Enviro Prayer Diary

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


July 2024 Environmental Prayer Diary





Plastic Free July

In March 2022, the UN Environmental Assembly convened in Nairobi, Kenya, to debate the global plastic crisis. In a historic move, 175 nations voted to adopt a global treaty for plastic pollution—agreeing on an accelerated timeline so that the treaty could be implemented as soon as 2025.  South Africa, however, is yet to sign this agreement as there are ongoing debates on Treaty’s text and context of plastics.

There is no legislation in South Africa that is specifically designed to regulate the production and distribution of plastic bags or to promote recycling of plastic products. It is therefore necessary to look to more general environmental legislation for guidance in this regard.

Did you know?

There are Resolutions in place which were accepted by the ACSA Provincial Standing Committee in September 2018 and September 2019 taking action against plastic usage.

It was acknowledged that plastic debris not only results in high cleaning-up costs but also brings huge losses for the tourism, fisheries and shipping industries.

It is also becoming increasingly clear that plastic is proving to be extremely damaging to the health and well-being of people and planet,  That the quantity of plastic is polluting water, air and soil and threatening the survival of millions of species, and that this applies in particular to microplastics which can enter the respiratory system and blood stream.

Anglican Church calls for a ban on single use plastic bags and micro plastics in Southern Africa

Parishes of ACSA are to encourage their parishioners to:

1.     Put pressure on local shops to stop using non-biodegradable plastic bags,

2.     Combat plastic pollution by joining with local communities in river, beach and township clean-up events,

3.     Support the Bring Your Own Bag (BYOB) campaign, pledging to stop using single-use plastic bags and encouraging parish sewing groups to make material bags as both an income generating and environmental project.

The Anglican Church of Southern Africa passed the resolution to calling on Parishes and Dioceses to commit to becoming Zerowaste

Resolves to:

  • Not using plastic bottled water;
  • Not using Styrofoam;
  • Reducing paper as much as possible;
  • Setting up compost heaps and food gardens where possible;
  • Installing recycling bins for church and, if possible, for community;
  • Not using plastic cutlery, cups, plates, water bottles and straws;
  • Displaying a #zerowaste signs at the church;
  • Calls on the governments of South Africa, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, Angola, Mozambique and St Helena to ban single use plastic as a matter of urgency.

Are you aware of how your Parish is applying these Resolutions?  … and what lifestyle changes are you making to limit your plastic usage?






The Lord’s Prayer … translated from Aramaic directly into English. 

Rather than from Aramaic to Greek to Latin to English.

O cosmic Birther of all radiance and vibration,
soften the ground of our being and carve out a space within us where your Presence can abide.
Fill us with your creativity so that we may be empowered to bear the fruit of your mission.
Let each of our actions bear fruit in accordance with our desire
Endow us with the wisdom to produce and share what each being needs to grow and flourish.
Untie the tangled threads of destiny that bind us, as we release others from the entanglement of past mistakes.
Do not let us be seduced by that which would divert us from our true purpose, but illuminate the opportunities of the present moment.
For you are the ground and the fruitful vision, the birth, power, and fulfilment, as all is gathered and made whole once again.
And So It Is!











Loving What Is before Us

Praise the Lord from the earth,
You sea monsters and all deeps;
Fire and hail, snow and clouds,
Stormy wind, fulfilling God’s word; 
Mountains and all hills,
Fruit trees and all cedars;
Beasts and all cattle;
Creeping things and winged fowl …
Let them praise the name of the Lord,
For God’s name alone is exalted;
God’s glory is above earth and heaven.
            —Psalm 148: 7–10, 13

God was known and praised in the natural world long before the advent of the written Scriptures. Father Richard writes:

Jewish and Christian traditions of creation spirituality have their origins in Hebrew Scriptures such as Psalms 104 and 148. It is a spirituality that is rooted, first of all, in nature, in experience, and in the world as it is. This rich Hebrew spirituality formed the mind, heart, and teaching of Jesus of Nazareth.

Maybe we don’t feel the impact of that until we realize how many people think religion has to do with ideas and concepts and formulas from books. That’s how clergy and theologians were trained for years. We went away, not into a world of nature and silence and primal relationships, but into a world of books. Well, that’s not biblical spirituality, and that’s not where religion begins. It begins in observing “what is.” Paul says, “Ever since the creation of the world, the invisible essence of God and God’s everlasting power have been clearly seen by the mind’s understanding of created things” (Romans 1:20). We know God through the things that God has made. The first foundation of any true religious seeing is, quite simply, learning how to see and love what is. Contemplation is meeting reality in its most simple and direct form unjudged, unexplained, and uncontrolled!

