Enviro Prayer Diary

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


May 2024 Environmental Prayer Diary





National Bird Week (1st Week in May)

National Bird Week is a celebration of the wonder of birds and a time to raise awareness about the many threats that bird species face on a daily basis. Birds have long captured the imagination of humans as they effortlessly soar through the skies or flit from flower to flower. 

It is no wonder that so many people have become either professional or amateur ornithologists and enthusiasts. Birdwatching is one of the fastest growing outdoor pastimes in the world – second only to gardening.

While birds may seem to live carefree lives, many bird species are at risk of extinction as many of their natural habitats are under attack. Additionally, poaching and the illegal wildlife trade threaten many bird species.  This can be avoided by changing our behaviours and substantially reducing our footprint on the environment. It is important to raise awareness about these causes so that more people know the plight of birds. With these factors in mind we need to do everything that we can to protect our birds and their environments. 

Take time during this week to go out and enjoy the beauty of our local birdlife.  Although many of our birds have migrated to warmer climes, there are still a host of them to keep you enthralled during the winter months.






James 3:1-12

Taming the Tongue

Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.

When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.






International Leopard Day

Leopards may be the most adaptable of the big cats, but their population numbers and distribution range are in decline.  Make sure you help save a spot for them in this rapidly changing world.  Unfortunately, leopards are persecuted and sometimes killed by some farmers and other livestock owners who want to protect their livestock from these fierce predators.

At the inaugural Global Leopard Conference last year, brought together hundreds of researchers, students, conservationists and enthusiasts in the first-ever international gathering dedicated to Panthera pardus, the leopard. 

Despite being a well-known and charismatic species, the conference presentations and discussion groups overwhelmingly indicated that leopards are still greatly in need of awareness raising, support and investment.

Leopards play a significant role in the managing of small predators and prey populations within the ecosystem. These predators are a sign of a healthy, functioning ecosystem because they require large territories and are sensitive to human-induced disturbances, habitat loss and prey reduction.

The Cape Leopard Trust do amazing work to ensure the long-term survival of leopard populations by promoting peaceful coexistence and the protection of landscapes, empowered by scientific research, positive community partnerships, education and advocacy.

Spread some leopard love on your social media platforms and let the world know why leopards are creatures worth conserving!

Pray for all involved in the protection of these amazing animals!






International Composting Awareness Week – 5-11 May

2024 Theme: “Compost… Nature’s Climate Champion!”

The 2024 theme best reflects the UN goal by highlighting the role compost plays in fighting climate change.

Composting lowers greenhouse gases by improving carbon sequestration in the soil and by preventing methane emissions through aerobic decomposition, as methane-producing microbes are not active in the presence of oxygen. 

Composting therefore protects the climate by reducing methane emissions from landfills – Reducing waste; Recycling organic materials into a valuable soil amendment – compost; and Recovering organic materials and keeps them local.

Have you started composting yet?






Love for the World

Gracious God,
Share with us your heart for creation,
That we may cherish all life,
Working together to heal the damage we have done,
Knowing that in all our struggles
You are beside us, to inspire
Strengthen and transform us
Through Christ, our Lord and Saviour






“Reading about nature is fine, but if a person walks in the woods and listens carefully, he can learn more than what is in books, for they speak with the voice of God. “

George Washington Carver





Praise and thanksgiving

(Melody – Morning has broken)

Praise and thanksgiving, God, we would offer
for all things living, you have made good:
harvest of sown fields, fruits of the orchard,
hay from the mown fields, blossom and wood.

God, bless the labour we bring to serve you,
that with our neighbour we may be fed.
Sowing or tilling, we would work with you,
harvesting, milling for daily bread.

Father, providing food for your children,
by Wisdom’s guiding teach us to share
one with another, so that, rejoicing
with us, all others may know your care.

Then will your blessing reach ev’ry people,
freely confessing your gracious hand.
Where you are reigning, no one will hunger;
your love sustaining showers the land.







Creator God – maker and shaper of all that is, seen and unseen;
You are in the expanse and depth of Creation, and in the processes that make life possible.
Yet we are distracted by the gods we make ourselves and our lives become fractured and fragmented.
In our brokenness we disturb the Earth’s capacity to hold us.
Instead we find climate uncertainty and global injustice.
Call us back from the brink.
Help us to choose love not fear, to change ourselves and not the planet;
to act justly for the sake of the vulnerable; and to make a difference today
for life tomorrow.
In your name – Father, Son and Spirit.






