Enviro Prayer Diary

The purpose of this Prayer Diary is to provide subjects for your reflection and prayer as the Spirit moves you.

 

April 2021 Environmental Prayer Diary


Archbishop Thabo Makgoba has made a renewed and urgent call for prayer in the time of the renewed record highs of the Covid-19 Pandemic

Daily noon-time prayer

God bless the world,
Give it wisdom at this time,
Grant us relief and release,
Be with those who are ill,
And bless the carers fighting this pandemic,
For Jesus Christ’s sake,
Amen


Prayer During a Pandemic

Loving God, Holy One,
Your desire is for our wholeness and well-being.
We hold in tenderness and prayer the collective suffering of our world at this time.
We grieve precious lives lost and vulnerable lives threatened.
We ache for ourselves and our neighbours, standing before an uncertain future.
We pray: may love, not fear, go viral.
Inspire our leaders to discern and choose wisely, aligned with the common good.
Help us to practice social distancing and reveal to us new and creative ways to come together in spirit and in solidarity.
Call us to profound trust in Your Faithful presence,
You, the God who does not abandon,
You, the Holy One,
breathing within us,
breathing among us,
breathing around us
in our beautiful yet wounded world.

Sisters of IHM Scranton, PA: Sr Katie Clauss, IHM


 

Thursday

 

1

Holy Week – Maundy Thursday

Loving Provider,
you gather me in this upper room with your son,
to be fed by your love.
At that supper, Jesus told us to “love one another”
and I know that is the heart of his gift,
his sacrifice for me.
I ask that I might find the source of my own heart,
the meaning for my own life,
in that Eucharist.
Guide me to the fullness of your love and life.


 

Friday

 

2

Good Friday

My Lord,
your son has suffered so much, shed so much blood.
I was born with so many faults
and my nature is so full of weakness,
and yet your son Jesus has died on the cross.
For me.
I know your grace has the power
to cleanse me of my many sins
and to make me more like your Son.
Thank you for your goodness and love for me.
I ask you, Father, to watch over me – always.


 

Saturday

 

3


 

Sunday

 

4


 

Monday

 

5

Today enjoy the outdoors together!


 

Tuesday

 

6

Reflection

“Genesis in the Bible declares that human beings have been created in the image of God and are bidden to have dominion over the rest of creation. Made in the imago dei, they are thus God’s representatives, and so must hold this dominion not ruthlessly, aggressively exploitatively, but as God would hold dominion, caringly, lovingly and compassionately.

There is a very intimate connection between us humans and the rest of creation. It is mystical and real. So when Adam and Eve muck up their lives through disobeying God, it has devastating consequences for the rest of creation – the ground which up to then had produced crops for the benefit of humans, now spews forth weeds. This is an imaginative way of saying that Creation has been damaged because human beings have been damaged. It is now red in tooth and claw.”

Bishop Desmond Tutu,
Retired Archbishop of Cape Town, Anglican Church of South Africa


 

Wednesday

7

Encyclical Letter Fratelli Tutti of Pope Francis on the Fraternity and Social Friendship

Insufficiently universal human rights

22.        It frequently becomes clear that, in practice, human rights are not equal for all. Respect for those rights “is the preliminary condition for a country’s social and economic development. When the dignity of the human person is respected, and his or her rights recognized and guaranteed, creativity and interdependence thrive, and the creativity of the human personality is released through actions that further the common good”.[18] Yet, “by closely observing our contemporary societies, we see numerous contradictions that lead us to wonder whether the equal dignity of all human beings, solemnly proclaimed seventy years ago, is truly recognized, respected, protected and promoted in every situation. In today’s world, many forms of injustice persist, fed by reductive anthropological visions and by a profit-based economic model that does not hesitate to exploit, discard and even kill human beings. While one part of humanity lives in opulence, another part sees its own dignity denied, scorned or trampled upon, and its fundamental rights discarded or violated”.[19] What does this tell us about the equality of rights grounded in innate human dignity?

