I would like to share this prayer with you and ask you to pray with me that, as the Bride of Christ, we will continue to learn to “walk in beauty” with our fellow man and God.
In May 2013, Mark Charles wrote those words in an email sent to a group I had just joined. I didn’t know Mark, but deeply agreed with the prayer, prayed it and kept it in my Inbox.
Last week, Jodi who blogs at Between Worlds, posted a list of 101 Culturally Diverse Christian Voices. Recognizing Mark’s name on the list, I clicked through and puttered around his blog, Reflections from the Hogan.
“I do not lead an organization nor do I work solely for a specific group, ministry or church,” Mark writes. “I am merely the son of an American woman (of Dutch heritage) and a Navajo man, who is living on our Navajo Reservation and trying to understand the complexities of our country’s history regarding race, culture and faith so that I can help forge a path of healing and reconciliation for our people.”
Thank you, Mark, for pursuing such a crucial and challenging calling.
Only now have I realized: Mark also posted this prayer on his blog. What’s more, he helped write the prayer, at the request of “a friend and colleague” who edited the new hymnal.
And now, at last, I see what God wants me to do with what he first put in front of me 10 months ago. With deep thanks to Mark Charles and to the editors of the Lift Up Your Hearts hymnal, I join the prayer and reprint it – and echo Mark’s invitation for you to join in too.
A Prayer of Indigenous Peoples, Refugees, Immigrants, and Pilgrims
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
We come before you as many parts of a single body.
You have called us together.
From different cultures, languages, customs, and histories…
Some of us indigenous – peoples of the land.
Some of us refugees, immigrants, pilgrims – people on the move.
Some of us hosts, some of us guests, some of us both hosts and guests
All of us searching for an eternal place where we can belong.
Creator, forgive us.
The earth is yours and everything that is in it.
But we forget…
In our arrogance we think we own it.
In our greed we think we can steal it.
In our ignorance we worship it.
In our thoughtlessness we destroy it.
We forget that you created it to bring praise and joy to you,
and you gave it as a gift,
for us to steward,
for us to enjoy,
for us to see more clearly your beauty and your majesty.
Jesus, save us.
We wait for your kingdom.
We long for your throne.
We hunger for your reconciliation,
for that day where people, from every tribe and every tongue
will gather around you and sing your praises.
Holy Spirit, teach us.
Help us to remember
that the body is made up of many parts.
Each one unique and every one necessary…
Teach us to embrace the discomfort that comes from our diversity
and to celebrate the fact that we are unified, not through our sameness,
but through the blood of our LORD and savior, Jesus Christ.
Triune God. We love you.
Your creation is beautiful.
Your salvation is merciful.
And your wisdom is beyond compare.
We pray this all in Jesus’ name.