Enviro Prayer Diary

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

March 2020 Environmental Prayer Diary

*March is Water Action Month

 

Sunday

 

1

The water that God called into being is at the heart of all that lives.
Let us be mindful of the many ways water affects our lives,
During this Lent and month of water awareness, we pray for our waters and for the life of the world around us.
Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for the leaders of nations, corporations, and communities of the world, that they may exercise wise stewardship over the waters of their lands,
so that all people may have clean water to drink and live free from waterborne diseases.
Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for the wisdom to shape creative solutions to conflicts over water
in the dry places of our planet, and for justice and peace in desert lands.
Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for the oceans, seas, rivers, lakes, watersheds, streams, ponds, deltas, marshes, and swamps of our planet, for the waters beneath the ground, and for all creatures that live in the waters of the earth.
Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for all who travel or work at sea or on inland waterways.
Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for all who suffer from too much water in the destruction of flood, storm, tsunami, and ice; and for those people and creatures who suffer as the glaciers and ice floes vanish.
Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

We ask your prayers for all who thirst for water, for health, for love, for wisdom, for God, that their cups may be filled to overflowing.
Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

Blessed God, in your wisdom you uphold creation and renew it again and again.
Help us to see all water as holy water, and all our concerns as bathed in the living water Christ gives us,
in whose name we pray. Amen.

from The Episcopal Ecological Network website.


 

Monday

 

2

“Even if you never have the chance to see or touch the ocean, the ocean touches you with every breath you take, every drop of water you drink, every bite you consume. Everyone, everywhere is inextricably connected to and utterly dependent upon the existence of the sea.”

Dr Sylvia Earle
Oceanographer and author of The World is Blue


 

Tuesday

 

3

World Wildlife Day

The animals and plants that live in the wild have an intrinsic value and contributes to the ecological, genetic, social, economic, scientific, educational, cultural, recreational and aesthetic aspects of human well-being and sustainable development.

World Wildlife Day is an opportunity to celebrate the many beautiful and varied forms of wild fauna and flora and to raise awareness of the multitude of benefits that conservation provides to people. At the same time, the Day reminds us of the urgent need to step up the fight against wildlife crime and human induced reduction of species, which have wide-ranging economic, environmental and social impacts. Given these various negative effects, Sustainable Development Goal #15 focuses on halting biodiversity loss – Life on land – why it matters

Thanks to the foresight of conservationists past and present, South Africa remains blessed with abundant wildlife with well over 200 species of indigenous mammals.  Of the approximate 850 recorded bird species in the country, around 725 are resident birds (or, at least, annual visitors). An impressive 50 avian species can only be found in South Africa, giving birders a prime opportunity to spot something very special. Approximately 130 amphibian species and over 350 reptile species are found in Southern Africa. …. Now that is something to celebrate!

But the abundance of wildlife also comes with huge responsibilities to care and protect this valuable asset. 

Threats to our biodiversity are ever present:

  • Habitat Loss and Fragmentation
  • Over-exploitation for Commercialization
  • Invasive Species
  • Pollution
  • Global Climate Change
  • Population Growth and Over-consumption
  • Illegal Wildlife Trade
  • Species extinction
  • Desertification & Deforestation
  • Urbanisation

It is up to each one of use to do what we can to protect and nurture our wildlife – our biodiversity!

Prayerfully consider what your action will be


 

Wednesday

 

4


 

Thursday

 

5

The Sacredness of Water.

The Spirit hovered over the waters
(Genesis 1:1-10)

Water – the epitome of life – is one of the first tangible elements God made when creating the Earth. Water is the sustenance of all life. It brings growth and unity. All life needs water to grow just like when God unified the seas to bring forth land, it represents the unifying power of water.  During Baptism when one is committing oneself to one’s spiritual journey with God one is christened with holy water. We as the church community are unified throughout our entire religious journey during festivities, such as Easter and Christmas, through the sprinkling of blessed water. Water in its purest form is used in the most holy and sacred milestones in one’s religious journey with God. It is the beginning and end of one’s life; from the blessings at birth to the blessings when one passes on.

Chloe Kruger
(Lenten Water Meditations, 2018)


 

Friday

 

6

Lord God,
in the imagery of water you reveal the attributes of your Spirit.
Deepen in us a due respect for this resource that we may fully drink of the gift of your life giving Spirit
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen


 

Saturday

7

As far back as the early thirteenth century, St. Francis recognised that water is a precious resource, and referred to it using the familial term ‘sister’. In this way, Francis illustrates both a sense of intimate relationship with water and a deep respect for it. And why wouldn’t he? Isn’t water essential in sustaining human life, and the lives of all living beings!

