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)
This month’s prayers :
Lord God, Creator God, you have the deep knowledge all the mysteries of our planet and the universe. Thank you for scientists, women and men, whose work reveals the underlying mechanisms, thus increasing our wonder at your handiwork. We pray for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which has been active since 1988. We can imagine their discouragement as the forecasts become more and more sombre and the decisions taken are inadequate. Lord, be their strength and reveal yourself to them through your creation!
5G or Amish?
In Jerusalem he made machines designed by skilful men for use on the towers and on the corner defences to shoot arrows and hurl large stones. His fame spread far and wide, for he was greatly helped until he became powerful. (2 Chron. 26:15)
Forty years ago, division erupted in a church because the treasurer had, without the consent of the church council, kept the accounts on a computer. When arguing in favour of 5G, the President M dared to cite the Amish who reject the ‘modern’. No need to discuss this here, but we can acknowledge that through the centuries our use of technology has permitted both the best and the worst.
Lord, we have placed our confidence too much in ‘progress’ to the point of forgetting you. Give us the wisdom to be of our times while remaining completely dependent on you and using technology to serve you alone.
Many churches around the world have celebrated the Season for Creation at this time of year. As we approach the season’s end, we give thanks for all that churches may have learnt and given during this time. We give thanks that the world is waking up to the crisis for creation, and that many churches are now engaged with God’s mission of caring for creation.
We bring before God the situation in Lebanon and the impacts on A Rocha Lebanon. The explosion in Beirut on 4 August made an already unstable situation even more challenging: devaluation of the Lebanese pound means many families are struggling to buy essential food items and unemployment has increased due to the economic uncertainties and the COVID-19 pandemic. Local churches are stepping up to support vulnerable families through the provision of food and other essential goods. In this situation A Rocha Lebanon colleagues have not been able to focus on their reforestation and environmental education projects.
We pray for them as they monitor the situation; may they be able to restart project activities soon. Loving Father, may there be peace, reconciliation and economic recovery in Lebanon.
O Lord our God, we pray for the authorities in Niger who have once again faced catastrophic floods this year. In a poor country that faces climate change their task is extremely difficult. Inspire and help them to have courage and integrity for the good of the population. We confess our confusion looking at the impact of climate change on countries like Niger. Lord, we have such need of you.
We see ice melting, forests burning, unpredictable and damaging storms. Stopping the planet from becoming relentlessly hotter will need an unprecedented effort in overhauling the global economy and how we live. The challenge seems impossible. Pray for national governments to boldly step up their actions on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
SEL supports a local Christian organisation in Togo which works with agricultural producers and encourages people in reforestation. The project is aimed at all the Togolese people, but especially for these producers to help them to farm in a way that cares for the environment and encourages agroforestry. The project also creates ‘environment clubs’, with tree planting in the yards of several primary schools to raise awareness among children. This has been a three-year project that will come to an end at the end of 2020.
Our God and Father, we pray for the long-term impact of these awareness-raising campaigns and that local people continue reforestation as they are able even after the official conclusion of the projects. Amen
To find out more: https://www.selfrance.org/projets-de-developpement/agriculture/
Collines Bio is an association that draws together producers and consumers in Drôme des Collines through on-line sales and a shop. The products are local and organic, with meat, biscuits, bread and a whole range of vegetables and fruit. This is just one example among a multitude of similar initiatives in France.
Father, thank you for your good earth that provides all the nourishment we need. We pray for all those who work there to give us healthy food that respects the environment. Help them to continue their efforts so that they can play an increasing role for the good of us all in the face of industrial agriculture.
Life going forward
We will not listen to the message you have spoken to us in the name of the Lord! We will certainly do everything we said we would: we will burn incense to the Queen of Heaven and will pour out drink offerings to her just as we and our ancestors, our kings and our officials did in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. At that time we had plenty of food and were well off and suffered no harm. (Jeremiah 44:16-17)
Nostalgia for the past is well-known. And yet were not the good times marked by idolatry and superstition and sometimes just thoughtlessness. Such musings often hide a refusal to depend on God, even today. Lord, help us to see reality, to understand the message to us of this pandemic, to renounce our excesses and learn to live and to ‘consume’ wisely.
