Dear Lord,

We thank you for this land of Australia. We thank you for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander brothers and sisters who you placed as the original custodians and stewards of this precious land. We pray that as we begin to acknowledge the truth of past hurt it is the start of a deep healing in our nation.

We pray that the gap in health outcomes between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and Non-Indigenous Australians will be closed. We pray for all health professionals - doctors, nurses, carers, dentists, administration staff in health facilities - may these health professionals be filled with compassion, understanding, and love as they see their frontline role in helping to Close the Gap. We pray Australia will Close The Gap!

We pray for greater cultural understanding and improved access to health services. Show us how we can each, individually, be a part of making this a reality. Teach us how to love each other and journey together in this process of reconciliation and true friendship.

We pray for those that feel hopeless that they will find their hope in You. We pray especially for the families and communities of the 35 Aboriginal people who have committed suicide this year alone (2019) and we lament this figure is added to weekly. We pray that you fill the families and communities each with a peace that surpasses all human understanding; that they will know that they are not alone in their grief, that You walk beside them and there is a community around them that loves, supports and cares for them.

We thank you for each of our Aboriginal Elders who have journeyed with their communities through much sickness, hardship, and grief. Fill them afresh with your strength and wisdom and courage.

As we pray for these Stolen Lives, we pray that we may be the agents of your healing, in Jesus name.

This prayer was written for Common Grace's 2019 National Reconciliation Week campaign

If you are using please acknowledge Dr Maleika Selwyn as the author/writer.

Dr Maleika Selwyn is a GP who is passionate about working in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. She lives and works in NSW on the land of the Dharuk and Wiradjuri nations.