Enviro Prayer Diary

October 2018 Environmental Prayer Diary

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

 

Monday 1

World Habitat Day

The theme for World Habitat Day 1 October 2018 is Municipal Solid Waste Management

The United Nations designated the first Monday of October of every year as World Habitat Day to reflect on the state of our towns and cities, and on the basic right of all to adequate shelter. It also reminds us we all have the power and the responsibility to shape the future of our cities and towns.

Solid Waste Management is a global issue that affects everyone. The amount of waste produced by individuals is growing daily and often costs local authorities a large proportion of their budget.  Poor solid waste collection and disposal can lead to serious health problems from uncontrolled dump sites and waste burning. It also leads to polluted air and water.

The purpose of World Habitat Day is to reflect on the state of our towns and cities, and on the basic right of all to adequate shelter. It is also intended to remind the world that we all have the power and the responsibility to shape the future of our cities and towns.

Prayerfully consider your actions

Tuesday 2  
Wednesday 3 They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper.

Psalm 1:3
Thursday 4

World Animal Day (St Francis Day)

 The mission statement of World Animal Day is:

  • to celebrate animal life in all its forms;
  • to celebrate humankind’s relationship with the animal kingdom;
  • to acknowledge the diverse roles that animals play in our lives
  • from being our companions, supporting and helping us, to bringing a sense of wonder into our lives;
  • to acknowledge and be thankful for the way in which animals enrich our lives

Our pets give us so much unconditional love, isn’t wonderful that there is a day to bless and honour them!  Here a short blessing that you can use.  Insert your pet’s name and bless them on World Animal Day:

“_______, we love you, we bless you, we appreciate you & we see the loving spirit in you.  May you be blessed with a long life, good health & a safe happy home. We acknowledge you as a gift to us and we thank the Spirit of Life for the many blessings you bring to us.”

Friday 5

World Teachers’ Day

 World Teachers’ Day celebrates the role teachers play in providing quality education at all levels. This enables children and adults of all ages to learn to take part in, and contribute to, their local community and global society.  Our environment will depend on these fertile minds.

A Prayer for World Teacher Day

Giver of all wisdom and greatest of all teachers,
Look upon our teachers with love.
Grant them the resolve to nurture our eager minds and to never give up on us who fall behind.
Bless their hearts for they rejoice when we succeed and encourage us when we fail
And bless them with gentle patience for the path of learning is never easy. Kindle a spirit and passion in them it is the flame that ignites the love of learning in us.
Help them see the potential in each student.
Their belief in us means much more than the grade we make .
Instil in them a commitment to keep on learning,
It shows us to not fear new knowledge and experiences.
Inspire them to touch the future,
They influence how big a dream we dream for ourselves.
Bless our teachers who have come before, for their work endures to this day
Let the light of your example shine upon all teachers
To build up with their words, To love with their mind and share with their heart

Amen

Saturday 6 As the environmental crisis deepens, we Christians are urgently called to witness to our faith by taking bold action to preserve the gift we share…
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby

Pray for all our Parishes to become actively and joyfully involved in upholding the Fifth Mark of Mission of the Anglican Community – “To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth” and to prayerfully consider their roles in Creation Care.
Sunday 7  
Monday 8

National Marine Week (8-14th October)

The annual National Marine Week campaign aims to educate all South Africans about the role oceans play in our daily lives, including recreation and employment.

It creates awareness on the marine and coastal environment and the promotion of sustainable use and conservation of these resources, for all and both present and future generations.  Since 1988, celebrations centre around our marine life and spectacular ocean heritage and create public awareness about our marine conservation issues.

The 3 000 kilometres of the South African coastline, which stretches from the Orange River in the west to Kosi Bay in the east, are rich in marine life and support many different marine ecosystems. Great demands are put on these ecosystems by various bodies.  The increase of marine pollution has caused the decline of many species and it is our duty, as humans, to ensure that our marine resources are not over-exploited resulting in total destruction and possible extinction.

To acknowledge this special week, we can learn more about our fragile oceans and their inhabitants in order to help conserve and utilise this natural resource in a more sustainable manner.

Prayer

Creator God, all your works are wonderful.  The earth and the oceans are yours.  You made them with your hands and filled them with life, both big and small.  The oceans tell of your glory and we are amazed by the beauty you have placed in them.