Praised be You, my Lord,
through Sister Water
who is so useful,
humble,
precious,
and pure.

From The Canticle of the Creatures by St. Francis of Assisi


 

Sunday

 

8

Loving Creator,
you care for the land by sending rain;
you make it fertile and fruitful.
What a rich harvest you provide!
All your creation sings for joy.
When we take care of the land,
sowing the seed and reaping the harvest,
All your creation sings for joy.
When we keep streams and rivers clean,
when we respect the purity of lakes and seas,
All your creation sings for joy.
When we recognise that we are one family,
brothers and sisters together,
with responsibility for the land and the waters,
All your creation sings for joy
for you bless us abundantly all our days.


 

Monday

 

9

“As for oil, supplies of fresh water are finite, yet demand for it is growing to the extent that almost everywhere fossil water is being mined to support a burgeoning population.  In short, a human economy based on money is colliding with a natural economy rooted in the laws of thermodynamics. Everywhere we turn, the human race is living beyond its means, disrupting or even destroying the natural systems that are the matrix of human life and depleting in a generation the capital stocks accumulated over millennia. Humanity does not stand apart from nature, We exist because of it.”

William Ophuls


 

Tuesday

 

10


 

Wednesday

 

11

Reflection:

Pope Francis – Laudato Si
The Issue of Water

27.” Other indicators of the present situation have to do with the depletion of natural resources. We all know that it is not possible to sustain the present level of consumption in developed countries and wealthier sectors of society, where the habit of wasting and discarding has reached unprecedented levels. The exploitation of the planet has already exceeded acceptable limits and we still have not solved the problem of poverty.

28. Fresh drinking water is an issue of primary importance, since it is indispensable for human life and for supporting terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Sources of fresh water are necessary for health care, agriculture and industry. Water supplies used to be relatively constant, but now in many places demand exceeds the sustainable supply, with dramatic consequences in the short and long term. Large cities dependent on significant supplies of water have experienced periods of shortage, and at critical moments these have not always been administered with sufficient oversight and impartiality. Water poverty especially affects Africa where large sectors of the population have no access to safe drinking water or experience droughts which impede agricultural production. Some countries have areas rich in water while others endure drastic scarcity.

29. One particularly serious problem is the quality of water available to the poor. Every day, unsafe water results in many deaths and the spread of water-related diseases, including those caused by microorganisms and chemical substances. Dysentery and cholera, linked to inadequate hygiene and water supplies, are a significant cause of suffering and of infant mortality. Underground water sources in many places are threatened by the pollution produced in certain mining, farming and industrial activities, especially in countries lacking adequate regulation or controls. It is not only a question of industrial waste. Detergents and chemical products, commonly used in many places of the world, continue to pour into our rivers, lakes and seas.

30. Even as the quality of available water is constantly diminishing, in some places there is a growing tendency, despite its scarcity, to privatize this resource, turning it into a commodity subject to the laws of the market. Yet access to safe drinkable water is a basic and universal human right, since it is essential to human survival and, as such, is a condition for the exercise of other human rights. Our world has a grave social debt towards the poor who lack access to drinking water, because they are denied the right to a life consistent with their inalienable dignity. This debt can be paid partly by an increase in funding to provide clean water and sanitary services among the poor. But water continues to be wasted, not only in the developed world but also in developing countries which possess it in abundance. This shows that the problem of water is partly an educational and cultural issue, since there is little awareness of the seriousness of such behaviour within a context of great inequality.

31. Greater scarcity of water will lead to an increase in the cost of food and the various products which depend on its use. Some studies warn that an acute water shortage may occur within a few decades unless urgent action is taken. The environmental repercussions could affect billions of people; it is also conceivable that the control of water by large multinational businesses may become a major source of conflict in this century.”

Prayerfully consider this


 

Thursday

 

12

Psalm 107

33 He turned rivers into a desert,
    flowing springs into thirsty ground,
34 and fruitful land into a salt waste,
    because of the wickedness of those who lived there.
35 He turned the desert into pools of water
    and the parched ground into flowing springs;
36 there he brought the hungry to live,
    and they founded a city where they could settle.
37 They sowed fields and planted vineyards
    that yielded a fruitful harvest;
38 he blessed them, and their numbers greatly increased,
    and he did not let their herds diminish.

