An "Australia Day" Prayer

As we pause before our national holiday, we give thanks.

Thanks for the glorious, inspiring landscape we live amidst. We give thanks to the way our natural surroundings intertwine with our stories, our upbringings. How your dazzling creation in this great southern land intersects with our personal and precious memories.

In hope and faith we pray,

Lord, hear our prayers

 As we pause before our national holiday, we remember.

We remember that for many, especially our Indigenous sisters and brothers, this holiday carries with it painful associations. A testament to displacement, racism, and death. For the ongoing legacy and our profiteering from it, we pray forgiveness. But we know that you are a God of reconciliation – we pray as you acted to reconcile us to you, may you embolden us and equip us for the work of reconciliation in our land.

In hope and faith we pray,

Lord, hear our prayers

 As we pause before our national holiday, we mourn.

We mourn for those who have been driven from the countries they called home. Driven out by tyranny, persecution, war, or natural disaster – driven to try and find a new home. We mourn for the state of so many who sought to call Australia home, who are now locked up indefinitely. But we know that you are a suffering God, you yourself took a refugees journey as a babe. May your spirit of compassion work in the hearts of leaders and activist alike, may we be compassionate too.

In hope and faith we pray,

Lord, hear our prayers

 As we pause before our national holiday, we seek.

We seek to live, first and foremost, as citizens of your Kingdom. We seek to find our identity, first and foremost, in you. We seek to follow, first and foremost, your law of love. May you inspire us to do so.

In hope and faith we pray,

Lord, hear our prayers.