Praying for Creation
We are delighted to be launching our daily prayer for creation project.
If you pray, we invite you to discover more about the project below and join with us in this collective prayer.
Why pray daily for Creation?
As Christians, we think that only God can save his creation and that prayer is our most valuable tool.
The individual small steps and actions that we take are essential and also the larger projects we have in the different A Rocha organisations, but, let’s be realistic, the task is much too large for us to succeed on our own!
As Christians our hope is in a God who makes the impossible possible, a God of miracles, a powerful God. We are therefore convinced that action and prayer go hand in hand: God calls us to take practical action in the world so that he has the ‘raw material’ for making his miracles happen. Even though our actions, our small steps, may seem rather paltry given the urgency of the environmental situation, we know that God can multiply the fruit. After all, from five loaves and two fish Jesus fed 5000 people and there were still left-overs that Jesus asked his disciples to collect so that there was no waste (John’s gospel chapter 6)!
We have the same confidence that in combining our actions with prayer he will do the same thing for his creation!
To pray is also to open ourselves to the work of the Holy Spirit, to guide us in transforming our lives, to renew our strength when we are discouraged, to reveal to us our shortcomings – both personal and collective – and inspire us for the path and the steps to be taken.
It is in this hope that we are launching this daily prayer for Creation project.
We are proposing a weekly pattern of prayer:
- Sunday: prayer for creation and the work of A Rocha
- Monday: prayer for those in authority
- Tuesday: prayer about climate change
- Wednesday: prayer for a project / an environmental organisation / a grass-roots initiative
- Thursday: prayer for a species / an ecosystem that is in danger
- Friday: prayer of repentance and for transformation of our lives
- Saturday: prayer of thanksgiving
To receive the daily prayer for Creation:
A Rocha France website : see below – published weekly or for the whole month
A Rocha France’s Facebook group ‘Prière pour la Création’ (Prayer for Creation) : click here to find the prayer for the day
Sign up to receive the prayer for the day by email: Click here and select the option ‘lettre de prière pour la Création’ (daily prayer for Creation)
South Africa is responding to the COVID-19 economic slump by relaxing environmental regulations. Minister of Environment, Barbara Creecy has recently relaxed minimum emission standards for coal-burning power stations, locking the country on a path of deadly air pollution. She has also given the go-ahead for the expansion of beach mining, which has a disastrous effect on the ecological integrity of coastlines. Pray for Barbara and the government of South Africa, that they may find a more equitable balance between meeting economic needs and sustain a healthy environment.
‘And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind’ (Acts 2.2).
Climate change will increase the violence of hurricanes and cyclones, causing greater damage and suffering than humans have been used to in recent history. The church has just celebrated Pentecost, when God’s Spirit came ‘like the rush of a violent wind’. But that was a wind of love, and stirred people to new ways of thinking and being. Lord, we pray today for a new encounter with Your Spirit, that humanity will discover new ways of being and acting which will lead to better care for the poorest in our world, who are most affected by the damaging effects of climate change. Amen.
National Natural History Museum
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made … (Romans 1:20)
This institution, of which France has been proud since it was established in 1635, focuses on nature and its relationship with the human race on a daily basis. Over 2000 people work there including 500 researchers. It is not within the institution’s remit to make reference to God the Creator and to celebrate his glory. But, as the rest of that passage of scripture affirms, it seems incomprehensible that so many naturalists neither recognise nor serve the Creator when every day they are witnesses to the perfections of nature. Let us therefore pray for these people, that God may open the eyes of their hearts and that they will carry out their mission in the best possible way.
‘Nature Mauritania (http://natmau.org/en/) has taken action in the context of the sustainable management of ecosystems in wetlands, including mangroves, gonakiers, palmyra palms and sporobolus. These actions are part of the fight against desertification through the sustainable management of forests, rangelands and natural resources.’
Father, we pray for those working to protect ecosystems and migratory birds in Mauritania. There are many challenges. We pray for an ecological, social and spiritual renewal in this country, to the glory of your Son Jesus.
Lord, where are we going to end up after the pandemic? I pray that you will guide our desire for change, prayerfully using the questionnaire found on the Eglise verte site: https://www.egliseverte.org/actualites/la-lettre-eglise-verte-n8-edition-speciale-2020/
His Son, … through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. (Hebrews 1:2-3)
God our Father, our anxieties grow, and we wonder what the world will look like with the pandemic and its aftermath. And yet, when we look around us we see the stability and resilience of your creation, despite all the harm we inflict on it. We praise you for the power of your word that sustains it!