Almighty and Righteous, you asked us to look after the oceans, yet instead of encouraging them to teem with life as you intended, we have filled them with our waste.  Forgive us for our carelessness and ignorance.  We are sorry for polluting your creation.

Healer and Redeemer God, you sent your son Jesus Christ to reconcile the whole world to yourself.  We pray that your kingdom of healing will come today to your oceans.  May your Holy Spirit help us to live lives that honour you and emulate your care for the oceans.  May your Holy Spirit act through our politicians so they can work to prevent plastic entering and harming the oceans.  May your Holy spirit work in your church to equip us to be your hands and feet in facing this problem.

Comforter God, we ask you to help our brothers and sisters around the world who are suffering because of the problem of plastic pollution – subsistence fisherman who pull up nets full of rubbish, those who suffer health problems due to contaminated seafood, and those whose places of work and leisure are marred by washed up plastic.  We place this problem in your hands and ask for your help.  May your oceans reflect your glory once again.

In the name of Jesus,
Amen

Tuesday 9

National Weed-buster Week

South Africa celebrates National Invasive Species Week (8-13 October). The celebration aims to raise awareness on the 559 plants and animals that needs to be regulated and controlled in the country.

Invasive species are causing billions of Rands worth of damage to South Africa’s economy each year. Invasive alien plants (IAPs) pose a direct threat not only to biodiversity, but also to water security, the ecological functioning of natural systems and the productive use of land.

They intensify the impact of fires and floods and increase soil erosion. IAPs can divert enormous amounts of water from more productive uses and invasive aquatic plants, such as water hyacinth affect agriculture, fisheries, transport, recreation and water supply. It is estimated that invasive plants cover about 10% of the country.

National Invasive Species Week aims to raise awareness and increase public understanding around invasive plants and animals. Everyone can participate by removing invasive plants from their garden or by joining a local community hack group to remove invasives from their neighbourhood.

Do your bit for God’s Garden this week!

Wednesday 10 “We can no longer hear the voice of the rivers, the mountains, or the sea. The trees and meadows are no longer intimate modes of spirit presence. The world about us has become an ‘it’ rather than a ‘thou.’”

Thomas Berry

Thursday 11  
Friday 12

Loving Fully

How can my life be a reflection of divine love in this time and place? The classic Christian phrase for discipleship—the imitation of Christ—means that we were made by God to become like God, loving all others, loving universally. —Sallie McFague

More than any historical figure I know, St. Francis of Assisi imitated Christ. Some call Francis the second Christ. His poverty of spirit, humility, and selflessness reveal a life lived in union. In his Encyclical Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home, Pope Francis writes:

“I believe that Saint Francis is the example par excellence of care for the vulnerable and of an integral ecology lived out joyfully and authentically. He is the patron saint of all who study and work in the area of ecology, and he is also much loved by non-Christians. He was particularly concerned for God’s creation and for the poor and outcast. He loved, and was deeply loved for his joy, his generous self-giving, his openheartedness. He was a mystic and a pilgrim who lived in simplicity and in wonderful harmony with God, with others, with nature and with himself. He shows us just how inseparable the bond is between concern for nature, justice for the poor, commitment to society, and interior peace.

[Saint Francis’] response to the world around him was so much more than intellectual appreciation or economic calculus [as in “What’s in it for me?”], for to him each and every creature was a sister united to him by bonds of affection. That is why he felt called to care for all that exists … If we approach nature and the environment without this openness to awe and wonder, if we no longer speak the language of fraternity and beauty in our relationship with the world, our attitude will be that of masters, consumers, ruthless exploiters, unable to set limits on their immediate needs. By contrast, if we feel intimately united with all that exists, then sobriety and care will well up spontaneously. The poverty and austerity of Saint Francis were no mere veneer of asceticism, but something much more radical: a refusal to turn reality into an object simply to be used and controlled.”

Jesus told us, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind” (Luke 10:27). He called us to a presence that is a broader and deeper kind of knowing than just cognitive thinking. Thinking knows things by objectifying them, capturing them as an object of knowledge. But presence knows things by refusing to objectify them; instead it shares in their very subjectivity. Presence allows full give and take, what Martin Buber (1878-1965) called the “I/Thou” relationship with things as opposed to the mere “I/it” relationship. Buber summed it up in his often-quoted phrase: “All real living is meeting.”