39 Then their numbers decreased, and they were humbled
    by oppression, calamity and sorrow;
40 he who pours contempt on nobles
    made them wander in a trackless waste.
41 But he lifted the needy out of their affliction
    and increased their families like flocks.
42 The upright see and rejoice,
    but all the wicked shut their mouths.

43 Let the one who is wise heed these things
    and ponder the loving deeds of the Lord.


 

Friday

 

13


 

Saturday

 

14

International Day of Action for Rivers

Rivers carry water and nutrients to areas all around the earth. They play a very important part in the water cycle, acting as drainage channels for surface water. Rivers drain nearly 75% of the earth’s land surface. Rivers provide excellent habitat and food for many of the earth’s organisms.

Prayerfully consider what effect your lifestyle has on our rivers?

 

Sunday

 

15

Lord, we pray for the whole Earth, the oceans, rivers and streams. May our lives be so balanced that greed makes way for need and the tendency to waste makes way for a commitment to save.  Let those who contribute to the rising sea levels shed tears of repentance and learn to lead a simple life so that others can ‘simply live’.  We pray for all organisations involved in the preservation of water, and with it, your gift of life. Help, guide and sustain them in their endeavours.

Lord, we pray for all communities involved in the issues of water justice. Give us compassion to walk with those who lack the water of life.  Help us to empty ourselves of prejudice and fill us with a vision of solidarity and fellowship so that we can work together in conserving the gift of water.

Lord, we pray for the universal church and its mission and vision. Inspire us to work towards water justice.  Transform our lives so that we may be channels of justice – not just in what we preach, but in our daily practice.  Let your churches be role models within our communities in conserving water and preserving life in all its fullness. Bring churches together to work in unity so that justice will prevail and water will be available for our generation and future generations

Water justice: CTBI 2013


 

Monday

 

16

Nature never hurries: atom by atom, little by little, she achieves her work. The lesson one learns from yachting or planting is the manners of Nature; patience with the delays of wind and sun, delays of the seasons, bad weather, excess or lack of water.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson


 

Tuesday

 

17

“Water is everywhere around us and in us, tangible as sweat, visible as the high seas, invisible as the envelope of earth’s life-protecting atmosphere, and essential as blood. Water provides the matrix of our conception and our embryonic pre-natal environment. Breaking waters bring us to birth and water is the final elemental comfort we may ask for in dying. In the environment water has become a non-renewable resource because of its present rate of consumption, pollution and exploitation. Should it surprise us then that water has a central place in the story of God’s purposes for creation?”

Allen Goddard


 

Wednesday

 

18

Created to Love

In the fourth century, St. Augustine (354-430), an official Doctor of the Church (meaning his teaching is considered reliable), said, “the church consists in the state of communion of the whole world.” Wherever we are connected, in right relationship—you might say “in love”—there is the Christ, there is the authentic “body of God” revealed. This body is more a living organism than any formal organization.

Non-human creation is invariably obedient to its destiny. Animals and plants seem to excitedly take their small place in the “circle of life,” in the balance of nature, in the dance of complete interdependence. It is only we humans who have resisted our place in “the one great act of giving birth” (see Romans 8:22), even though we had the most powerful role! Humans, in fact, have frequently chosen death for themselves and for so many other creatures besides. We are, by far, the most destructive of all species. As St. Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179, also a Doctor of the Church) writes:

Human beings alone are capable of disobeying God’s laws, because they try to be wiser than God. . . . Other creatures fulfil the commandments of God; they honour [God’s] laws. . . . But human beings rebel against those laws, defying them in word and action. And in doing so they inflict terrible cruelty on the rest of God’s creation.

Jesus clearly taught that if we seek first God’s kingdom and the universal law of love (“love God and love one another,” Matthew 22:37-40), all the rest would take care of itself (see Matthew 6:33). We would no longer blatantly defy the laws of nature but seek to live in harmony and sustainability with Earth and all her creatures. This radical lifestyle demands a sense of inherent dignity that is granted by God and not an off-and-on dignity determined by egocentric humans.

As Homo sapiens (“Wise Humans”), we should have taken our place as what Teilhard de Chardin called “the pinnacle of evolution” or “the rocks come to consciousness.” Then we could join with the rest of creation in obedience to our unique and full destiny. In poet Gerard Manley Hopkins’ words:

Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:
. . . myself it speaks and spells,
Crying What I do is me: for that I came.

