Daily Prayers for February 13

On February 13, 2008, the prime minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, issued a national apology to aboriginal families torn apart by Australian government agencies and church missions during the period between 1869 and 1969. Children were taken from their families and forced into institutions where they were often unable to speak their native language and were given new names and birthdates. It is estimated that between 1910 and 1971, fifty-five thousand children were taken from their families.

O Lord, let my soul rise up to meet you

as the day rises to meet the sun.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,

as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Come, let us bow down and bend the knee : let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.

Song “Waters of Babylon”

Hide not your face from your servant : be swift and answer me, for I am in distress.

Psalm 69:20 23

“Draw near to me and redeem me : because of my enemies deliver me.

You know my reproach, my shame, and my dishonor : my adversaries are all in your sight.”

Reproach has broken my heart, and it cannot be healed : I looked for sympathy, but there was none, for comforters, but I could find no one.

They gave me gall to eat : and when I was thirsty, they gave me vinegar to drink.

Hide not your face from your servant : be swift and answer me, for I am in distress.

Genesis 30:1 – 24 John 17:12 – 19

Hide not your face from your servant : be swift and answer me, for I am in distress.

Zitkala-Sa, an American Indian woman who spent three years in an off-reservation boarding school, wrote this account of her experience: “Judéwin knew a few words of English, and she had overheard the paleface woman talk about cutting our long, heavy hair. Our mothers had taught us that only unskilled warriors who were captured had their hair shingled by the enemy. Among our -people, short hair was worn by mourners, and shingled hair by cowards! I cried aloud, shaking my head all the while until I felt the cold blades of the scissors against my neck, and heard them gnaw off one of my thick braids. Then I lost my spirit. In my anguish I moaned for my mother, but no one came to comfort me. Not a soul reasoned quietly with me, as my own mother used to do; for now I was only one of many little animals driven by a herder.”

Prayers for Others

Our Father

Lord, forgive us for not learning the cultures of your children around the world and in our communities. You speak to us in many languages and customs. Train our ears and our hearts to hear you. Amen.

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you : wherever he may send you;

may he guide you through the wilderness : protect you through the storm;

may he bring you home rejoicing : at the wonders he has shown you;

may he bring you home rejoicing : once again into our doors.

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