Gateway to Silence:
Let it go; let it be.

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

Saturday 13

International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction 2018

International Day for Disaster Reduction encourages every individual, community and government to take part in building more disaster resilient communities and nations.

“We have had great success in reducing the number of lives lost to disasters, thanks to early warning systems, preparedness, and more efficient evacuations. Now we must focus on reducing human suffering and the number of people affected.” — UN Secretary-General, António Guterres

2016 saw the launch of the “Sendai Seven” campaign by UNISDR, at an UN meeting in Sendai, Japan which centred on the seven targets of the Sendai Framework.  The campaign seeks to create a wave of awareness about actions taken to reduce mortality around the world. The Sendai Seven Campaign is an opportunity for all, including governments, local governments, community groups, civil society organisations, the private sector, international organisations and the UN family, to promote best practices at the international, regional and national level across all sectors, to reduce disaster risk and disaster losses.

2018 Theme: (Target 3)

“Reduce direct disaster economic loss in relation to global gross domestic product. “

Ponder on how we as People of God can engage with this campaign

Sunday 14 We give you thanks and praise, O God of creation, for the grandeur of all that you have made
We thank you, God.
For the healing waters of creation, which bring pleasure and health, purity and life,
We thank you,  God.
For the richness of the good Earth that brings forth fruits and flowers, a pleasure to taste and a joy to behold,
We thank you, God.
For the soaring birds of the air, the crawling creatures on the Earth, the gliding fishes in the seas, for all creatures great and small with whom we share this precious web of life,
We thank you, God.
For the invigorating sunlight of day, the deepening mystery of night, the wonder of the stars, and the call of the unknown in the universe,
We thank you, God.
From heedless misuse and dishonouring of the wonders of your hand,
Good Lord deliver us.
From squandering resources, abusing our companion species, and polluting the habitat we all share,
Good Lord deliver us.
From the folly of imagining ourselves free from the fate of your whole creation,
Good Lord deliver us.
For the courage and wisdom to confess how little we have cared for your gifts,
Strengthen us, O Spirit.
For the conviction that you have called us to love and restore the Earth,
Strengthen us, O Spirit.
For repentance and the determination to begin our stewardship anew,
Strengthen us, O Spirit.
O merciful Creator, your hand is open wide to satisfy the needs of every living creature: Make us always thankful for your loving providence; and grant that we, remembering the account that we must one day give, may be faithful stewards of your good gifts; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever, Amen.
Monday 15 “Odd as I am sure it will appear to some, I can think of no better form of personal involvement in the cure of the environment than that of gardening. A person who is growing a garden, if he is growing it organically, is improving a piece of the world. He is producing something to eat, which makes him somewhat independent of the grocery business, but he is also enlarging, for himself, the meaning of food and the pleasure of eating.”

Wendell Berry
The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays

Tuesday 16

World Food Day

After a period of decline, world hunger is on the rise again. Today, over 820 million people are suffering chronic undernourishment, according to the latest FAO 2018 State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report.

Conflict, extreme weather events linked to climate change, economic slowdown and rapidly increasing overweight and obesity levels are reversing progress made in the fight against hunger and malnutrition.  The world can only achieve Zero Hunger if we join forces across nations, continents, sectors and professions, and act on evidence.

70 percent of the world’s poor live in rural areas where people’s lives depend on agriculture, fisheries or forestry. SDG Goal #2 – Zero Hunger calls for a transformation of rural economy.   Governments need to create opportunities for greater private sector investments in agriculture, while boosting social protection programmes for the vulnerable and linking food producers with urban areas.

Smallholder farmers need to adopt new, sustainable agricultural methods to increase productivity and income.  Ensuring the resilience of rural communities requires an approach that is mindful of the environment, that leverages the power of technological innovation and creates stable and rewarding employment opportunities.  But employment and economic growth aren’t enough, especially for those who endure conflict and suffering.

Zero Hunger moves beyond conflict-resolution and economic growth, taking the long-term approach to build peaceful, inclusive societies.