As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God. Psalm 42.1
This time of year at Les Courmettes, and in forests across France, the roar of the deer can be heard as it is their mating season. We give thanks to God for this joyous sound, even if it does keep some of us awake at night! More generally, we give thanks for the abundant life of creation and its endless re-creativity. Help us, we pray, to be ever watchful and ever listening for signs of creativity in Your world and ever thankful for the way that Your creation constantly re-creates!
Lord, as we have enjoyed all the seasonal bounty of these past weeks we give you thanks for all that your creation gives us. We bring before you the many A Rocha communities working with Community gardens, sack gardens and similar projects to share knowledge and encourage local communities to grow food and also to experience the joy of harvest and your provision. Give them wisdom and skill as they work and give them joy as they share with others your creation bounty.
Pray today for the mayor of your council area and for his team, in particular in their responsibilities regarding district development. Ask the Lord to help them to take decisions that take account of the fragility of ecosystems and the needs of all.
Elections have very significant impacts on the direction that countries take, not least on efforts to mitigate global warming and climate change. Candidates often have very opposing views on what should happen on such policies. Today, as you think about places in the world where elections are being prepared, pray for voters to think carefully about the environmental consequences of their political choices and for the electoral process.
A Rocha Ghana, with other organisations is taking action against the Ghanaian state to prevent the operation of a bauxite mine in the Atewa forest, where there are many endangered species.
Lord, thank you for all those who work every day to preserve nature from human exploitation. We commit them to you, and in particular the A Rocha Ghana team, that justice may be done for your creation. Give them perseverance and protect them.
To learn more: https://www.arocha.org/en/news/atewa-campaign-latest/
The snow leopard is an enigmatic feline in the mountains of central Asia. Solitary and discrete, it lives in the most inaccessible regions. It is highly endangered, but it is still possible to save it.
Lord God, we pray for all those who work to protect and give a future to this creature, whose beauty speaks of you. We know moreover that both ecosystems and local populations depend on the health of this animal’s population. Give us an awareness of the interdependence of all that you have created.
Overeating, epidemic – nothing new
All that day and night and all the next day the people went out and gathered quail. No one gathered less than ten homers. Then they spread them out all around the camp. But while the meat was still between their teeth and before it could be consumed, the anger of the Lord burned against the people, and he struck them with a severe plague. Therefore the place was named Kibroth Hattaavah, because there they buried the people who had craved other food. (Numbers 11:32-34)
Noteworthy: this correlation between the gluttony of the Israelites in the desert with its sad consequences and the sharp increase in obesity in our rich countries. The pleasure of food is certainly within God’s plan. But our diet, which only takes up 15% of our budget, is often out of control. Lord, forgive us our greed, our love of salt, of sugar, fat, alcohol and excess amounts of ‘good things’. Teach us what is reasonable even in the least of our actions.
We give thanks for good news stories we hear of conservation efforts around the world. Today, we specifically give thanks for efforts over the last 15 years which have seen the Burmese roof turtle in found in Myanmar saved from extinction. We thank God that we can all join in this work of caring for creation and living deeper into a true calling as human beings to care, with God, for the creation. Thank you, Lord for the Burmese roof turtle and this good news story!
Lord today we bring before you A Rocha leaders at both national and international level. We thank you for each person serving on boards and committees, giving advice and taking decisions. Lord as they seek to care for your creation and encourage others, give them wisdom as they seek to see the world you have entrusted to us through your eyes and to share that vision with others.
If you can, take a moment to look at the A Rocha website and pray for the individual A Rocha people you meet there!
Let us bring before the Lord the government of Jean Castex, and especially Barbara Pompili, the Minister for Ecological Transition, and Julien Denormandie, the Minister for Agriculture and Food. May God give us the grace of being governed by men and women able to understand the gravity of the environmental crisis and to act with wisdom and determination to bring about change.
This year marks the 5th Anniversary of the Paris Agreement and will be marked on 12th December by an on-line event co-hosted by the UK and the UN. Countries will be urged to present tougher climate goals, ahead of the of critical climate talks in Glasgow (COP26) in November 2021. Pray that the call for extra curbs on national emissions will be heard by governments across the world.
The Francis Hallé Primary Forest Association is seeking to recreate a primary forest in Western Europe.
Father and Creator God,
You see the spaces that we have transformed by our actions and you see too these areas where groups want to restore nature. We bring these plans before you and especially this project for primary forest in Europe. May you guide every single aspect so that your creation can be in harmony once again.
