A New Prayer

I wrote this “new prayer” after attending a family member’s funeral in the fundamentalist church I was raised in. Among people I grew up with and away from, I reflected on the fun my uncle-by-marriage introduced to the extremely restrictive fundamentalism of my parents. But being with family brought up a lot of difficult memories, and I’ve tried to release some of them into a “New Prayer” (to say in place of the Lord’s Prayer), re-interpreting “forgive us our trespasses” and “lead us not into temptation” as “letting go of harmful attitudes” and “not falling back into negative patterns”.

Creating, Evolving, Nurturing Spirit
We honour the mana of naming, describing and bringing-into-being
through the power of Breath and Word.

The ground on which we stand is holy, Whenua Tapu,
a place of mana tangata, where we show leadership
in our care for the rights of all people;
a commonwealth of justice and liberation.

We are thankful for our resources:
we will be generous in sharing with others,
gracious in learning from others.
May we not offend when we mean to welcome,
not interject when we need to listen.

We let go of past hurts and memories which scar us—
things we have done, things done to us,
harmful attitudes we have absorbed.

We will be mindful, not falling back into negative patterns,
as we learn new ways of being,
a new appreciation of our full humanity.
We focus on things that are life-giving and true,
rejecting defensiveness and cynicism.

We live in the abundance of the universe:
the sustenance of our mother the earth,
the nurture of our father the sky,
the oxygen-breath of forest, the manaakitanga of land.

For this is our promise for today, our aspiration for tomorrow
and our dream for the future.
Kia kaha te mahi! Amen

Linda-Witte-Henke
Psalm 90 Before Heavens Were Formed