When we get the “who” right and realize that who I am is love, then we will do what we came to do: Love God and love all that this God has created. I firmly believe that grace is inherent to creation and not an occasional additive, and that God and goodness—not Armageddon—have both the first and final word, which we call divine creation and final resurrection.

Gateway to Silence:
Brother Sun, Sister Moon, help me see God in all things.

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


 

Thursday

 

19

SDG Goal #6: Ensure access to water and sanitation for all

Clean, accessible water for all is an essential part of the world we want to live in. There is sufficient fresh water on the planet to achieve this. But due to bad economics or poor infrastructure, every year millions of people, most of them children, die from diseases associated with inadequate water supply,  sanitation and hygiene.

Water scarcity, poor water quality and inadequate sanitation negatively impact food security, livelihood choices and educational opportunities for poor families across the world. Drought afflicts some of the world’s poorest countries, worsening hunger and malnutrition.

By 2050, at least one in four people is likely to live in a country affected by chronic or recurring shortages of fresh water.

Prayerfully reflect on this.


 

Friday

 

20

I’ve Got Peace Like a River

I’ve got peace like a river
I’ve got peace like a river
I’ve got peace like a river
In my soul
I’ve got peace like a river
I’ve got peace like a river
I’ve got peace like a river
In my soul.

I’ve got love like a mountain
I’ve got love like a mountain
I’ve got love like a mountain
In my soul  …….

I’ve got joy like a fountain
I’ve got joy like a fountain
I’ve got joy like a fountain
In my soul  ….

I’ve got peace, love, joy
Like a river, mountain, fountain
I’ve got peace, love, joy
In my soul,
I’ve got peace, love, joy
Like a river, mountain, fountain
I’ve got peace, love, joy in my soul.

In my soul Cedarmont Kids is a child-oriented gospel music series created by Mike and Sue Gay in the early ’90s


 

Saturday

 

21

International Day of Forests and Trees

The theme for 2020 is “Forests and Biodiversity”

Forests are part of your life in more ways than you realize.  When we drink a glass of water, write in a notebook, take medicine for a fever or build a house, we do not always make the connection with forests. And yet, these and many other aspects of our lives are linked to forests in one way or another. Forests, their sustainable management and use of resources, including their biodiversity and fragile ecosystems, are key to combating climate change, and to contributing to the prosperity and well-being of current and future generations. Forests also play a crucial role in poverty alleviation and in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Forest biodiversity is threatened by rapid deforestation, forest fragmentation and degradation, hunting and the arrival of invasive species from other habitats. We are losing 12 million hectares of forest a year, much of it tropical rainforest with its unique and rich biodiversity.

Do we ever consider the effects of our lifestyles on the Planet’s forests? 

Prayerfully consider your actions


 

Sunday

 

22

World Day for Water

World Water Day reminds us of our responsibility to protect our precious water resources.

South Africa is a water-scarce country with rainfall (per m²) from 300mm to 500mm per year – well below the world average.  Since 2013, almost every region in South Africa has experienced some sort of drought which resulted in water restrictions across the country and continues to do so in many areas. Rainfall is distributed unevenly across the country, with certain regions getting more rain than others.  Drought has become more commonplace

Although good rains have fallen in many parts of the country – causing flooding in many areas – there are still areas of South Africa whose dams are at critically low levels.

There are many reasons that contribute to the growing water crisis in South Africa. Climate change has affected water supplies within the region … ether too much or too little! 

The need for sustainable management regarding this scarce resource is of paramount importance.  South Africa’s main source of water is rain.  Water plays a key role in eradicating poverty and under-development in South Africa.

While South Africa’s water quality is rated amongst the best in the world and is one of only a handful of African countries in which it is safe to drink tap water, this is not the case for some parts of the country. Many rural areas still lack access to water and basic sanitation.  South Africa’s water quality praises may also change if there is not a heightened focus on water infrastructure and maintenance.  A major challenge, affecting water, infrastructure and sanitation, is the growing population, which is growing at a higher rate than these services can meet.

As citizens of a semi-arid nation, it is especially important for all South Africans to be conscious of their water usage.

  • Give thanks for the recent rains
  • Pray for those areas of the Eastern and Northern Cape who still suffer from critical and crippling drought
  • Pray for the Government and involved officials to heed the cry of those still severely drought-affected – especially farmers who provide sustenance to the people of our Country
  • Prayerfully consider your personal actions regarding this precious resource.

