A prayer for Those New in a Culture

May 6, 2021 | 2 comments

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 you    

                  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.

Photo by Marie Rouilly on Unsplash

Amy Young

Life enthusiast. Author. Sports lover. Jesus follower. Supporting cross-cultural work.




  1. Elaine Winter

    Its funny that just the other week I read the prayer for “old hands” and thought “ this is me” and then today I read this prayer for newbies and it is for me too. After 18 years in Tokyo God has moved us to Chiang Mai so we are old newbies, empty nesters, grandparents, language learners, driving new roads, finding great coffee shops, figuring out how to live in this very different city, because this is where God wants us now.
    Thank you for you ministry! It so often touches my heart.
    Elaine Winter,
    SEND International, Member Care for Asia

    • Amy Young

      Elaine, 🙂 . . . ah, I can see how both the “newbie” and the “old hand” you could pray! And your comment is a great reminder that so we can fit in multiple categories! Also, grateful that this prayer was a blessing to you.


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