If we don’t know how to love what’s right in front of us, then we don’t know how to see what is. So, we must start with a stone! We move from the stone to the plant world and learn how to appreciate growing things and see God in them. In all of the natural world, we see the vestigia Dei, which means the fingerprints or footprints of God.

Perhaps once we can see God in plants and animals, we might learn to see God in our neighbours. And then we might learn to love the world. And then, when all of that loving has taken place, when all of that seeing has happened, when such people come to me and tell me they love Jesus, I’ll believe it! They’re capable of loving Jesus. The soul is prepared. The soul is freed, and it’s learned how to see and how to receive and how to move in and how to move out from itself. Such individuals might well understand how to love God.

From Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditations






Confession adapted from the North American Conference on Christianity and Ecology

For the marvellous grace of your Creation, we pour out our thanks to You, our God.

We praise you, O Lord for plants growing in earth and water, for life inhabiting lakes and seas, for life creeping in soils and land, for creatures living in wetlands and waters, for life flying above earth and sea, for beasts dwelling in woods and fields.

How many and wonderful are your works, our God! In wisdom you have made them all!

But we confess, dear Lord, as creatures privileged with care and keeping of Your Creation that we have abused your Creation gifts through arrogance, ignorance, and greed.

We confess, Lord, that we often are unaware of how deeply we have hurt Your good earth and its marvellous gifts.

We confess that we are often unaware of how our abuse of creation has also been an abuse of ourselves.

For our wrongs, Lord, we ask forgiveness. We offer our repentance. We promise to reverence your creation as a gracious gift entrusted to us by You, our God. We promise anew to be stewards and not pillages of what You have entrusted to us. 






“Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed; if we permit the last virgin forests to be turned into comic books and plastic cigarette cases; if we drive the few remaining members of the wild species into zoos or to extinction; if we pollute the last clear air and dirty the last clean streams and push our paved roads through the last of the silence, so that never again will we be free in our own country from the noise, the exhausts, the stinks of human and automotive waste. And so that never again can we have the chance to see ourselves single, separate, vertical and individual in the world, part of the environment of trees and rocks and soil, brother to the other animals, part of the natural world and competent to belong in it.

Without any remaining wilderness we are committed wholly, without chance for even momentary reflection and rest, to a headlong drive into our technological termite-life, the Brave New World of a completely man-controlled environment. We need wilderness preserved – as much of it as is still left, and as many kinds – because it was the challenge against which our character as a people was formed. The reminder and the reassurance that it is still there is good for our spiritual health even if we never once in ten years set foot in it. It is good for us when we are young, because of the incomparable sanity it can bring briefly, as vacation and rest, into our insane lives. It is important to us when we are old simply because it is there – important, that is, simply as an idea.”

Wallace Stegner






Creator God, this gift of earth upon which I tread, and sow seed that will later blossom or provide food for us to eat is a precious, delicate resource, so easily damaged or spoiled. 
Teach us to walk gently upon, and work in sympathy with this garden you have given, treating it with due respect,
so that through every season it might bring both life and joy to those who walk upon it.






Creator God,
We acknowledge that as your handiwork,
we stand alongside all that you have made.
Trees and rivers, mountains and valleys,
soaring birds and scuttling creatures,
all are held within your care.
May we grow in our love and appreciation
for the fabulous variety around us;
and may our awe and wonder draw us closer
to the natural world, and through it to you,
the God of all things.
We pray in Jesus name,

Revd Cate Williams
Environment Officer, Diocese of Gloucester






O God, enlarge within us the sense of fellowship with all living things, our brothers the animals to whom thou gavest the earth as their home in common with us.

We remember with shame that in the past we have exercised the high dominion of man with ruthless cruelty so that the voice of the earth, which should have gone up to thee in song, has been a groan of travail.

May we realize that they live not for us alone but for themselves and for thee, and that they love
the sweetness of live.

St. Basil the Great






Through the silence of nature, I attain Thy divine peace.
Oh sublime nature, in thy stillness let my heart rest.
Thou art patiently awaiting the moment to manifest through the silence of sublime nature.
Oh nature sublime, speak to me through silence,
for I am awaiting in silence like you the call of God.
Oh nature sublime,
through thy silence I hear Thy cry.
My heart is tuned to the quietness,
that the stillness of nature inspires.