Ascension Day

O God of earth and sky,
as Jesus came among us in Bethlehem to raise us up to heaven,
so today we recall his departing from us at Jerusalem to be in all places.
Though he is hidden from our sight,
enable us to abide in him
by the power and grace of the Holy Spirit,
until his mercy and grace fill your whole creation. Amen.

Copyright © 2000 Order of Saint Luke Publications.






Mother’s Day (12 May)

Thank you to all mothers!

Good and Gentle God, we pray in gratitude for our mothers and for all the women of theory who have joined with you in the wonder of bringing forth new life. You who became human through a woman, grant to all mothers the courage they need to face the uncertain future that life with children always brings.






World Migratory Bird Day (1st of 2)

2024 Theme: “The importance of insects for migratory birds.”

This year’s theme highlights concern related to decreasing populations of insects.

Insects are essential sources of energy for many migratory bird species, not only during the breeding seasons but also during their extensive journeys and greatly affect the timing, duration, and overall success of bird migrations.

Along their migration routes, birds actively seek out insects in fields, forests, wetlands, and various habitats during stopovers. The timing of bird migration often coincides with peak insect abundance at stopover locations, supplying nourishment for birds to replenish their energy reserves before continuing their journeys.

The loss and disturbance of insect populations at breeding sites and along avian migration routes threaten bird survival and well-being. Natural spaces like forests and grasslands that have been transformed or endangered by intensive agriculture and urban development and its effects such as light pollution can result in a decline in insect populations. Pesticides and herbicides designed to protect crops harm insects that birds rely on for food. A scarcity of energy- and protein-rich insects can hinder bird migration and breeding, leading to weakened immune systems, reduced reproductive success, and increased mortality rates for both adult birds and their offspring. 

Birds play crucial roles in pollination and pest control, and a lack of insects disrupts these ecosystem functions. Overpopulation of certain insects, without natural predators from birds, can also cause outbreaks that damage plant health and agriculture.

The World Migratory Bird Day campaign in 2024 will stress the need for proactive conservation measures. This includes reducing the use of pesticides and fertilisers, and where possible, switching to organic farming. Other measures include maintaining and connecting areas of natural vegetation which provide food and shelter for birds and other species, in agricultural landscapes.  

In 2024, World Migratory Bird Day will be celebrated on two days, 11 May and 12 October, aligning with the cyclic nature of bird migration in different hemispheres.






Ascension Sunday

Holy Father, Father of the Risen and Ascended Christ, You surround us with witnesses who have shown us the way. Inspire us with your Spirit to stop looking into the heavens and start doing the work of the kingdom. Help us to seek justice, becoming a people who nourish and clothe and lament.
Help us to love kindness, becoming a people who forgive and accept forgiveness, a people who show mercy and live in charity. Help us to walk humbly with you, becoming a people whose secret identities melt away revealing the Christ living within.
Almighty God, whose blessed Son our Savior Jesus Christ ascended far above the heavens that He might fill all things, mercifully give us faith to perceive that, according to His promise, He abides with His Church on earth,
even to the end of the ages.

We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.







“The aesthetic value of creation cannot be overlooked.  Our very contact with nature has a deep restorative power; contemplation of its magnificence imparts  peace and serenity.  The Bible speaks again and again of the goodness and beauty of creation, which is called to glorify God.”

Pope John Paul II






A Song of Praise

CAC teacher Brian McLaren has a deep love for the natural world and all that it reveals about God and our place on the Earth:

If we’d like to bring our God-concepts into better sync with a Creator who makes sense in this particular universe, we’d better face up to this sobering fact: God loves tortoises.

And really, God loves reptiles in general. (Not to mention insects, if we judge based on how many species exist: three hundred thousand beetles, seventeen thousand butterflies, and five thousand dragonflies, for example, out of over two million insects in total.)

Fathom it: For 245 million years, there were zero people around, but lots and lots of reptiles….

Apparently, God did not say, “Wow. These things are boring.… Praise be to me, for my sake let’s get these reptiles out of here so we can get some religious primates evolving, fast!”

No. For 245 million years, and for 99.999 percent of the 66 million years since, God was happy to have a good universe that included neither a single human nor a single religion, but lots and lots and lots of reptiles….

For humans to make sense to ourselves, I think we’re going to have to rediscover our kinship with the reptiles—and the fish, insects, birds, mammals, and palo santo trees—with which we share the world.…

In his beautiful Canticle, [Saint Francis] describes how we humans are related to all our kin in the family tree of creation. I’ve adapted his prayer as a song:

Be praised, my Lord, through Brother Sun,
who brings the light of day;
He’s beautiful and radiant, like you!
Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Moon,
Through all her sister stars.
They’re luminous and wonderful, like you!

