Prayers and reflections for January 26

A January 26 prayer by Brooke Prentis, CEO of Common Grace 

God of Holy Dreaming, Great Creator Spirit, Papa Jesus,

We come before you today as a Christian community to pause and reflect with our Aboriginal brothers and sisters. We pause to take a moment to show compassion to Aboriginal people at this time of grief and grievance. Whilst not all of us will understand this Lord, we ask that you help us to see, hear and feel the struggles of our Aboriginal brothers and sisters.

We pray for strength and healing at this time that brings forth feelings of loss. We recognise the loss of family, loss of land, and loss of freedom. We say sorry for the times we have wronged Aboriginal people, the times we have not treated them with dignity, the times we have not stood up to racism, and the times we have not listened to their stories, their fight for justice, and their cry for compassion.

Dear Lord, we pray for a way that we can celebrate together, not as one unified group, but for a way that celebrates our diversity.  A way that encompasses all cultures, and celebrates and commemorates our past, both the good and the bad.

Dear Lord, we know that you are all seeing and all knowing. We know that you have seen all that has gone on in this land since time began. We pray that you help all Australians to see as you have seen through all the pages of our history and our present and our future yet to come.

Dear Lord, we thank you for placing Aboriginal people here in this land, we thank you for their care and stewardship of your great creation for thousands of years.  We thank you for their survival against many odds. Dear Lord, may we learn to respect, appreciate, and acknowledge, the oldest living culture in the world.

Lord we ask all these things in your Almighty name, Amen.

From a prayer by St Andrews Cathedral Sydney

We humbly ask for mercy toward Australia, since every blessing depends on your grace. But our people have enjoyed your many favours, often without gratitude. We also humble ourselves because of our national sins, which testify against us. We especially lament the staggering magnitude of disadvantage faced by many Indigenous Australians due to past theft and injustice, whose effects are sadly sometimes still present in racism or intergenerational trauma.

We pray for the protection of those who oppose evil and speak against untruth when it is manifested within our nation, among our neighbours, and even overseas. Give success to efforts to promote civic righteousness and public virtue, and for the suppression of any racism, for the general welfare of all, regardless of skin colour.

Display your faithfulness to the poor and needy, and free them from their affliction.Grant resilience and health, insight and patience, to those who serve in your name, but especially to indigenous pastors and congregations. Give them a continuing love of the Scriptures and of other people.

Lord, we pray that the gospel will always continue among our nation as the ultimate means of peace and eternal safety. We pray that this good news of reconciliation with you, through the cross of Christ, will advance among us. Do not give us a famine of the Word.And Holy Spirit, establish repentance in our hearts and in our churches and their structures. Help us to live lives, where justice rolls down like waters among us, and righteousness as an everlasting stream.

A lament from the Uniting Church Day of Mourning resource

Merciful God,
we, the Second Peoples of this land, lament the injustice and abuse that has so often marked the treatment of the First Peoples of this land.

We lament
the way in which their land was taken from them and their language, culture, law and spirituality despised and suppressed.
We acknowledge and lament
the way in which the Christian church
was so often not only complicit in this process but actively involved in it.

We lament that in our own time
the injustice and abuse has continued. We have been indifferent.

Gracious God, hear our confession —
We have not loved you with our whole heart,
nor have we loved First Peoples and other neighbours as ourselves. God of mercy, forgive us for our failures, past and present and
give us the grace today to make a fresh start.

By your Spirit transform our minds and hearts so that we may love as you have loved us, that we may boldly speak your truth
and courageously do your will.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.



Some prayer points to help

Please pray these prayers or your own, and bring our nation before God