Continuing in the spirit of the week of NAIDOC, I have posted this prayer written by Brooke Prentis and published on Common Grace. This prayer acknowledges the struggles and injustices of the Australian First Nation people. This blog is a social justice platform. However, we cannot do the work of social justice on this planet if we do not first fight for the unification and justice of our first Nation people. If we ignore their suffering we are hypocritical.
At the end of this prayer is a list of injustices that we can pray for and repent of.
The history of our nation deeply affects the present and our future.
For over 60,000 years, 300 Aboriginal nations with over 600 dialects of language dwelt on the continent we now call Australia. Over 2,000 generations of Aboriginal people lived and died here.
In 1770 Captain Cook landed on Possession Island and began the dangerous story of Australia, which for Aboriginal peoples is filled with dispossession, disease, death and ongoing disadvantage.
As Christians we know the reach of sin, how it smothers its way into everything. All Australians are harmed by what has happened to Aboriginal Australians.
Only together, with lament and grief, apologies and forgiveness, friendship and solidarity, can we build a strong reconciled Australia (Source).
We cannot say we did not know.
Common Grace is a movement of Christians who are passionate about Jesus and justice.
Bringing together Christians from many parts of the Church, the Common Grace community is rich in diverse understandings and perspectives on any given topic.
Yet at Common Grace, we share a fierce unity.
It is a unity that is birthed in our common experience of receiving the grace of Jesus. It is a unity that is continually forged by our common desire to be more like Jesus.
26 January prayer
Written by Brooke Prentis, Aboriginal spokesperson for 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.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Injustices
Compiled by Brooke Prentis, Aboriginal spokesperson for Common Grace
- Stolen Land
- Stolen Wages
- Stolen Generations
- Lack of Treaty
- Lack of recognition of The Frontier Wars
- Loss of Language
- Lack of return of Ancestral Remains
- Lack of protection of Sacred Sites
- High rates of Prison incarceration
- High rates of Juvenile Detention
- Denied access to medical attention in custody
- The NT Intervention
- Paperless arrest laws
- Forced removal from Homelands
- Proposed nuclear waste dumps without consultation
- Aboriginal Deaths in Custody
- The New Stolen Generation
- Life expectancy gaps
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