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A prayer from Oceania and Asia

16 November 2020

This prayer from Oceania and Asia was shared during a gathering of the Ecclesial Networks Alliance for Integral Ecology on 3 November. It was inspired by Pinanukēdan, a song by the Pulangiyēn tribe in Bukidnon, Philippines that talks about the limits and balances set on our life on earth, from the land and high above the sky.

We remind ourselves of your constant presence

O Lord God in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,

And from the rising of the sun to its setting,

We praise your name across every sea and land, this very day and night.

Jesus, you crossed the cultural boundaries of your time,

You walked from the deserts to the shores,

From the mountaintops to the lush valley of the Jordan.

We know you love us through the land,

As you taught us through parables of the land.

And you calmed seas,

You fed the thousands with bread and fish

Harvested daily by the local people.

Help us in our time to share the divine message

Of peace, justice, and reconciliation in the Father,

In solidarity with our neighbor and in care for Creation.  

Send us the Spirit, the Advocate,

We trust in your leadership of wellbeing for all.

And we seek a more just, sustainable and fraternal world.

Show us the way to the kingdom of God.

Your mission, passion, death, and resurrection

Are the seamless integral relationship you lived,

With your disciples and the Father.

As we seek to follow and share in your mission,

Help us in our church of open doors

To heal the wounds, feed the needy, welcome the migrant

And care for Creation, care for all.

The indigenous say: “We feel at peace as we continue to be guided by the wisdom of our ancestors. In the rivers, we are reminded we are ever flowing, ever growing, connected to the broadening landscape and to the oceans that greet us back with breezes, winds, and clouds, rains – both life-giving and life-taking.”

From the different parts of the world,

We have come together to listen to one another and create a new solidarity,

Driven by our diversities and uniqueness,

As we need to share this Common Home.

Our indigenous ask: “Can we try to live within the balance set

Between the land and high above the sky,

Within this world that our ancestors have handed on to us from the Creator?”

The indigenous say: “We feel at peace,

As we continue to be guided by the wisdom of our ancestors.

In the rivers, we are reminded,

We are ever flowing, ever growing,

Connected to the broadening landscape and to the oceans,

That greet us back with breezes, winds, and clouds

Rains – both life-giving and life-taking.”

The indigenous, living in the forests and on the seas,

Renew in humankind how we must love all life,

For it is an extension of our own living,

It is the foundation of our identity as persons and as communities.

Lord, help us to dream of the society that builds people,

The better normal.

We need to remake the human response in your name.

We need to steer our collective action towards one where the general welfare of people and planet is the priority and not the afterthought.

All over the world, indigenous communities continue to face threats,

On their rights to manage their own ancestral land

As corporate giants cut down the forests and pollute the oceans,

All in the name of progress that excludes the poor.

We fervently pray that the indigenous not only be included,

But become the leading voice in our mission to protect the planet. We seek change inspired by stories of struggle and hope

From peoples on the ground,

So that those in positions of power may see a different way forward,

Undergoing a change of heart and renewed mindset.

We need to steer our collective action

Towards one where the general welfare of people and planet

Is the priority and not the afterthought.

Please guide our leaders, O Lord

That they may pave the way

For a life based on equality and justice,

That we may learn from our mistakes in the past and present,

For the future of our youth that is more inclusive and just.

As we envision this future,

We pray once again for our communities and for the global community,

That we care for each other and protect the integrity of the environment,

Uphold the dignity of all people.

Amen.

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