Be praised, my Lord, through Brother Wind
And Sister Cloud and Storm.
They bring flowers from Mother Earth for you.
Be praised, my Lord, through Brother Bird;
You gave him wings to fly.
He sings with joy and soars up high for you.

Through Sister Water, Lord, be praised;
She’s humble, useful, too.
She’s precious, clear and pure, O Lord, like you.
Be praised, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
Whose beauty glows at night.
He’s cheerful, powerful, and strong, like you.

Be praised through all those who forgive,
The patient, kind, and brave,
Enduring suffering, trial, and pain, like you.
Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Death,
Who will embrace all life,
And carry us up to the arms of you.

McLaren comments:

In this grand vision, we aren’t ruling from the heights of a great top-down pyramid or chain of being, generals under King God in the divine chain of command. In this grand vision, we aren’t given by our rank a carte blanche to dominate, oppress, exploit, and exterminate everything below us. No, we aren’t at the top of anything; we’re simply at the tip, the tip of one small branch of a very huge, verdant tree, and all created things are our grandparents, cousins, and siblings.

From Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditations






In delivering on biodiversity, we deliver on climate, on pollution, on the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration, and on the food and energy system transformation. So let us ensure that this COP will be remembered as the moment we finally set our societies and economies on the path to rebuilding the biodiversity upon which we all rely.

Inger Andersen
UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director










Endangered Species Day

2024 Theme: “Celebrate saving species.”

Play your part on Endangered Species Day by celebrating, learning about, and taking action to protect threatened and endangered species.  Take steps to limit your environmental footprint which impacts on our very precious wildlife.

South Africa is home to many unique and beautiful species of wildlife, both animal and plant, but sadly, many of these are now endangered – some critically so. The natural habitat and lives of these animals is being impacted detrimentally mainly from human interference and negligence.  South Africa ranks 20th globally for the most endangered species – which is a sad reflection on us.

We often forget how connected we are to the animal kingdom and the impact our actions have on them. Agricultural development is destroying natural habitats, which in turn forces animals into humans-wildlife conflict.

We need to be more mindful of our effect on the environment and take active steps to reduce our impact on other species. South Africa is home to some of the most amazing animals on the planet, and it would be a tragedy to lose them forever. We must do everything we can to protect these creatures and ensure that they have a future in our world.

It is sad to note that there are so many Threatened, Endangered and Critically Endangered species (animal, bird, invertebrates, amphibians, aquatic and plants) in South Africa, that to mention them all would be a herculean task

Some of our most threatened and endangered species (some critically so) include:

The Knysna seahorse, Cape Parrot, Wattled crane, Pickergill’s Reedfrog, African wild dog,  Riverine Rabbit (sadly, the most endangered rabbit in the world), Golden Moles, Mimetes stokoei  (the mace pagoda), Pelargonium heterophyllum (probably THE most endangered plant in South Africa – hanging on by a thread ….) and Gunning’s rock scorpion.

Once again, it is human interference, indifference and greed have brought these species to the brink of extinction.

Re-evaluate your environmental footprint continually and pray for all involved in conservation.






Canticle of Daniel

Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord.
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord.
You heavens, bless the Lord.
All you waters above the heavens, bless the Lord.
All you hosts of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Sun and moon, bless the Lord.
Stars of heaven, bless the Lord.

Every shower and dew, bless the Lord.
All you winds, bless the Lord.
Fire and heat, bless the Lord.
Cold and chill, bless the Lord.
Dew and rain, bless the Lord.
Frost and chill, bless the Lord.
Ice and snow, bless the Lord.
Nights and days, bless the Lord.
Light and darkness, bless the Lord.
Lightnings and clouds, bless the Lord.

Let the earth bless the Lord.
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Mountains and hills, bless the Lord.
Everything growing from the earth, bless the Lord.
You springs, bless the Lord.
Seas and rivers, bless the Lord.
You dolphins and all water creatures, bless the Lord.
All you birds of the air, bless the Lord.
All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord.
You sons of men, bless the Lord.

O Israel, bless the Lord.
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Priests of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Servants of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Spirits and souls of the just, bless the Lord.
Holy men of humble heart, bless the Lord.
Hananiah, Azariah, Mishael, bless the Lord.
Praise and exalt him above all forever.

