole, Lord.
As the days and months go on,
Let them know that You are with them.
Strengthen their parents and families,
And let them grow to full health.Heal and make them whole, Lord.
Now that Ira has come home,
We pray for your continued blessing,
For special favor on the Hayses
As this new chapter of life unfolds.Bless and refresh them in every way.
We give you thanks for Joe and Laura,
For their hearts they have for You, Lord,
And the faith you have nurtured in their lives
In preparation for this journey.Bless and refresh them in every way.
MEN:We ask your blessing on Joe, Lord,
Calm his spirit with Your peace,
Strengthen his body and faith with Your power,
Uplift his mind and heart with Your Spirit.
Give him grace to be the best son to You he can be,
To love you with all that he has and is.
Give him grace to be the best husband he can be,
To love Laura with a love from you,
Give him grace to be the best father he can be,
To love Ira and Sophia with Your love.
WOMEN:We ask your blessing on Laura, Lord,
Calm her spirit with Your peace,
Strengthen her body and faith with Your power,
Uplift her mind and heart with Your Spirit.
Give her grace to be the best daughter to You she can be,
To love you with all that she has and is.
Give her grace to be the best wife she can be,
To love Joe with a love from you,
Give her grace to be the best mother she can be,
To love Ira and Sophia with Your love.
ALL:We ask your blessing on Sophia, Lord,
Cause her faith in you to grow,
Give her wisdom throughout her life,
Especially in her relationship with Ira.
We ask your blessing on Ira, Lord,
Continue his healing and make him whole.
Protect him from sickness and infection,
And allow him to breathe on his own.
Bless all who care for and love him
With health, wisdom and strength,
To be sources of learning and healing
As Ira grows and matures.
JOE & LAURA:
Lord God Almighty,
We place Ira before Your throne
And dedicate his life - his every breath -
To You and to Your glory.
CONGREGATION:And we as a family of faith
Pledge our love and support
To Laura, Joe, Sophia and Ira
Whenever they need our help.
We will live as examples of faith
Measured in steps of integrity
We will teach and encourage in love
and walk by their side in Your light.
Surround him with Your power, God,
Anoint him to Your glory,
Lengthen his days to many years
That he may show Your love to many.We dedicate Ira to You, Lord.