Hazrat Inayat Khan






“Many of us have made our world so familiar that we do not see it anymore. An interesting question to ask yourself at night is, What did I really see this day?”

John O’Donohue
Priest, Author & Irish Poet






Children’s Mealtime Blessing





World Shark Awareness Day (14 July)

The annual Shark Awareness Day is essentially a day created to dispel myths about sharks and to raise awareness about the importance of sharks to the ocean.

As apex predators, sharks play an important role in the ecosystem by maintaining the species below them in the food chain and serving as an indicator for ocean health. They help remove the weak and the sick as well as keeping the balance with competitors helping to ensure species diversity.  They also indirectly maintain seagrass and coral reef habitats.

However, recently Great White Sharks have been disappearing from the coastal regions around Cape Town.  The reason for their disappearance has been linked largely to Orca predation (particularly that of Orca’s Port and Starboard in Gansbaai), causing the shark population to take a pronounced eastward shift.  The Great White Sharks are also being negatively affected by decimation of their food source and baited drum lines.

Sadly, Great white sharks are decreasing in numbers globally due to years of being hunted by man for fins and teeth, and often as a trophy for sport fishing. They are also often caught as bycatch by commercial fisheries and can also become entangled in meshes that protect beaches.

These majestic predators are crucial to the health of the oceans and we can all take direct action in protecting them.  Only buying sustainably caught fish, and not buying anything containing shark products is the best way for any individual to help sharks.

  • Pray for all those involved in shark conservation
  • Pray for the ceasing of the senseless killing of sharks for the restaurant and “muti” market.

Revisit your own mindset on sharks and encourage others to do the same.






God of beauty and God of truth, everything in your creation is connected, for all share a common origin in your creating hand. Fill us with a spirit of praise, gratitude, wisdom, and courage, that we might care for creation and not misuse it, ensure that its goods are shared in justice with all our brothers and sisters, and speak out on its behalf whenever it is threatened.











World Snake Day

World Snake Day is an opportunity to celebrate snakes and raise awareness about their preservation. While snakes are threatened by many of the same issues that affect all wildlife (habitat loss, climate change, and disease), negative attitudes toward snakes may be the biggest barrier to their preservation because it often impedes efforts to address other threats.

Over 3,500 snake species exist across the world (everywhere except Antarctica, Iceland, Ireland, Greenland, and New Zealand.) – yes, that’s a lot of snakes! And, guess what? – not all of them are as scary or venomous as we believe them to be. These fascinating reptiles are not given the recognition they deserve just because of the bad reputation they have earned over the years and this negative perception surrounding snakes needs to change to promoting the love for all living beings – even the ones we fear.  These amazing creatures don’t deserve to be hated and slaughtered.  We can all coexist in harmony.  Like every other living creature on this planet, snakes are extremely important for the ecosystem. This means, without snakes, a negative chain reaction for the environment may be triggered.  Numerous snake species are declining due to climate change and deforestation. Some species are killed for their skins to create fashion items.

There are 176 species and subspecies of snakes in southern Africa. Some of these snakes are rare or uncommonly encountered as they may have restricted ranges and all of them would rather avoid people.  Most of them are not dangerous to humans. However, it is not a good idea to try and disturb them or pick them up as this is when snake bites most often occur.

Killing snakes has been common practice for hundreds of years, but thankfully in recent years, there is are some changes in attitude and more people now call a snake remover or purchase snake tongs and attend a snake handling course so that they can relocate snakes and not just kill them.  Some snakes like the Brown House Snake, Centipede Eater, Slug-eater and Herald Snake have adapted well to urbanization and are common in suburban gardens and are very useful garden allies. 

Overcoming Ophidiophobia (fear of snakes) is a long process but learning more about these amazing creatures and their role in the environment would be a really good start.  If you are one of these people – visit a snake park or engage with a Herpetologist.

The African Snakebite Institute (a registered NPO) has wonderful resources for snake identification (as well as scorpions) and focuses on educating people about snakes and snakebite, first aid measures and the medical treatment of snakebite.

Download ASI’s free App from ASI website or from Apple AppStore or Google Play .

Consider how you can change your own perspective of this wonderful creature that God has created.










Mandela Day

It is in your hands

In South Africa, the Nelson Mandela Foundation is focusing its 2024 Mandela Day work on its priority social justice areas – early childhood development, food security and just cities.  It is still in our hands to combat poverty and inequity.