 

Monday

 

23

World Meteorological Day

2020 theme: “Climate and Water”, which will align with the theme of World Water Day 2020, focusing on climate change and water

Meteorology is all about the study of weather.  Meteorologists no longer have to rely on their achy limbs to forecast weather – powerful modern technology to aid them in their task of forecasting weather more accurately is now available.

Meteorology is important because of the impact of air conditions on life. First of all weather forecasting has a vital role in urban administration allowing cities to prepare for extreme weather conditions such as floods and strong winds in order to prevent disasters. Second, long term weather forecasting is important for agriculture .… all of which impact on our daily lives.

World Meteorological Day is celebrated every year on 23 March to commemorate the entry into force in 1950 of the convention that created the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), a specialised agency of the United Nations.  The WMO is dedicated to international cooperation and coordination on the state and behaviour of the Earth’s atmosphere, its interaction with the land and oceans, the weather and climate it produces, and the resulting distribution of water resources. The day also highlights the contribution that National Meteorological and Hydrological Services make to the safety and well-being of society.

Give thanks for all who work in the meteorological field and for their contribution to society.


 

Tuesday

 

24


 

Wednesday

 

25

Our Lord, Jesus Christ, presented himself to John the Baptist, asking to be baptized. We turn to Jesus for guidance in water crises, both local and global.

For our world, where there is enough water for our need, but not our greed
Lord hear us
Lord graciously hear us

For our world, where 844 million people lack access to safe drinking water
Lord hear us
Lord graciously hear us

For our world, where 2,3 billion people lack access to adequate sanitation
Lord hear us
Lord graciously hear us

For our world, where infants and vulnerable adults die as a result of water-borne diseases
Lord hear us
Lord graciously hear us

For all governments, that they may ensure safe spaces for personal ablutions where life and dignity are protected
Lord hear us
Lord graciously hear us

For our local governments, that they may ensure a high standard of service delivery
Lord hear us
Lord graciously hear us

For all who are preparing for baptism during this Eastertide
Lord hear us
Lord graciously hear us

For ourselves as we prepare to renew our baptismal vows at Eastertide
Lord hear us
Lord graciously hear us

Lord of all the earth, hear our prayers for ourselves and for all whose lives are affected by inadequate water and sanitation. Answer them as may be best for all your people and provide for us from your riches in glory.

Amen


 

Thursday

 

26

Too frequently we think we have to do spectacular things. Yet if we remember that the sea is actually made up of drops of water and each drop counts, each one of us can do our little bit where we are. Those little bits can come together and almost overwhelm the world.  Each one of us can be an oasis of peace.

Desmond Tutu


 

Friday

 

27

Psalm 104:10-17

10 He makes springs pour water into the ravines;
it flows between the mountains.
11 They give water to all the beasts of the field;
the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
12 The birds of the sky nest by the waters
they sing among the branches.
13 He waters the mountains from his upper chambers;
the land is satisfied by the fruit of his work.
14 He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for people to cultivate –
bringing forth food from the earth.


 

Saturday

 

28

Earth Hour

Earth Hour is an opportunity for individuals, businesses and cities in 188 countries worldwide to speak up for nature and inspire urgent action for the environment.  As Earth Hour rolls around the globe, thousands of landmarks switch off their lights in solidarity for our planet.  In 2019 through the global appeal of the world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment, #EarthHour, #Connect2Earth and related hashtags trended in 26 countries as people across the globe generated over 2 billion impressions to show their concern for nature.  Individuals pledged their support for the planet, challenging world leaders to push the preservation of nature up the global agenda.  Earth Hour 2020 affords us this same opportunity

So whether or not Eskom gives some assistance with rolling blackouts and load shedding …… do your bit to stand in solidarity with millions of people worldwide in making a statement for the planet … SWITCH OFF from 20:30-21:30!


 

Sunday

 

29

With hearts welling up in praise for God the fountain of all goodness,
let us adore the Lord.
God of the deep ocean and the tiny stream,
we praise you and adore you for the gift of water that sustains all life.
At this time of worship we remember with thanksgiving the manifold manifestations of your grace through the gift of water.

Water Justice: CTBI 2013


 

Monday

 

30

Lord, through the waters of the earth you meet our daily needs
and through their existence open our eyes to the gift and life of your spirit:
help us to cherish our natural resources
as we would the wells of living water that you so generously offer.
through Jesus Christ who reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God now and forever. Amen


 

Tuesday

 

31


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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