Prayer is a way that we can become more aware of Creation and the Creator, reflect on the goodness of Creation, while also acknowledging our part in its brokenness. Through prayer we can recommit ourselves to the original task we were given of caring for Creation, and remember the poor who are most affected by climate change. It is about creating the space of silence and stillness to allow ourselves to listen and be transformed.
Prayer takes many different forms, and is a vital way that we express our faith. It can take the form of meditation, individual or communal prayer, responsive prayers, interacting with Creation, silent or spoken out loud, using words, images or music – or any way that you find helpful to connect with God.
Below are a few examples of prayers from different Christian traditions that you might find helpful to use with your faith community – if you feel inspired to write your own prayers, go for it!
Blessed are those who use low energy light bulbs
Blessed are those who travel by train (and other public transport)
Blessed are those who chose a car with low fuel consumption
Blessed are those who insulate their homes
Blessed are those who put themselves out
Adapted from John Polhill, © Eggs and Ashes,
Each leaf, each petal, each grain, each person,
And yet, the hand of greed has patented and plundered your splendour, has taken and not shared your gift, has lived as owner of the earth, not guest.
And so, the ice is cracked, the rivers dry, the valleys flooded and the snow caps melt.
God our Father, show us how to step gently, how to live simply, how to walk lightly with respect and love for all that you have made.
A Prayer for Operation Noah
Jesus Christ, tempted to turn stones to bread in the wilderness;
Teach us that when we change time for our convenience;
we change God's calendar,
Give us grace in our simplest actions to choose the life which breathes in the beautiful complexity of creation, to conquer death, and to fit us to be Easter people.
Prayer for A Just Climate
God of Creation,
God of Love,
God of Compassion,
God of Justice,
Lord of energy
Lord of energy, teach us to pray ...
Our Creator - source of all power,
Help us to live by the standards we choose, not those of others:
Because we know that your way is the only true way,
John Polhill, © Eggs and Ashes,
God our Creator and Healer
Lent Challenge 2008, Lichfield Diocese
Prayers of the faithful
1. Lord, we thank you for the beautiful, life-sustaining gift of Creation. We pray that, as individuals and communities, we become better stewards of what you have entrusted to us.
Lord, we pray that we see the world through the eyes of faith. May we bring whatever gifts we can to the work of making your kingdom come on earth.
Lord, we pray that the way we live our lives is guided by your values of love for people, especially the poor, and not by the allure of having more.
Lord, we pray for those in the world already affected by rising sea levels and more frequent extreme weather events. We pray that humankind responds to their need to live full and healthy lives.
Lord, we pray for our own political leaders. May they be guided by concern for the common good, not by expediency of vested interests.
Lord, hear us.
2. Lord, we pray that we in the Church respond more fully to the Holy Father's call for ecological conversion.
Lord, we pray for the discernment to recognise the teachers and prophets of our times, and the courage to respond to them.
Lord, we pray for this generation of children and generations yet to come. May we preserve for them an environment that is able to meet their needs.
Lord, we pray that we maintain the inspiration and strength to live simply so that others may simply live.
Lord, we thank you for the beauty and diversity of all that lives on earth. We pray that world leaders respond to the call to protect the environment.
Lord, hear us.
3. Lord, help us to trust that you are the bread of life, and not to seek false happiness from worldly comforts and possessions.
Lord, help us to recognise and speak the truth about caring for Creation.
Lord, we thank you for providing so well for us in our society. Keep us mindful of sharing what we have with the needy.
Lord, we pray that world leaders respond generously to the fact that environmental crisis and economic crisis are both hitting the poor the most heavily.
Lord, we pray for world leaders. May they make wise and courageous decisions that promote a healthy, safe climate.
Lord, hear us.
Written by Thea Ormerod
These prayers require some preparation beforehand to gather materials and set up the space. These interactive prayers invite people to pray in a tactile way beyond just using words, engaging all their senses, while being aware of their physical connection to creation. Although it is a little more effort to organise and explain, it can be a powerful holistic experience of prayer for people.
In each case, read of write out the verse and then do the activity.
1. "In him all things were created, things in heaven and on earth...all things are held together by him." Colossians 1:16-17
Invite people to walk outside, find a fallen leaf or seed and bring it back to the group. Spend some time looking at the detail of the object you have chosen. Consider it's intricacy, how long it has lived, the ways it has grown and changed, the plant it came from – and how it will now contribute to new life as mulch or a new plant. Consider how each part of God's creation, including ourselves, are a reflection in some way of God's, character, nature, power, humility, complexity, creativity and love.
Trace the shape of the leaf or seed on your piece of paper. Write down next to it your favourite place in Creation where you connect with God. Quietly give thanks for God's good creation. If there are any marks of human impact on God's creation around you here, take the time to notice these and acknowledge them, whether good or bad. You might like to share your reflection with someone else in the group.
2. "Take off your sandals, for where you are standing is holy ground." Exodus 3:5
Draw an outline of a large map of Australia and of the world for the group and provide pens. Invite people to take off their shoes to remind us that God's creation is holy and God's original intention was for us to relate with God in creation. Walk around outside and be conscious of the feel of the ground under your feet and meditate on the footprint we each leave on this world. Come back inside and trace your shoe's footprint inside the map of Australia to acknowledge our own contribution to greenhouse gas emisssions. Write inside your footprint the forms of transport you used to get here today. This is not to induce guilt on you, but to help us acknowledge the context we live in and our contribution to it.
Spend a minute reflecting on how we are connected to other countries through a shared atmosphere. Spend some time being aware of the fact that some countries – particularly Australia - pollute the atmosphere with more than their fair share of carbon emissions. Invite people to put their shoes back on together as a communal act of repentance and commitment to treading on the earth more lightly.
3. "And God saw everything he had made, and indeed it was very good...The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden to till and to look after it" Genesis 2:15
Provide planter boxes or egg cartons, soil and seeds. Invite people to place some soil in the planter boxes or a cup and plant a seed in it. As you handle the soil and the seeds, reflect on the original task given to us to take care of God's creation. Reflect on how our relationship and the way we care for creation impacts our relationship with God, and how we have strayed from this task and instead have exploited creation. Reflect on what things in your life have distracted you from the task of caring for creation? Collect some water and water the seeds you have planted and give thanks for the interrelationships between us, Creation and God.