23.        Similarly, the organization of societies worldwide is still far from reflecting clearly that women possess the same dignity and identical rights as men. We say one thing with words, but our decisions and reality tell another story. Indeed, “doubly poor are those women who endure situations of exclusion, mistreatment and violence, since they are frequently less able to defend their rights”.[20]

24.        We should also recognize that “even though the international community has adopted numerous agreements aimed at ending slavery in all its forms, and has launched various strategies to combat this phenomenon, millions of people today – children, women and men of all ages – are deprived of freedom and forced to live in conditions akin to slavery… Today, as in the past, slavery is rooted in a notion of the human person that allows him or her to be treated as an object… Whether by coercion, or deception, or by physical or psychological duress, human persons created in the image and likeness of God are deprived of their freedom, sold and reduced to being the property of others. They are treated as means to an end… [Criminal networks] are skilled in using modern means of communication as a way of luring young men and women in various parts of the world”.[21] A perversion that exceeds all limits when it subjugates women and then forces them to abort. An abomination that goes to the length of kidnapping persons for the sake of selling their organs. Trafficking in persons and other contemporary forms of enslavement are a worldwide problem that needs to be taken seriously by humanity as a whole: “since criminal organizations employ global networks to achieve their goals, efforts to eliminate this phenomenon also demand a common and, indeed, a global effort on the part of various sectors of society”.[22]

Prayerfully consider how this is affecting our own Country


 

Thursday

 

8

John 6:25-40

Jesus the Bread of Life

25 When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”
26 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”
28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
30 So they asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? 31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.”
32 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
34 “Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.”
35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37 All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”


 

Friday

 

9

“The environmental crisis is fundamentally a spiritual crisis.”

Thomas Berry


 

Saturday

 

10

In your time, Creator God,
this world was put in place,
and in your time
became beautiful,
through the craftsmanship of your love.
Remind us always
as we look at sunrise,
landscape or tiny child,
to look beyond the artist brush
or created thing,
to the artist and creator.


 

Sunday

 

11

Petitions for the Earth

That the Earth be reverenced and cared for as God intends,
     let us pray to the Lord.
That we stop poisoning the soil and seas with trash and toxins,
     let us pray to the Lord.
That we repent of our greed and live simply and lightly on the Earth,
     let us pray to the Lord.
That all members of this faith community take seriously the Bishops’ mandate to protect the Earth,
     let us pray to the Lord.
That global warming is halted and reversed before more damage can occur,
     let us pray to the Lord.
That protection of the Earth be a top political priority,
     let us pray to the Lord.
Amen


 

Monday

 

12


 

Tuesday

 

13

Ripple Prayers

What you need: a container of water (or a natural body of water outside!), small stones

Take your small stones and drop them into the water. Watch the ripple that starts where the pebble hits the water and spreads out across the water. Think about the things that you have done, that have caused hurt or conflict with other people and God’s Creation. Reflect upon the impact of your own words and actions, and how these can prevent peace and the healing of the Earth.

Then, as the ripples begin to settle, pray and ask God to bring peace to situations in your daily life, particularly in the situations you thought of before where your words or actions led to conflict. Watch as the water stills, and the impact of the stone disappears completely – thank God for the peace and forgiveness that he brings to our lives.


 

Wednesday

 

14

“It’s a gift to joyfully recognize and accept our own smallness and ordinariness. Then you are free with nothing to live up to, nothing to prove, and nothing to protect. Such freedom is my best description of Christian maturity, because once you know that your “I” is great and one with God, you can ironically be quite content with a small and ordinary “I.” No grandstanding is necessary. Any question of your own importance or dignity has already been resolved once and for all and forever.”

Richard Rohr


 

Thursday

 

15

Earth, Our Home

 Humanity is part of a vast evolving universe. Earth, our home, is alive with a unique community of life. The forces of nature make existence a demanding and uncertain adventure, but Earth has provided the conditions essential to life’s evolution. The resilience of the community of life and the well-being of humanity depend upon preserving a healthy biosphere with all its ecological systems, a rich variety of plants and animals, fertile soils, pure waters, and clean air. The global environment with its finite resources is a common concern of all peoples. The protection of Earth’s vitality, diversity, and beauty is a sacred trust

Taken from The Earth Charter


 

Friday

 

16

The Lambeth Conference Journey shares ‘Prayers of Hope for the World’.

Featuring prayers from Anglican bishops – and the wider Lambeth Conference Community – this journey brings prayers from around the worldwide Anglican Communion.

