Transforming lives on four continents

Worth Saving

 

 

Prayer changes things. In this section, we will host prayers and prayer points related to creation care and to Worth Saving specifically. 
 

Here are a few points to pray about right now:

 
  • Thank God for this beautiful, bountiful, good planet.
  • Pray for continued commitment to the Paris deal in the wake of the 2016 US presidential election, that the new administration will seek to strengthen rather than weaken this historic global compact.
  • Pray for those working for creation care around the world ‒ the countless men and women ‒ including BMS workers ‒ who daily campaign, work, write and act for a sustainable environment.

 

 


 

“What is needed in the current environmental crisis is not so much an agreed cap on carbon emissions (important though that may be for the future of our planet), but a radical reorientation of the way we understand ourselves in relation to the natural world around us, something akin to a spiritual revolution”

 

Sir Jonathan Porritt, co-Founder of Friends of the Earth.

 

 


 

Live Simply

 

Compassionate and loving God,

You created the world for us all to share, a world of beauty and plenty.

Create in us a desire to live simply,

So that our lives may reflect your generosity.

Creator God, you gave us responsibility for the earth,

A world of riches and delight.

Create in us a desire to live sustainably, so that those who follow after us

May enjoy the fruits of your creation.

God of peace and justice, you give us the capacity to change,

To bring about a world that mirrors your wisdom.

Create in us a desire to act in solidarity, so that the pillars of injustice crumble and those now crushed are set free.

Amen.

 

© Linda Jones/CAFOD

 


 

Prayer of confession and intercession

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. (Psalm 51: 10)

 

O God, we have wandered away
From caring for your world
From welcoming the outsider
From trusting in you… 
Silence
 
Response
Come, searching God
Find us and save us
 
Loving God,
We pray for your world
Stained by our thoughtless pollution,
Threatened by our use of coal, oil and gas
Deprived of many species made extinct 
Encourage and strengthen all who care for your creation
Come, searching God
Find us and save us 
 
We pray for your Church
To be a joyful celebrant of your creation
In our singing and our praying
In our preaching and our sharing
In our scriptural explorations 
and our spirit-filled conversations
In our prayerful decision-making 
and in reaching out to our communities 
Come, searching God
Find us and save us
Amen 
 

 


 

God of truth, give us grace to debate the issues raised by the EU referendum with honesty and openness.
 Give generosity to those on both sides of the debate
 and discernment to all of us with power.

May we choose an economy whose values are pleasing to you, and, with all the peoples of Europe, work for peace and the common good; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. 
Amen.
An amended version of the prayer the Church of England released following the result of the EU Referendum.

 

This month take time to pray for Secretary of State Greg Clark and his team at the newly formed Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

 
This department has the opportunity to be a real heavyweight in addressing climate change from the centre of government and will have a powerful role in determining the shape of the nation's economy and infrastructure. 
 
Crucially, leading it will be Secretary of State, Greg Clark, one of the most green-minded of all the Conservatives. He is on record as promoting the benefits of the green economy, has raised concerns about coal burning and bemoaned the fact that British homes are some of the least energy efficient in Europe. In 2009 he witnessed the impacts of climate change first-hand when visiting Bangladesh, one of the countries where BMS is actively involved in creation care.
Pray too for those joining Greg Clark at BEISt: Jesse Norman, junior minister Nick Hurd, the former Co-Chair of the Conservative Environment Network and advocate of African renewable energy in his previous role at DFID and Margot James, who worked to promote the Green Deal energy efficiency scheme.
 
Pray to, for Philip Hammond the incoming Chancellor. As Foreign Secretary he set out the grave challenges of climate change, as well as the opportunities of greening the UK economy. "Many of the losses caused by climate change could be irreversible, regardless of our resources," he told the climate sceptic American Enterprise Institute last year. "Unchecked climate change, even under the most likely scenario, could have catastrophic consequences... leading in turn to rising sea levels, huge movements of people fuelling conflict and instability, pressure on resources, and a multitude of new risks to global public health."
 
