Prayers for 2024

Australian Jesuits reveal what they pray for in this new year.

This shot of dawn at Sevenhill shows the first glow of the sun over distant hills in South Australia’s Clare Valley. The vineyards, still cloaked in darkness in this image, were originally established in the 1850s. Photograph: David McMahon


Fr Andy Hamilton SJ: 

Following the early interpretation of the gifts of the Magi as gold for Jesus as king, incense as Son of God, and myrrh as sufferer and healer, here are my three prayers:  

In thanks to God for the gift of this delicate, fragile and beautiful world, that we might live gratefully and respectfully.

For our rulers, that they will govern for the common good and not for their own interests or for those of the powerful.  

For persons, especially children, who are vulnerable to bombing, to enslavement, to exile and to climate change, that they may find healing and a way to flourish. 

Fr Peter Hosking SJ:  

Lord, strengthen our faith as we join hands with those who are excluded, building a community of acceptance and understanding.

May our hope grow as we actively engage in your mission, facing challenges with resilience and trust in your plan, especially amidst the contrary forces.

Guide us to nurture love through our participation in the struggles to be inclusive and welcoming, so that compassion and unity may prevail. 

Fr Iain Radvan SJ: 

I pray for the Holy Spirit to continue to encourage and empower all those working to bring about ecological conversion, and the protection of Earth; I pray that the Society in Australia be attractive to young men to join us; I pray for the emergence of truly world leaders, statesmen and women who will show all the nations how to live and co-operate to establish justice and peace for human and non-human societies. 

Fr Justin Glyn SJ: 

I pray for peace – in hearts as much as in families and nations and with the world. I pray for the justice which makes that peace flourish. I pray that those in and with the Society may reflect the Love who makes both justice and peace possible.  

Isaac Demase SJ: 

My prayer would be that we take a moment to look at our head, hands and heart and think of one way in which we could nourish each: 

  • Our intellect on the big questions of life regarding meaning, purpose, God.
  • Our engagement with our neighbours – shake hands with someone, listen to their story, make a meal for someone in need, etc.
  • Our imagination and expanding our heart through music, art, theatre; as well as putting our contemplations into action. 

Fr Chris Willcock SJ: 

Gaspar, the first in procession on Ravenna’s wall, is bearer of the gift of gold.  May Christ who is our journey’s end rule our hearts with peace and joy.  Amen. 

Melchior, the second in procession on Ravenna’s wall, is bearer of the gift of frankincense.  May Christ who is our journey’s end offer us with praise and thanks.  Amen. 

Balthazar, the third in procession on Ravenna’s wall, is bearer of the gift of myrrh.  May Christ who is our journey’s end give us life in pain and strife.  Amen.  

Bishop Greg O’Kelly SJ: 

That the senseless loss of life through present conflicts be stilled in our world. That the Church in its presentation of Christ become again a community attractive to young people. That the healing love of Christ help heal the broken families known to us. 

Fr Bill Uren SJ: 

I pray, first of all, for all those in prison, especially those unjustly convicted, and for those who so selflessly minister to them. 

Secondly, I pray for a ceasefire and a just and lasting peace in Israel and Gaza, in Ukraine, in Afghanistan, Myanmar, Eritrea, Yemen, South Sudan and other trouble spots in the world. 

And thirdly, I pray that the Church will continue, under the leadership of Pope Francis, its reconciling ministry to those it has traditionally marginalised: women in the first instance, then the divorced and remarried, the LGBTIQA+, those “living in sin”, etc. 

Matthew Pinson SJ:  

For myself, I pray for a deeper awareness of how God’s love for me is not just goodwill but a desire for close relationship. 
For our Province, I pray that we are faithful witnesses to the astonishing person of Jesus, in whom God is revealed. 
For the world, I pray for peace, especially in situations where hope seems so remote. 

Fr Brian McCoy SJ:  

In the light of those wise men who came from the East to offer gifts to the West, I pray that we who live in the West may be open to receiving gifts from strangers and what can come to us appearing strange and alien, even confronting: 

May we receive the gift of deepening our relationship with First Nations people, learning to listen more attentively to their stories and culture and our shared but broken history since 1788.

May we receive the gift of welcoming those seeking asylum and refuge, reminding ourselves with humble gratitude for our ancestors who sacrificed much to find and make a home for us. 

May we receive the gift of loving more deeply the mystery and journey we all share as we travel on this ancient and sacred land. 

Julian Butler SJ:  

I pray that all people know that they are loved and that the Church might be ever more a place where all people can encounter God’s love for them. I pray that in experiencing God’s love for them, young people will experience the deep meaning that fills their lives and the lives of others and will respond generously to the richness and dignity of life. I pray that those of us who are Jesuits might live in such a way as to witness to this life as one way of responding generously to God’s love and life’s deep meaning.

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