To find out more: https://www.foretprimaire-francishalle.org/
The international NGO Transition Network has existed since 2005. The film ‘Tomorrow’ gives a good idea of what it is possible to do: for example, when urban vegetable gardens link with organic food cooperatives. At a time when the Greens are a growing presence in our towns in France, we pray for this organisation and for those involved in projects locally. Help them to bring together all those involved and local residents in projects that respect your creation and the well-being of each person.
Use and abuse
In those days I saw people in Judah treading winepresses on the Sabbath and bringing in grain and loading it on donkeys, together with wine, grapes, figs and all other kinds of loads. And they were bringing all this into Jerusalem on the Sabbath. Therefore I warned them against selling food on that day. (Nehemiah 13:15)
Sunday is no longer the Lord’s Day, but a day for internet shopping, open shops and busy retail parks. There are now so many that for some they have become commercial wastelands. We have sacrificed so much agricultural land for goods that are often not even useful. Lord, teach us to be sensible consumers, and to give you first place in our hearts and to submit to you in all our plans, our actions, our daily lives and our purchases.
Tomorrow morning in Europe, the clocks change and we end the European Summer Time. We recall now all those events and experiences we have shared during the summer of 2020. We give thanks for those things which have happened which have brought joy and fulfilment; for any summer holidays we have managed to take, for nature we have been able to enjoy and for people we may have met. We thank you, God, for sustaining the earth through the seasons!
Lord we thank you for A Rocha Peru and its work with local communities to restore forests through the dry forest project in the north of the country. Thank you for their love of your creation. Be with them as they seek creative ways to move forward, despite all the Covid-19 restrictions they face. Give them great wisdom as they seek ways of engaging with local communities in a safe way and grant them health and strength and may they know your presence and enabling.
In Chronicles we read that Jehoshaphat established judges in each of Judah’s fortified cities. He told the judges ‘Consider carefully what you do, because you are not judging for mere mortals but for the Lord, who is with you whenever you give a verdict. Now let the fear of the Lord be on you. Judge carefully, for with the Lord our God there is no injustice or partiality or bribery.’ (2 Chronicles 19:6-7)
We pray for those who are in positions of authority in our judicial system. Even in our secular society they are in fact answerable before God for the way in which they carry out their work, including where environmental protection is concerned. They need God’s help to resist pressure. May the laws that have already been adopted to protect nature actually be applied in real life.
Christian organizations are playing an increasingly important role in promoting climate change mitigation, an adaptation effort at the local level. Tree planting is one of several types of projects many churches are now promoting. ‘Plant With Purpose’, a Christian non-profit organization working in eight countries, reports helping local communities to plant over 32 million trees and Climate Stewards, with its links to A Rocha helps people to offset unavoidable carbon emissions by supporting community forestry as well as water filter and cookstove projects in Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Nepal and Mexico. Pray for these organizations to grow in number and reach and for Christians to support their work.
Today we bring before you all the organisations working to clean up pollution in the oceans. Given the scale of the task (and the size of your oceans!) give them the courage they need. May their action to raise awareness bear fruit and touch people’s hearts to grasp the beauty of these deep waters. May the clean-up solutions proposed be effective and not bring further harm. Inspire them!
There are only around 50 nesting pairs of common snipe in France, even though migratory birds head south to France in winter. Quite apart from the loss of this wonderful long-beaked bird we know that its disappearance is yet another indicator of the very poor state of wetlands in France that continue to shrink. Water is life! Lord God, we pray for all those who are working to preserve all these natural reserves of water that give us so much.
Our panelled houses
This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘These people say, “The time has not yet come to rebuild the Lord’s house.”’
Then the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai: ‘Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your panelled houses, while this house remains a ruin? ’Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough …..’ (Haggai 1:2-6)
Materialism leads us to forget what is essential – to honour God including in what we invest in (house, cars, investments and other assets). The consequences are there in dissatisfaction, pollution, recurring crises. Lord, our society of abundance goes to our heads and we do not measure its impact on your creation. Lord help us to be mindful of your warnings.
Today is the day many churches remember Martin Luther, the great church reformer. We give thanks for the good fruit that was borne out of his endeavours, whilst recognising that no reforming movement is ever perfect. We pray for our reforming efforts today, and particularly for those which challenge the church and the world to care for creation. We give thanks for those efforts which have borne fruit!