Loving God, you have set us in families and clans, in cities and neighbourhoods.
Our common life began in a garden, but our destiny lies in the city.
You have placed us in Brisbane. This is our home.
Your creativity is on display here through the work of human hearts and hands.
We pray for Brisbane today, for the Northside and the Southside, for east and west. For the Bayside, the Redcliffe Peninsula, for Logan City, the Redlands and Pine Rivers, for the Western Suburbs and the Moreton Bay Islands.
We pray for our poorest neighbours and the powerful people in banks and offices in the city.
We pray for the traditional owners, and other First Nations people, for the descendants of early settlers, for old and new migrant communities, for refugees and asylum seekers.
We pray for Brisbane’s sisters: Caboolture, Ipswich, Beenleigh, Gold Coast, Toowoomba, Sunshine Coast and others.
And also for Townsville and Alice Springs, San Francisco, Auckland and Tokyo, and a thousand other cities connected to our own.
In all our neighbourhoods this day there will be crime and callous moneymaking; there will be powerful people unable or unwilling to see the vulnerable who are their neighbours.
There will also be beautiful acts of compassion and creativity in all these places – forgiveness and generosity; neighbours working together for a more just community.
Help us see this place as something other than a battleground between us and them, where our imaginations are limited by win/lose propositions and endless rivalry.
Show us a deeper reality, God: Show us your playground, and invite us to play.
Like the city of your dreams, make this a city where those who were once poor enjoy the fruit of their labour;
A place where children are no longer doomed to misfortune, but play safely in the streets under the watchful eyes of healthy old men and women;
A place where former rivals and natural enemies work and play together in peace.
And where all people enjoy communion with you. We pray in the name of the one who wept over the city. Amen.
Adapted from Beyond Our Efforts: A Celebration of Denver Peacemaking, (Mile High Ministries, 2019), 251.
With thanks to Richard Rohr and the Center for Action and Contemplation.
Adapted by Sue P. 11.1.2020.