Creator God, you have woven us into your wonderful  web of life. We have become alienated from creation; we have violated  the living oceans and devastated the garden earth.

Unite our Anglican family in lament; as we  hear  the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor. Pour down  your  Spirit upon us to work together to renew the face of the earth. Challenge  us with the prophetic voices of the young and  guide us with indigenous wisdom.

Inspire us Creator God to act now with compassion and urgency,  knowing that  we are the ones we have been waiting for. Amen

Rev. Rachel Mash
Green Anglicans, South Africa


 

Saturday

 

17

The Possibility of Restraint

Francis rejoices in all the works of the Lord’s hands, and through their delightful display he gazes on their life-giving reason and cause. In beautiful things he discerns Beauty itself; all good things cry out to him: “The One who made us is the Best.” —Thomas of Celano

Goodness is a first principle of the universe. God declares it on the first page of the story of creation. —Barbara Holmes

Creation is the first Bible, as I (and others) like to say, and it existed for 13.7 billion years before the second Bible was written. Natural things like animals, plants, rocks, and clouds give glory to God just by being themselves, just what God created them to be. It is only we humans who have been given the free will to choose not to be what God created us to be. Surprisingly, the environmentalist and author Bill McKibben finds hope in this unique freedom. He writes:

The most curious of all . . . lives are the human ones, because we can destroy, but also because we can decide not to destroy. The turtle does what she does, and magnificently. She can’t not do it, though, any more than the beaver can decide to take a break from building dams or the bee from making honey. But if the bird’s special gift is flight, ours is the possibility of restraint. We’re the only creature who can decide not to do something we’re capable of doing. That’s our superpower, even if we exercise it too rarely.

So, yes, we can wreck the Earth as we’ve known it, killing vast numbers of ourselves and wiping out entire swaths of other life—in fact . . . we’re doing that right now. But we can also not do that. . . .

We have the tools (non-violence chief among them) to allow us to stand up to the powerful and the reckless, and we have the fundamental idea of human solidarity that we could take as our guide. . . .

Another name for human solidarity is love, and when I think about our world in its present form, that is what overwhelms me. The human love that works to feed the hungry and clothe the naked, the love that comes together in defence of sea turtles and sea ice and of all else around us that is good. The love that lets each of us see we’re not the most important thing on earth, and makes us okay with that. . . .

Over these past several months I have witnessed many examples of this restraint, which Bill McKibben calls love. While the lives of our elders, our vulnerable, and essential workers are at stake during the COVID-19 pandemic, tens of millions of us across the globe have been restraining ourselves at home, choosing not to do many things for many weeks in order to protect those we love (and those others love as well). Surely the earth is breathing a sigh of relief for our reduction in pollution and fossil fuel use. This “Great Pause,” as some are calling it, gives me hope that we will soon find it within ourselves to protect our shared home, not only for our own sake, but for our neighbours across the globe, and future generations.

From Richard Rohr’s daily meditations
www.cac.org


 

Sunday

 

18

Father of creation, we thank you for all that you have made;
For the joy and glimpses of you we find in nature’s beauty,
For the variety of all you have provided through its resources.
Help us to tread lightly and use wisely,
Valuing the needs of others, and of creation, above our own desires.
Challenge us where we need to change our lifestyles,
Convict us when we need to speak out on behalf of a voiceless people, or world
And soften us where we have stood in judgement of others.
Father in your mercy, change us and use us
For the restoration of your world, and the protection of all your children.
Amen.


 

Monday

 

19


 

Tuesday

 

20

Reflection:

Pope Francis – Laudato Si

207. “The Earth Charter asked us to leave behind a period of self-destruction and make a new start, but we have not as yet developed a universal awareness needed to achieve this. Here, I would echo that courageous challenge: “As never before in history, common destiny beckons us to seek a new beginning… Let ours be a time remembered for the awakening of a new reverence for life, the firm resolve to achieve sustainability, the quickening of the struggle for justice and peace, and the joyful celebration of life”.