We place in your hands your creation, this creation that represents your first act of love. Forgive us that we do not care for it and that we are not amazed by this evidence of your love, which is before our eyes from the smallest seed to the highest mountain. Open our eyes.
Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro has placed the future of Amazonia and its indigenous people in the hands of his vice president, Hamilton Mourão, a retired general and supporter of Amazon mining development. As the head of the newly created Amazon Council, Hamilton has the mandate to protect and ensure the “sustainable development” of the world’s largest rainforest. Under this government deforestation and burning rates of Amazon forests have reached their highest levels in the past decade. Pray for a radical change in government policy towards Amazonia.
Loving God, in you, the Trinity – Father, Son and Spirit – we see an on-going and everlasting working out of love and creativity. Give humanity that combination of love and creativity which will look for ways to stem the emission of CO2 and implement ways of living which foster mutual cooperation and support, rather than selfish exploitation and greed. Amen.
IUCN World Congress
How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number – living things both large and small. There the ships go to and fro, and Leviathan, which you formed to frolic there. (Psalm 104:24-26)
This congress should have been held in Marseilles in June but has been postponed until next January because of Covid 19. It should bring together more than 10 000 experts from throughout the world, representatives from individual states and the main nature conservation organisations, including A Rocha. A significant part of the programme will be open to the general public.
We pray that this delay may give the IUCN organisational team, and in particular the head office team and the French national committee, time to prepare even better, so that it can have a strong impact on respect for creation and take into account the lessons from the current crisis.
Terns (Little Tern and Common Tern) nest on the sandy banks of the Loire. These species are at risk, not only because of floods that can drown the chicks but also because of human (and canine!) activity.
Thank you, Lord, for these magnificent birds. We pray for good outcomes for those seeking to raise awareness among locals and visitors so as to protect these birds. We pray also, by your grace, that if there are floods this year they will not be too destructive for the terns.
Lord, thank you for your unconditional love. Because of our love for you, we want to be imitators of you. As the lockdown eases, we are tempted to revert our old way of life and even to indulge ourselves, by way of recompense. We believe that you have another way forward for us. You take pleasure in repentance because it is beneficial for us. You want to make us free. Free from these compulsive purchases, from this excess food, from all other addictions. Even now we thank you for this resurrection of our lives.
Lord God, Creator, you have given us the earth for many reasons, and in particular to provide us with food. But we thank you too because you, God, are an artist who has created nature to restore us just through contemplation of it. And we know that if it does us so much good it is because its beauty comes directly from your minds and that you have created us, ‘marvellous creatures’ in the same way. We praise you!
You have come to inhabit this earth and make it reflect your shining glory. We commit to you all the A Rocha teams; may they continue to reflect your resplendent glory on this earth.
European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen is spearheading the Green Deal, which aims to transform the 27-country bloc from a high- to a low-carbon economy. At the core of this initiative is a 50%-55% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 (compared with 1990 levels). The aim is to improve people’s quality of life, through cleaner air and water, better health and a thriving natural world – without reducing prosperity. The challenges are significant. There is no certainty of success, and there are many who will oppose the deal if it affects national economies. Pray for Ursula as she guides ongoing negotiations.
We pray for leaders of global energy companies and the impact of their decisions on climate change. Society depends on the use of energy and it is often easy to blame the energy companies for mismanagement of fossil fuels, whilst we all consume and derive benefits from its use. We pray for the leaders of energy companies as they look for ways to provide energy in sustainable ways. Give them boldness, courage and honesty to address the challenges, and an ability to look beyond their own companies’ financial profits towards a future which is sustainable for all life on earth. Amen.
The Coastal Conservancy
When daylight came, they did not recognise the land, but they saw a bay with a sandy beach, where they decided to run the ship aground if they could. (Acts 27:39)
Created in 1975, the purpose of the Conservancy is to protect the French coastline using a powerful tool of acquisition and a significant budget. It entrusts the management of the land it owns to local authorities or associations. A Rocha is associated in this way with the management of the Ilon reserve. We pray for this body, that it will manage its resources in the best way possible and for its collaborators, so that they can establish the best possible relations with their partners.