Let us bless the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Let us praise and exalt him above all forever.
Blessed are you, Lord, in the firmament of heaven.
Praiseworthy and glorious and exalted above all forever.







A prayer of praise and thanksgiving

Lord, as we worship today on Pentecost Sunday, give us a vision.
Move us by your Holy Spirit.
Bring good news to us all.
Bring freedom and peace to broken people,
And let us get a taste of Heaven here on Earth.
Open our eyes to see you as you are.
And open our hearts to praise you.
Give us a vision that will take us out of our comfort zones
And lead us into new ways of serving you.
Help us to be agents of your love to all people
In a world where there is much division and hate.
Helps us to be beacons of hope
In a world that is sinking deeper into despair.
Help us to be agents of your peace
In a world that is torn apart by conflict and wars.
In our worship today our God,
Give us a vision through Jesus Christ our Lord.







World Bee Day

A post seen on Facebook which has significant relevance:

Post from a local Beekeeper

“It’s late, and maybe in the morning I’ll delete this post, but I’ve just got home and for now I need to write this down.

Earlier this evening I received a message from a homeowner to say they had a swarm of bees in their hedge, but they were worried about them because children had been throwing water at them.

By the time my fellow beekeeper and I arrived, what had been a beautiful prime swarm was reduced to a few hundred drenched bees, huddling limply around their queen.

I’ve already deleted the photos of the puddles of water, the dripping wet hedge, and the many, many dead and dying bees that hadn’t been able to escape the attack; sharing those pictures serves no purpose.

We gently placed the bees that had survived into a collection box, and hopefully tomorrow, when they’ve had chance to dry out and settle, we’ll check on them and if necessary, feed them; they’ll be exhausted and possibly (understandably) defensive. They’ve been through a lot.

Please, please, help me to educate your children, your grandchildren, your nieces and nephews, your neighbours, your colleagues and your friends that a swarm of bees isn’t dangerous – they’re amazing creatures that are just looking for a new home.

Please don’t let anyone harm them. Just call a beekeeper who will gladly rehome them.

Please help me to spread this message and hopefully save any more bees from being unnecessarily harmed.

 – A Sad and unhappy Beekeeper.”

This is a clear message for us to ensure the safety and security of our bees.  Bees are the most important group of pollinators, visiting more than 90% of the leading 107 global crop types. In South Africa, over 50 crops are dependent on bee pollination. This means, bees ensure a reliable and diverse seed and fruit supply through pollination.  Also bear in mind that other than our well-known Honeybees, there are another 1200 bee species in our country.  All bees serve this vital service of pollination, but most are shy and often overlooked solitary bees.  (By the way – very few of the solitary bees have a sting.) Ensure your garden is totally bee friendly, and never use pesticides!  Find out who your nearest Bee-keeper is and keep their contact numbers handy. 










International Day for Biodiversity

An IUCN report issued in September 2023 warned that the state of biodiversity is in severe decline, with deforestation, land degradation and species extinctions all moving in the wrong direction to meet the Sustainable Development Goal No. 15 – Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss”.  It also recommended a set of actions that are urgently needed to correct the course and accelerate the implementation of the SDGs.

Our ability to curb biodiversity loss hinges on our collective resolve to act for species. The Global Species Action Plan provides the first comprehensive roadmap by which all of society can take the critical actions needed to protect our planet’s species and revive what we have lost.Dr Grethel Aguilar, IUCN Acting Director General.

2024 Theme: “Be part of the Plan”

Be part of the Plan”, the theme of IDB 2024, is a call to action for everyone to stop and reverse the loss of biodiversity by supporting the implementation of the Kunming-Montreal Global “Biodiversity Plan:  For Life on Earth”.  Emphasizing the critical role of species in ecosystem stability, human livelihoods, and cultural heritage, the GSAP (Global Species Action Plan) seeks to prevent extinctions, reduce threats, and ensure equitable benefits from species use. Everyone has a role to play and therefore can Be Part of the Plan.

The wording of the Biodiversity Plan is not really geared to the “man-in-the-street” but every single one of us can participate in the objectives of the Biodiversity Plan by investing in ways that promote biodiversity and our environmental footprint in every way possible.  Establishing a biodiversity garden – whether it be pot plants on your tiny patio or structuring your entire garden to welcome a variety of creatures from creepy-crawlies, insects, amphibians, birds and more – goes a long way to achieving this goal. 

Teaching children about biodiversity, ecosystems and the threats they face and the opportunities to restore them is also essential to protecting and enhancing biodiversity. 