If funding Mr Hammond releases to overhaul and improve the nation's infrastructure is channelled through Greg Clark's department, there would be a chance for a wave of sustainable infrastructure investment to transform the British economy.  
The potential has already been spotted by some: the climate economist Lord Stern [link to January Worth Clicking – The Stern Report summary] said he was happy with the change and WWF has said the new department could be a "real powerhouse for change" if climate change was "hardwired" into it.
 
Pray that this potential will be delivered. The loss of the Department for Energy and Climate Change’s dedicated climate label has its dangers and it's vital that the Government doesn't backslide on its commitments.
 

 

 

An Eco Church prayer

 

May God who established the dance of creation

Who marvelled at the lilies of the field

Who transforms chaos to order

Lead us to transform our lives and the Church

To reflect God’s glory in creation

Amen

 

Source: ecocongregation.org

In England and Wales, Eco-Congregation has recently given way to Eco Church – A Rocha UK’s new, web-based award scheme for churches who want to demonstrate that the gospel is good news for God’s earth.

 


 

We hope you can use these poems to meditate on creation’s role in feeding the soul. Allow personal resonance with the moments evoked here to infuse your worship and prayer.

 

From Screened Porch

…The moon was shrouded, fragmentary.
Twilight like silt covered the hills.
The great drama of human life was nowhere evident —

 

but for that, you don’t go to nature.

 

…Solace of the natural world. Panorama
of the eternal. The stars
were foolish, but somehow soothing. The moon
presented itself as a curved line.
And we continued to project onto the glowing hills
qualities we needed: fortitude, the potential
for spiritual advancement.

 

Immunity to time, to change. Sensation
of perfect safety, the sense of being
protected from what we love —

 

And our intense need was absorbed by the night
and returned as sustenance.

 

Louise Glȕck, The Seven Ages, Manchester: Carcanet Press, 2001. Permission to re-publish this extract online has been sought.

 

The Moor

You can read R S Thomas’ The Moor in R S Thomas, Collected Poems 1945-1990, London: Phoenix, 1995, and in various collections and blogs here
 


 

Blessing 

May God who established the dance of creation, 

who marvelled at the lilies of the field,

who transforms chaos to order, 

lead us to transform our lives and the Church 

to reflect God’s glory in creation. 

 

Andrew Warmback and Brian Wilinson, Network of Earthkeeping Christian Communities in South Africa, World Council of Churches Time for Creation (2010)


 

A prayer of praise

 

In bright light and dull darkness

In the energy of each day and the rest that comes with night

We remember the goodness of God

 

In the heavens high above our heads

In waters that run deep around the world

We remember the goodness of God

 

In solid land and flowing seas

In vivid flowers and fruit-laden trees

We remember the goodness of God

 

In the rising and setting of the sun

and the cycles of the seasons

In the patterns of the shining stars

We remember the goodness of God

 

In oceans teaming with fish

In skies filled with birds

We remember the goodness of God

 

In a world filled with animal life

And in ourselves as human beings

We remember the goodness of God

 

In rest and reflection, in wonder and worship

We remember the goodness of God

 

The world around you is full of beauty

We praise your name O God

For the gift of life on earth

We praise your name O God

Open our eyes to your artistry

Your image is in all that you have made

Where our praise is short or silent

All creation sings out with joy

Here we join creation’s song

We praise your name O God

 

hftf.org.uk


 

A prayer of approach and adoration

From the anthology of prayers, Hope in God’s Future
 

Gracious God,
We confess that we have been slow to recognise how carelessly we have treated your precious gift of creation.
Our addictive lifestyles have encouraged us to take, use and cast aside.
We have plundered finite resources,
with little thought for poorer communities and future generations.
We acknowledge our guilt and ask you to change our hearts.
May we glimpse the possibilities of a new, shared, wholesome and more just way of living.
May we know your forgiveness,
and act upon it,
so that we may receive your
fullness of life,
and know lasting contentment.

 

Silence

 

In the name of Christ, who did not abandon us in our limited, myopic lives, we ask to hear your words of forgiveness; to receive the gift of your Spirit to blow through us, spring cleaning our hearts and lives.
Amen.

