Please join us in prayer at this significant moment for our country and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander justice.
As Senior Aboriginal Christian Leader, Aunty Jean Phillips, encourages us, "first of all we need to be coming together, we need to give it a lot of time and prayer, and ask God to give us wisdom and guidance.”
In the lead up to the referendum on October 14, Common Grace is sharing a series of weekly prayer emails, and daily prayer text messages, to call our movement to prayer for this significant moment facing our country.
Find out more about this series and how to get involved, as well as read our Weekly Prayer requests and bible verses here.
Prayers shared at our first Listen to the Heart online gathering by Meredith Walker-Harding and Safina Stewart can be found below, as well as prayers from other Aboriginal Christian Leaders.
Safina Stewart’s Prayer for the Voice
God of wondrous possibility
Take my story and my life
Give me courage to stand for justice
God of dreaming and mystery
Forgive my blind complaining
Give me vision to walk remembering your history
God of truth and love
Take my bruised hands and feet
Give me strength and grace to stand for truth
God of safety and singing
Take my mouth and my voice
Give me words to inspire and encourage
God of knowledge and creativity
Take my whole being
Help me stretch, broaden and deepen
God of goodness and hope
Take my connections and influence
And help me stand for Voice and Justice
Meredith Walker-Harding’s Prayer for Voice and Justice
Thank you that when you called us to yourself you also called us into your family.
We want to thank and praise you for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family.
Sisters and brothers to whom you have revealed so many truths, about yourself and about your creation.
Thank you for the generous, gracious and faithful ways our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sisters and brothers have shared these truths with us - through relationship, through stories, through art, through song, through care for country.
This year Lord, we have the exciting opportunity to move forward on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander justice. Please help the non-Indigenous church here in Australia listen deeply to our Indigenous brothers and sisters calls for justice, for a Voice, for treaty and truth telling. Help us echo, amplify and fight for these calls to come true because, as followers of Jesus, you have called us to be people of love, to be people who pursue reconciliation and justice. We have ignored this call in the past, forgive us, help us not to fail now.
In the lead up to the referendum God, please protect our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family as they encounter people and spaces and structures that are not safe, that wish them harm, that presume to know what is best without listening to what is being asked for, that spread misinformation, that choose self comfort over justice. Surround their hearts and spirits and communities with your love. Help the non-Indigenous church to also surround them with our love and support and resources.
And in the midst of what will be an exhausting year, remind our Aboriginal and Torres Strait brothers and sisters that it is ok to rest, to take care of themselves, that their day to day lives are important to you, that you love them and want them to flourish.
Thank you for loving us Lord, please help us love you and each other and your world.
In Jesus’ name, Amen
Uncle Dr Pastor Ray Minniecon’s Redfern Prayer
God of our Dreaming. Father of all our Aboriginal nations in Australia. You have lived among us since time immemorial. We have always known You. You gave this land to our Aboriginal nations. You have not dispossessed us nor destroyed us.
People from other lands, who do not understand our unique culture, our unique lifestyle and our unique heritage have come and destroyed much of our way of life. Many of these people from other lands now want to understand and reconcile with us.
But for many of us Aboriginal people, we find this reconciliation business a little difficult.
Too many of our children are still in jails.
Too many of our children are still living in sub-standard housing.
Too many of our mothers are living on the streets or in refuges.
Too many of our children are still uneducated.
Too many of our children have no land and no community to go back to.
Too many of our children have not got good opportunities for good employment.
Too many of our children are living in extremely unhealthy environments.
Too many of our children are living among violence and abuse.
Too many of our children are dying to drugs and other soul-destroying substances.
God of our Dreaming and Creator of our people, we sometimes feel overwhelmed by these things. Many of us feel like we are refugees in our own land.
Today we are coming together again on one of our battlegrounds to cry out to You for mercy and justice for our children, for our families and for our land.
We pray that more resources will be given to our local community organisations to help us grow healthy and strong.
We pray that the peoples from other lands will be given a heart of flesh instead of a heart of stone so that they can understand us and support us properly.
We pray that your Spirit will help and encourage us to grow good strong Aboriginal leaders.
Father we want to grow strong and healthy again in our own land. We want to take our rightful place in our land and make our contribution to the re-building of our families, our communities and our nation.
Please hear our cries for justice. We ask these mercies in the name of Your Son.
This Redfern Prayer was written in 2009 by Pastor Raymond Minniecon, a descendant of the Kabi Kabi nation and the Gurang Gurang nation of South-East Queensland, and a descendant of the South Sea Islander people. He is a prominent Aboriginal Christian Leader in Australia with a long history working across Aboriginal justice issues through business and ministry.