208. We are always capable of going out of ourselves towards the other. Unless we do this, other creatures will not be recognized for their true worth; we are unconcerned about caring for things for the sake of others; we fail to set limits on ourselves in order to avoid the suffering of others or the deterioration of our surroundings. Disinterested concern for others, and the rejection of every form of self-centeredness and self-absorption, are essential if we truly wish to care for our brothers and sisters and for the natural environment. These attitudes also attune us to the moral imperative of assessing the impact of our every action and personal decision on the world around us. If we can overcome individualism, we will truly be able to develop a different lifestyle and bring about significant changes in society.”

Prayerfully reflect on this


 

Wednesday

 

21

“We can at least see that the question is asked, and asked on the basis of a clear recognition that there is no way of manipulating our environment that is without cost or consequence – and thus also of a recognition that we are inextricably bound up with the destiny of our world. There is no guarantee that the world we live in will “tolerate” us indefinitely if we prove ourselves unable to live within its constraints.”

Archbishop Emeritus Rowan Williams
104th Archbishop of Canterbury


 

Thursday

 

22

Earth Day 2021

When life around the globe returns to normal, our world cannot return to business-as-usual.

The theme for Earth Day 2021 has officially been declared “Restore Our Earth”. The theme is based on the concept that rejects the idea that our only options to save the planet are to mitigate or adapt to the impacts of climate change and other environmental damage. A healthy population begins with a healthy environment, and scientists around the world have warned that unless we take better care of the planet, we are at risk of even deadlier viruses emerging. #RestoreOurEarth

Our global community has been shocked by the largest global crisis in a generation. COVID-19 has shown us the necessity of thinking ahead, but the next crises are already on their way. Climate change, species loss, pandemics and massive natural disasters might define the future — unless we do something now. We have the solutions, both natural and technological… we just need the will.

Join with over 1 billion participants around the world and take action and together, we will Restore Our Earth.

Prayer for Earth Day

Heavenly Father and Mother, thank you for our life-giving Earth that we celebrate today on Earth Day. Bless all the celebrations, educational programs, and projects that seek to express our appreciation for this great gift. May we be zealous for the Earth not just today, but every day of our lives. Guide us in the monumental and important mission of restoring the integrity of creation. We dedicate our lives anew to you and to this great work of our time. This we pray through Christ and the Holy Spirit. Amen.


 

Friday

 

23

A Bottle, a Tin and a Plastic Bag

Milk bottle tops and paper bags,
Iron bedsteads, dirty old rags,
Litter on the pavement,
Paper in the park
Is this what we     CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP
Really want to see?     CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP
No! No! No!

Old plastic bottles, silver foil,
Chocolate wrapping, engine oil,
Rubbish in the gutter,
Junk upon the beach,
Is this what we     CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP
Really want to see?     CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP
No! No! No!

Help us, Lord, to find each day
Ways to help to keep away,
Litter off the pavement,
Rubbish off the beach,
This is what we     CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP
Really want to see     CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP
Yes! Yes! Yes!


 

Saturday

 

24


 

Sunday

 

25

World Penguin Day

Penguins are aquatic, flightless birds living in the southern hemisphere.  The annual World Penguin Day is a way of honouring this unique bird.  The day raises awareness of this flightless bird whose survival is becoming a threat every day.  World Penguin Day allows us to spend some time thinking about these majestic birds and learn more about them.  Most of the 18 species of penguins are found in the southern hemisphere, although the rarest penguin species – the Galápagos penguin, is found on western Galápagos islands, north of the equator.  The African Penguin is endemic to South Africa.

Global climate change has in the recent past given penguins living in the southern hemisphere a hard fight. Most penguins feed on krill (a type of small crustacean.)  The retreat of sea ice in most areas of Antarctica has led to the reduction of krill stocks. This disappearance of penguins’ primary source of food has significantly contributed to the death of many penguins.

Once again, we see how our collective apathy about climate change threatens all of God’s Creation.

Prayer:

Fill us with peace, that we may live as brothers and sisters, harming no one and no creature. God of creation, help us to remember all creatures – big and small – of this earth, so precious in your eyes, that we may protect the world and not prey on it, that we may sow beauty and stability.  God of all, bring healing to our lives and open our eyes to see you in all that you have created. As we think of how great you are, move us to help our brothers and sisters and care for the earth that we share. Amen.


