Sunday, October 10, 2021

Prayer for our Indigenous Neighbors

Zuni - Soaring Eagle Dance Group - Santa Fe, NM 10/09/2021

Prayers for Indigenous Neighbors 
Created by the United Church of Canada

Creator, Spirit, Comforter, Advocate, We greet you this day with thanks for the blessings of our lives and for the blessing of the people of our community. We pray especially this morning for the original peoples of this land. 

                                      The new Cherokee morning song with translation

We think with gratitude about the welcome Indigenous peoples gave to the first visitors who arrived here from afar, from other parts of the world, and settled in this place. We imagine that there must have been misunderstandings and hardship in these early relationships, but we also know from the stories we have been told that working relationships, bonds of friendship and even bonds of kinship and love, grew out of these early encounters. Our ancestors in this place agreed to share these sacred lands in a covenantal relationship and to live side by side in peace as neighbors, respecting each other as communities of peoples with different customs and traditions, and unique understandings of their relationship with you, but created, as we have been taught, each and every one, in your own image. 

We see you in each other and learn about you as we encounter each other. You, Creator God, know the needs of the Indigenous peoples of this place far better than we do. We are aware of the ongoing injustices and adversity, including racism, which our Indigenous brothers, sisters, and cousins experience. The violence faced by some in our own country angers us, saddens us, frustrates us, and leaves us searching for answers.

Holy One, you know that we have a deep love for this place. As your faithful disciples, we long to know what we can do to best show that we love our neighbors as ourselves. Help us to use our gifts, our knowledge, our skills, our positions in society, and our strength in Christ, as a community of faith, to support our neighbors. Give us humility and the wisdom to know when and how to follow their lead in seeking solutions, and in making positive changes. Open our hearts, our minds, and our spirits to new possibilities when the steps our Indigenous leaders and neighbors wish to take may be uncomfortable or unfamiliar. 

Great Spirit, fill us with the power and the courage to trust in you and to trust in others. Help us to trust in the deep wisdom and traditional knowledges that you have gifted to our Indigenous neighbors. Help us to accept the gift of learning from our neighbors that we may broaden and deepen our understanding of how to live together, to share resources, to put our complementary skills to work together, and most of all to build on our common desire to live in wholeness together as all of your peoples. 

                                                 AMAZING GRACE IN CHEROKEE - NATIVE AMERICAN

We thank you for the blessing you have given us to know you better by getting to know our neighbors better in all of their diverse God-given beauty. We pray for our Indigenous neighbors. We ask that you will help us to let our Indigenous neighbors know that we honor them, we want to live together with them in harmony, and we share their hope for a blessed future together, for growth in mutual understanding and respect, for healing, for justice, and for reconciliation. We pray for all of our relations. Amen. 

"Wolf Robe" Oil Painting by Greg Overton

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