No matter how small your action, Mandela Day is about changing the world for the better, just as Nelson Mandela did every day. What are you doing to make the world a better place? What are you doing to make every day a Mandela Day?

What is your planned action for today?






 Jeremiah 4:23-29

23 I looked at the earth,
    and it was formless and empty;
and at the heavens,
    and their light was gone.
24 I looked at the mountains,
    and they were quaking;
    all the hills were swaying.
25 I looked, and there were no people;
    every bird in the sky had flown away.
26 I looked, and the fruitful land was a desert;
    all its towns lay in ruins
    before the Lord, before his fierce anger.

27 This is what the Lord says:

“The whole land will be ruined,
    though I will not destroy it completely.
28 Therefore the earth will mourn
    and the heavens above grow dark,
because I have spoken and will not relent,
    I have decided and will not turn back.”

29 At the sound of horsemen and archers
    every town takes to flight.
Some go into the thickets;
    some climb up among the rocks.
All the towns are deserted;
    no one lives in them.






What is happening now is of a geological and biological order of magnitude.  We are upsetting the entire earth system that, over some billions of years and through an endless sequence of groping, of trials and errors, has produced such a magnificent array of living forms, forms capable of seasonal self-renewal over vast periods of time.   Our mechanistic patterns on the biological processes of the earth, to resist the impulse to control, to command, to force, to oppress, and to begin quite humbly to follow the guidance of the larger community on which all life depends.”

Thomas Berry






Reflections of the Heart:

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” ~ John Muir


Precious Father, thank You for allowing us to benefit from the beauty of all that Your hand has created. Thank You for our seas, forests, and skies. Thank You for all the beautiful and fragrant plants, and for the power and wonder of every animal. Thank You for the seasons and the rains that keep our earth reproducing. We will wake the dawn with our song. O Lord, our Lord, Your majestic Name fills the earth! Your glory is higher than the heavens. When we look at the night sky and see the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars you set in place; what are mortals that You should think about them, human beings that You should care for them? The highest heavens and the earth and everything in it all belong to You. We are blessed to be the recipients of all the beauty that surrounds us and testifies of Your awesome glory. We will sing to You as long as we live. We will praise You until our last breath! May all our thoughts be pleasing to You, for we rejoice in You, Father.

Holy Father, we, the Body of Christ, decree that You have made us only a little lower than Yourself and crowned us with glory and honour. You have given us charge of everything You made. All things – flocks and herds, wild animals, birds, fish, and everything that swims in the ocean – is under our authority. But we will not boast in our authority, but in the fact that our names are registered in heaven. We confess that we will not defile the land that You have given us, but we will guard against wasting our natural resources. Lord, we will adopt better, cleaner practices and teach them to our children so that we can bless the earth for future generations. We will obey the laws of the land when we enjoy the outdoors, and we will not fail to give You glory for the beauty of all that You’ve created. It is our honour and privilege to care for all the creatures of the earth and we will respect and value all that Your hand has made.

Take a moment to reflect on all that you love about nature and praise God for it right now.






Traditional Jewish prayer 

How wonderful, O Lord, are the works of your hands! The heavens declare your glory; the arch of sky displays your handiwork. In your love you have given us the power to behold the beauty of your world robed in all its splendour.
The sun and the stars, the valleys and hills, the rivers and lakes all disclose your presence. The roaring breakers of the seas tell of your awesome might; the beasts of the field and the birds of the air speak of your wondrous will.
In your goodness you have made us able to hear the music of the world. You are in our midst. A divine voice sings through all creation.  






I Could Sing of Your Love Forever

Mmm, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh

Over the mountains and the sea
Your river runs with love for me
And I will open up my heart
And let the healer set me free

I’m happy to be in the truth
And I will daily lift my hands
For I will always sing of when Your love came down, yeah

I could sing of Your love forever  (x4)
(I could sing of Your love forever) forever
(I could sing of Your love forever) I could sing of Your love
(I could sing of Your love forever) forever
(I could sing of Your love forever)

Oh, I feel like dancing
It’s foolishness I know
But when the world has seen the light
They will dance with joy like we’re dancing now, yeah

I could sing of Your love forever (x3)
Well, I can sing of Your love, well, I can sing of Your love

Oh, I feel like dancing
It’s foolishness I know
But when the world has seen the light
They will dance with joy like we’re dancing now, yeah

Song by Delirious and Hillsong Worship







 “Everything is spiritual, everything has a spirit, everything was brought here by the creator, the one creator. Some people call him God, some people call him Buddha, some people call him Allah, some people call him other names. We call him Tunkaschila… Grandfather.”