 

The resting peace

Chris Polhill, A Heart for Creation

 

The resting space
Lord, I fear the cold,
the chill of winter
that hurts my nose
with each breath;
freezes my toes;
shrivels my spirit,
so I long for
summer’s warmth.
Want my home, my shops,
warm as summer.
Teach me nature’s rhythm
for wintertime.
The resting space,
pause for thought;
the warmer clothes
and slanting light.
A gentle use
of earth’s resources.

 

A Heart for Creation, Wild Goose Publications (2010)


 

A prayer of approach and adoration

From Hope in God’s future: Christian discipleship in the context of climate change.
 

Wonderful God,
Sometimes, as we immerse ourselves outdoors,
an intoxicating sense of your presence
steals upon our spirits.
Myriad colours dance in a sunlit garden or park,
and our hearts sing.
The joyful chorus of birdsong sweetly fills and
strangely deafens our ears.
Awesome snow-capped mountains and tumultuous waterfalls speak to us of your eternal timelessness.
Scurrying, flitting insects and the amazing variety of grasses absorb us on a lazy summer day.
In six days you created the world, and then on the seventh, you stopped and paused to delight in your creation, seeing its goodness and seeing our goodness,
so that you trusted us to be caretakers with you.
You call us in this kairos moment to pause with you,
to take time,
to drink in deeply the wonderful gift of creation.
Help us not to continue to carelessly spoil it
in thoughtless, rushing lifestyles.
May we deeply see, hear, smell, touch, taste and cherish
the fragile inter-connected garden of the earth
– your gift to us.
Amen.

 


 

A prayer based on Psalms 102: 25 (NIV)

“In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.” 
 

Loving God,

thank you for the gift of creation.
As we experience each day,
as we take every step on our life’s pilgrimage,
may we take time to wonder and give you thanks.
From each sunrise to every sunset,
in all the seasons
and with every breath,
may we celebrate our home in creation,
and the gift of life.

 

As our climate is changing,
give us the compassion to care deeply
that people are suffering now,
from spoiled harvest and violent storms,
from drought and flood.
Give us the imagination to see
that future generations are in peril
and may not know the beauty we see.

 

May our actions reflect a love for your world
our prayers be shaped by a longing for justice for all,
and our imaginations inspired to hope for
a world free from poverty.
Amen.

 


 

A Christian prayer in union with creation

Published in Pope Francis' encyclical, Laudato Si’.

 

Father, we praise you with all your creatures.
They came forth from your all-powerful hand;
they are yours, filled with your presence and your tender love.
Praise be to you!
Son of God, Jesus,
through you all things were made.
You were formed in the womb of Mary our Mother,
you became part of this earth,
and you gazed upon this world with human eyes.
Today you are alive in every creature
in your risen glory.
Praise be to you!

Holy Spirit, by your light
you guide this world towards the Father's love
and accompany creation as it groans in travail.
You also dwell in our hearts
and you inspire us to do what is good.
Praise be to you!

Triune Lord, wondrous community of infinite love,
teach us to contemplate you
in the beauty of the universe,
for all things speak of you.
Awaken our praise and thankfulness
for every being that you have made.
Give us the grace to feel profoundly joined
to everything that is.

God of love, show us our place in this world
as channels of your love
for all the creatures of this earth,
for not one of them is forgotten in your sight.
Enlighten those who possess power and money
that they may avoid the sin of indifference,
that they may love the common good, advance the weak,
and care for this world in which we live.
The poor and the earth are crying out.
O Lord, seize us with your power and light,
help us to protect all life,
to prepare for a better future,
for the coming of your Kingdom
of justice, peace, love and beauty.
Praise be to you!
Amen.

 

A prayer to follow Paris COP21

Sir Francis Drake

 

O Lord God,
When you give to your servants to endeavour
any great matter,
grant us also to know that it is not the beginning,
but the continuing of the same,
until it be thoroughly finished,
which yields the true glory.
Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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