 

Monday

 

26

World Malaria Day – 25 April

World Malaria Day is an occasion to highlight the need for continued investment and sustained political commitment for malaria prevention and control.

COVID-19 complicates the malaria picture in Southern Africa

Malaria is endemic to 14 of the 16 southern African countries, with the exception of Lesotho and the Seychelles. But the distribution of malaria in these 14 countries is extremely varied.  Countries in southern Africa are highly connected. Large numbers of highly mobile and migrant populations and frequent cross-border movements pose significant challenges to achieving a malaria-free region. This is particularly so as mosquitoes and parasites do not respect country borders.

South Africa is an example of the challenges the whole region faces. The constant introduction of malaria from neighbouring countries remains a major obstacle to the country’s ambitions to eliminate the disease.

South Africa’s already heavily burdened healthcare system has been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.  The World Health Organisation also warned that COVID-19 could significantly disrupt malaria control activities.

South Africa responded rapidly by modifying malaria control practices and protocols. The goal was to ensure the safety of healthcare workers, malaria control staff and the communities they serve. As fever is a symptom of both malaria and COVID-19, people from malaria-endemic districts were tested for both COVID-19 and malaria during the community-testing phase of the COVID-19 control strategy.

South Africa’s strict lockdown restrictions on provincial and international movements greatly reduced the country’s malaria burden, with just over 1,000 cases reported between May and October 2020.

Gauteng has a substantial number of malaria deaths for a province where malaria is not endemic. This is because the disease is misdiagnosed in a number of patients who did not travel. These are patients who suffer from Odyssean malaria, colloquially referred to as “taxi malaria”. These cases are due to a mosquito that has “hitched a ride” from an endemic area. Now, more than ever, it is crucial that when a patient presents with a fever, malaria is considered.

The COVID-19 pandemic has already changed the world and presented many public health challenges, but it must not be allowed to let preventable, treatable diseases like malaria rebound.

Prayer:

Almighty God, we know that you can do all things, and no plan of yours can be thwarted. We pray for your sons and daughters, in Africa and around the world, who are suffering from, or at risk for, malaria. Lord, bless and aide the malaria intervention programs so that they would be as effective and efficient as possible. This we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord! Amen.

Adapted from the Rt. Rev. Emmanuel Arongo,
Diocese of Tamale, Ghana


 

Tuesday

 

27

A new WWF report Deforestation fronts: Drivers and responses in a changing world. has revealed how and why our planet has lost an area the size of California to deforestation in just over a decade. This shocking loss, totalling 43 million hectares in the tropics and sub-tropics alone, demonstrates the need for urgent action to halt deforestation and restore our forests – so vital for the future of people and nature. The report highlights 24 “deforestation fronts” across Africa, Asia, Australia and South America where forest loss is accelerating rapidly. These places have been hard hit by a variety of activities, ranging from the clearance of land for growing crops and livestock to the building of roads and development of mining operations. But the impacts aren’t only felt by the people and wildlife who live in and around these forests – deforestation contributes to the global climate crisis, as well as makes future pandemics more likely by increasing the risk of disease jumping from wildlife to people and their livestock.

Prayerfully consider how your consumer purchases are contributing to this crisis

https://greenchristian.org.uk/resources/prayer-guide


 

Wednesday

 

28

“What is a scientist after all? It is a curious man looking through a keyhole, the keyhole of nature, trying to know what’s going on. “

Jacques Yves Cousteau


 

Thursday

 

29

O God, amazing Creator, there is no end to the awe we feel in the face of your magnificent creation. Words cannot convey our gratitude for such an undeserved gift. We praise you for the beauty that stops us in our tracks wherever we turn. We revere you for the fecundity of creation that has spewed forth life and goodness for billions of years. We thank you for the multitude of ways that the natural world sustains and nourishes us in body and spirit. We are humbled that we are part of such a display of your glory. Our hearts overflow with love for You, revealed in the wonder of creation. May all the angels and saints join us in our song of gratitude, praising You forever and ever. Amen.


 

Friday

 

30


2021 Enviro Prayer Diaries in PDF

2020 Enviro Prayer Diaries in PDF

2019 Enviro Prayer Diaries in PDF

2018 Enviro Prayer Diaries in PDF

2017 Enviro Prayer Diaries in PDF

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