Floyd Red Crow Westerman






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

Chapter Three – Envisaging and engendering an open world

Promoting the Moral Good

112.      Nor can we fail to mention that seeking and pursuing the good of others and of the entire human family also implies helping individuals and societies to mature in the moral values that foster integral human development. The New Testament describes one fruit of the Holy Spirit (cf. Gal 5:22) as agathosyne; the Greek word expresses attachment to the good, pursuit of the good. Even more, it suggests a striving for excellence and what is best for others, their growth in maturity and health, the cultivation of values and not simply material wellbeing. A similar expression exists in Latin: benevolentia. This is an attitude that “wills the good” of others; it bespeaks a yearning for goodness, an inclination towards all that is fine and excellent, a desire to fill the lives of others with what is beautiful, sublime and edifying.

113.      Here, regrettably, I feel bound to reiterate that “we have had enough of immorality and the mockery of ethics, goodness, faith and honesty. It is time to acknowledge that light-hearted superficiality has done us no good. Once the foundations of social life are corroded, what ensues are battles over conflicting interests”.[86] Let us return to promoting the good, for ourselves and for the whole human family, and thus advance together towards an authentic and integral growth. Every society needs to ensure that values are passed on; otherwise, what is handed down are selfishness, violence, corruption in its various forms, indifference and, ultimately, a life closed to transcendence and entrenched in individual interests.

Prayerfully consider how this affects our Country.











World Conservation Day (28 July)

The definition of conservation is: “the prevention of wasteful use of a resource” or more clearly explained – The protection, preservation, management, or restoration of natural environments and the ecological communities that inhabit them.”

World Conservation Day acknowledges that the foundation for a healthy society is a healthy environment and raises awareness about the importance of protecting our natural resources.  This day serves as a reminder of the critical role each individual plays in safeguarding the environment for future generations to come.

The United Nations recognises serious environmental challenges, including climate change, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, and pollution that can negatively affect biodiversity.

We all have an opportunity to contribute to the preservation of our natural world in a meaningful way.

  • Plant a Tree
  • Participate in a Clean Up
  • Recycle responsibly
  • Support Conservation Organisations
  • Be water-wise
  • Make your own compost
  •  Plant indigenous
  • Go pesticide free
  • Make eco-friendly lifestyle choices
  • Educate yourself on environmental issues from reliable sources and spread awareness

Every effort, no matter how small, contributes to the greater cause of nature conservation. By celebrating World Nature Conservation Day, you are not only appreciating the beauty of our planet but also taking steps to ensure a healthier and more sustainable future for all living beings.






“We have lived our lives by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world. We have been wrong. We must change our lives so that it will be possible to live by the contrary assumption, that what is good for the world will be good for us. And that requires that we make the effort to know the world and learn what is good for it.”

Wendell Berry






Hey! Learn to hear my feeble voice.
At the centre of the sacred hoop
You have said that I should make the tree to bloom.

With tears running, O Great Spirit, my Grandfather,
With running eyes I must say
The tree has never bloomed

Here I stand, and the tree is withered.
Again, I recall the great vision you gave me.

It may be that some little root of the sacred tree still lives.
Nourish it then
That it may leaf
And bloom
And fill with singing birds!

Hear me, that the people may once again
Find the good road
And the shielding tree.

Black Elk
Oglala Lakota holy man Black Elk (1863-1950) made a lasting impact on the global understanding of 19th Century Plains Indian cultures and religions.










World Ranger Day

South Africa faces the challenge of deteriorating environmental quality due to various factors including environmental crimes. If the current challenges are not effectively addressed, they will exacerbate the rate of environmental degradation and have the potential to undo or undermine many of the positive advances made in meeting our country’s development goals.

Field rangers work at the “coal face” of conservation. They work in protected areas across Africa and are tasked with, amongst other things, ensuring the territorial and biological integrity of these wild places.

Today, we celebrate the brave and dedicated rangers and all those who work tirelessly to protect and preserve our wildlife and natural heritage.

A big shoutout to these unsung heroes for their extraordinary efforts in safeguarding our Wildlife and planet’s biodiversity

Pray for blessings, protection and strength for the courageous men and women involved in this important work.



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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