A Shona prayer from Zimbabwe

Great Spirit, piling up rocks into towering mountains,
when you stamp on the stone, the dust rises and fills the land.
Father, you sew the heavens like cloth: knit together what is below.
Caller-forth of the branching trees, you bring forth the shoots that stand erect.
Wonderful one, you live in the midst of the sheltering rocks.
You give rain to humankind.
Hear us, O Lord! Show mercy when we beg you
Gracious One, you are on high with the spirits of the great.
You raise the grass-covered hills above the earth and create the rivers.






Prayer from Nigeria

God of Heaven and earth,
The tall mountains and deep blue seas
Even wonderful creatures to adorn it
And have given us dominion over all of them
Help us to preserve and appreciate this gifts that others may benefit
Even generations to come, this we pray
through Jesus Christ, our Lord and the Holy Spirit
one God now and for ever.

Chukwuemeka Roderick Oji
Preach Water Foundation






Africa Day (26 May)





Trinity Sunday


O Lord our governor, how glorious is your name in all the world! Your majesty above the heavens is praised out of the mouths of babes at the breast. You have founded a stronghold against your foes, that you might still the enemy and the avenger. When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have ordained, what are mortals, that you should be mindful of them; mere human beings, that you should seek them out? You have made them little lower than the angels and crown them with glory and honour. You have given them dominion over the works of your hands and put all things under their feet, All sheep and oxen, even the wild beasts of the field, the birds of the air, the fish of the sea and whatsoever moves in the paths of the sea. O Lord our governor, how glorious is your name in all the world! 

We bless you, master of the heavens, for the wonderful order which enfolds this world;  grant that your whole creation may find fulfilment in the Son of Man, Jesus Christ our Saviour.







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

Chapter Three – Envisaging and engendering an open world

A universal love that promotes persons

109.      Some people are born into economically stable families, receive a fine education, grow up well nourished, or naturally possess great talent. They will certainly not need a proactive state; they need only claim their freedom. Yet the same rule clearly does not apply to a disabled person, to someone born in dire poverty, to those lacking a good education and with little access to adequate health care. If a society is governed primarily by the criteria of market freedom and efficiency, there is no place for such persons, and fraternity will remain just another vague ideal.

110.      Indeed, “to claim economic freedom while real conditions bar many people from actual access to it, and while possibilities for employment continue to shrink, is to practise doublespeak”.[83] Words like freedom, democracy or fraternity prove meaningless, for the fact is that “only when our economic and social system no longer produces even a single victim, a single person cast aside, will we be able to celebrate the feast of universal fraternity”.[84] A truly human and fraternal society will be capable of ensuring in an efficient and stable way that each of its members is accompanied at every stage of life. Not only by providing for their basic needs, but by enabling them to give the best of themselves, even though their performance may be less than optimum, their pace slow or their efficiency limited.

111.      The human person, with his or her inalienable rights, is by nature open to relationship. Implanted deep within us is the call to transcend ourselves through an encounter with others. For this reason, “care must be taken not to fall into certain errors which can arise from a misunderstanding of the concept of human rights and from its misuse. Today there is a tendency to claim ever broader individual – I am tempted to say individualistic – rights. Underlying this is a conception of the human person as detached from all social and anthropological contexts, as if the person were a “monad” (monás), increasingly unconcerned with others… Unless the rights of each individual are harmoniously ordered to the greater good, those rights will end up being considered limitless and consequently will become a source of conflicts and violence”.[85]

Prayerfully consider how this affects our Country.






As we breathe the very air which sustains us,
We remember your love, God, which gives us life.
Fill us with your compassion for Creation.
Empty us of apathy, selfishness and fear, of all pessimism and hesitation.
Breathe into us solidarity with all who suffer now and the future generations who will suffer because of our environmental irresponsibility.
Move us into action to save our earth and to build your sustainable Kingdom.






Election Day





Prayer for Social Justice

Almighty and eternal God,
may your grace enkindle in all persons a love of the many unfortunate people
whom poverty and misery reduce to a condition of life unworthy of human beings.
Arouse in the hearts of those who call you God
a hunger and thirst for social justice and for fraternal charity in deeds and in truth.
Grant, O Lord, peace in our days,
peace to souls, peace to our community
and peace among nations.

Pope Pius XII







2024 Enviro Prayer Diaries in PDF

2023 Enviro Prayer Diaries in PDF

2022 Enviro Prayer Diaries in PDF

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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