For those who have the privilege of having a garden the lockdown has sometimes been the opportunity to get to know and appreciate better the different species it contains. Many birds which visit our parks and gardens are in sharp decline; the Goldfinch, for example, has lost 35% of its population in 18 years. We pray that more and more people in France can make their gardens a welcoming haven for nature.
Lord we are grateful for the presence of your creatures even in areas where there is much human activity. Help us to take steps to encourage and protect biodiversity, and may our eyes be open to your wonderful works.
Lord, we want to repent as church.
Michel Maxime Egger comments that several elements in the Judeo-Christian tradition have contributed to the disenchantment of the world and a metaphysical depreciation of nature, thereby legitimising its objectivization and mechanical representation, favouring its exploitation and sanctioning the increasingly destructive domination of homo sapiens.
By your Spirit help us to discern in the tradition what is relevant in ecological terms or outdated in the light of the current situation. On this basis, give us the audacity to respond to present and future challenges.
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, (Romans 1:20)
Lord God, Creator, thank you that looking in wonder at your creation is our initial source of inspiration, helping us to praise and adore you. We praise you, our God, because the grandeur and complexity of creation is a reflection of Your grandeur and mystery.
Father and Creator,
Forgive us that we have pushed you away from your creation. May your creation be a place that allows us to return to you. May the work of A Rocha in restoring your creation be a vector of the love that you have for us, so that each inhabitant of this earth can find their way back to you.
Philippines president, Roberto Duterte, maintains that environmental protection is one of his administration’s top priorities. In sharp contrast, independent watchdog Global Witness considers the Philippines the most “murderous” country in the world for land and environmental defenders. A third of environmental defender deaths in 2018 were on the island of Mindanao, which is at the centre of the Duterte administration’s plans to allocate 1.6m hectares of land to industrial plantations. Pray for both environmental and social justice to prevail in the Philippines.
We pray for scientists exploring new ways of producing energy which do not emit CO2, the cause of climate change. We pray you give them the support (financial and emotional) needed to further creative and hopeful ways of producing sustainable energy. We pray that their efforts will be recognised by courageous investors who are prepared to support them as they test new ways of producing energy which might be more healthy for the creation. Amen.
Noé, serving biodiversity
And God said, ‘Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.’ And it was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:24-25)
Noé, an organisation (www.noe.org) created 20 years ago, has conservation programmes for endangered species and for the preservation and restoration of natural environments and protected areas. It has many points in common with A Rocha. Pray that it will continue to mobilise many members and partners and that it will be wise in its choice of activities so that it is effective.
The Sologne is a forested region in the central Loire valley area, known for its lakes and ponds: the constant reduction of reedbeds limits nesting sites for emblematic birds such as the bittern, the little bittern or the great reed warbler. The salt marsh copper frequents the wetland areas and water meadows. Drainage of these habitats threatens this nationally protected butterfly which has become rare in the central region (www.sologne-nature.org)
Lord Jesus, we place into your hands the activity of those working for the protection of these habitats and who give advice to economic stakeholders in the region. We also pray that your name can be known and that you will be honoured as the Creator and Redeemer by the people living in this region.
Lord, in the light of the SELblog text Emmanuel Macron et la dette africaine : quelques clefs de compréhension, I feel challenged to revisit certain precepts in the Old Testament. I pray that you will stir our consciences. What place should we give today to the Year of Jubilee, to loans without interest etc. so that there can be greater respect for all of your creation?
All things have been created through him and for him… For God was pleased … through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. (Colossians 1:16;20)
Lord God, thank you that when we contemplate your creation it sends us back to your son Jesus, our Saviour and Lord, and the Saviour and Lord of all that you have created.
With a grateful heart I fall silent before your creation. What beauty! Come to its aid and multiply the fruits of A Rocha through the projects undertaken on five continents.
Many international and regional treaties and conventions already exist to protect the environment, with bodies to oversee their implementation. Lord, I pray that all governments, including my own, may be willing to truly honour what has been agreed, and in so doing set an example and protect your creation.
‘They asked only one thing, that we remember the poor….’ (Galatians 2.10)
This week on Monday, many churches around the world especially remember the apostles Peter and Paul. In the early days of your church, they grappled with how to proclaim your gospel to both the Jews and the Gentiles. Amongst many disputes, the fundamental value which they were challenged to keep at the front of their minds was how their telling the good news impacted ‘the poor’. As the world debates and disputes how best to tackle climate change, we pray for your Spirit to guide us such that ‘we always remember the poor.’ Amen.