This prayer is for those new to a culture. If you’re a newbie, pray this for yourself and others like you. If you’re an old hand, pray this for those who have come after you. If you support and love cross-cultural workers, think of someone you can pray it for today. (We also have A Prayer for Those Old Hands in a Culture.)
I am here, oh Lord!
Here in this new land,
in this new culture,
in these new rhythms.
To it, I bring my new hopes
of what you will do in me
and through me
to help bring your Kingdom here to earth.
On the days, Lord when I can exclaim,
“I am here, oh Lord!” help to
protect my joy as I walk or bike or ride the subway
protect my language learning as I stumble
protect my growth in the thinking patterns
and values of these people.
Keep me curious and guard me from thinking
I know that which I am still learning.
On the days when my heart cries out in frustration,
“I am here, oh Lord?!”
and I feel trapped or tricked
by my call
by what others will think.
Help me not to lean on my own understanding.
Lead me to
people I can be honest with
guides who can help me untangle
and shepherds who will tend to me.
Give me patience for all of the new
that can be overwhelming.
God, you have brought me here and in these
early days, weeks, months, even years
help my roots to go deep by
understanding the history
seeing the world as they do
speaking the language, eating the food,
and walking in the shoes of my local friends.
Guard me from quick conclusions and speaking too early.
Help me manage the tension of
listening and learning
while I also
live and invest.
Thank you, God, that I am here.
You can download this prayer (and one for old hands) to use on a prayer walk, keep in your Bible, or hang in your home.