Praying with Indigenous Peoples

A Prayer for the Suicide Crisis

Indigenous youth are succumbing to the harsh legacy of residential schools, the forced adoptions of Indigenous children in the 1960s, and the current child welfare system. Suicide rates among First Nations youth are five to seven times higher than that of non-Indigenous youths, and rates among Inuit youth are eleven times the national average. Please pray for their lives. Pray for action and for conviction in our hearts.

Lord, hear our prayer.

Creator God, we cry out! We pray for and stand with the Indigenous youth who see no hope for the future, whose precious lives have been darkened by evils both seen and unseen: the funding discrimination that makes their schools and hospitals inadequate for meeting their needs, the mark of residential schools and colonization on their families and communities, and the racism they face.

Reconciling Christ, we thank you for Indigenous communities. We thank you for the unique reflection of your image that they represent. We praise you for their resilience and strength. We pray that you would comfort them and raise them up on wings like eagles. We pray that they would have allies ready to stand alongside them.

Creator Spirit, we pray for non-Indigenous people. We pray for eyes to see, ears to hear, and mouths to speak to our elected representatives for justice, for hands ready to do the hard work of reconciliation. We pray that the scales of racism would fall from their eyes so we can truly see each other as your precious children. Amen.

Shannon Perez is Canadian Ministries’ Justice and Reconciliation Mobilizer for the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA). She provides staff support to the Canadian Aboriginal Ministry Committee and fosters leadership among congregations for reconciliation and right relationships with our Indigenous neighbors. Shannon is a member of the Sayisi Dene First Nation and lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba, with her husband and children.

Danielle Steenwyk-Rowaan is the justice communications team coordinator for the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA), working for the Centre for Public Dialogue, the Office of Social Justice, the Canadian Aboriginal Ministries Committee, and the Office of Race Relations.

Reformed Worship 131 © March 2019, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. Used by permission.