Prayerfully consider this problem

Wednesday 17

World Day for the Eradication of Poverty

2018 Theme: “Coming together with those furthest behind to build an inclusive world of universal respect for human rights and dignity”

It is important to recall the fundamental connection between extreme poverty and human rights, and that people living in poverty are disproportionately affected by many human rights violations.  Government policies alone cannot create the social inclusion that is fundamental to reaching those left furthest behind and overcoming poverty in all its dimensions.

We can achieve greater social inclusion by enabling people from all walks of life to come together to respect the human rights and dignity of people living in poverty. It underscores the importance of reaching out to people living in poverty and building an alliance around their priorities with citizens from all backgrounds to end extreme poverty. It recognizes the important mutual roles and relationships we have with each other based on our common and equal dignity.

The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty can strongly complement such initiatives because it aims to ensure that the active participation of people living in extreme poverty and those furthest behind is a driving force in all efforts made to overcome poverty, including in the design and implementation of programmes and policies which affect them. Only by creating and nurturing a genuine partnership with people living with poverty will it be possible to build an inclusive world where all people can enjoy their full human rights and lead lives with dignity.

Uphold this urgent need in prayer

Thursday 18

SDG Goal #1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere

Despite the fact that the global poverty rate has been halved since 2000, intensified efforts are required to boost the incomes, alleviate the suffering and build the resilience of those individuals still living in extreme poverty, in particular in sub-Saharan Africa. Social protection systems need to be expanded and risks need to be mitigated for disaster-prone countries, which also tend to be the most impoverished.

Creator God,
You loved the world into life.
Forgive us when our dreams of the future are shaped by anything other than glimpses of a kingdom of justice, peace and an end to poverty.
Incarnate God,
You taught us to speak out for what is right.
Make us content with nothing less than a world that is transformed into the shape of love,
where poverty shall be no more.
Breath of God,
let there be abundant life.
Inspire us with the vision of poverty over, and give us the faith, courage and will to make it happen.

Friday 19

Reflection:

 Pope Francis – Laudato Si

“12. What is more, Saint Francis, faithful to Scripture, invites us to see nature as poverty, infinite beauty and goodness. “Through the greatness and the beauty of creatures one comes to know by analogy their maker” (Wis 13:5); indeed, “his eternal power and divinity have been made known through his works since the creation of the world” (Rom 1:20). For this reason, Francis asked that part of the friary garden always be left untouched, so that wild flowers and herbs could grow there, and those who saw them could raise their minds to God, the Creator of such beauty. Rather than a problem to be solved, the world is a joyful mystery to be contemplated with gladness and praise.”

Prayerfully reflect on this

Saturday 20

Prayer of Compassion

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 life.

St. Basil the Great, 330-379

Sunday 21

What the Lord Creates

 This hymn won first prize in the Children’s Section of the Settle Methodist Circuit and CEL Environment Hymn Competition 2001
Tune: Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

 Praise him, Praise him, Praise the Lord
For the wonders of the world.

For the people big and small
For the animals short and tall
We will care for all these things
That our Lord Creator brings.

Praise him, Praise him, Praise the Lord
For the wonders of the world.

For the sea and for the sky
For the animals and birds that fly
We will care for all these things
That our Lord Creator brings.

Praise him, Praise him, Praise the Lord
For the wonders of the world.

For the seasons of the year
For the plants that re-appear
We will care for all these things
That our Lord Creator brings.

Praise him, Praise him, Praise the Lord
For the wonders of the world.

© Jessica, Emily and Sam Crawshaw , Burton Leonard, N Yorks

The Crawshaws are happy for this hymn to be used for services and non commercial publications provided that they print the exact words, and that they are credited. They would be pleased to hear where it is being used email crawshaws@christian-ecology.org.uk

Monday 22

SDG Goal #2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

Since the 1900s, some 75 per cent of crop diversity has been lost from farmers’ fields. Better use of agricultural biodiversity can contribute to more nutritious diets, enhanced livelihoods for farming communities and more resilient and sustainable farming systems.

Tuesday 23 “We believe that Creation is a gift of God, an expression of our Creator’s goodness.

We believe that as human beings we are part of the creation and that we share in a special way in the creativity of God.

We believe that the resources of our land and waters and air are precious gifts from our Creator, to be used and looked after with loving care.

We believe that there is a rhythm to God’s creation, like a drum beat; when we lose heart, or the drum is damaged, the music is out of tune.”

Pacific Women’s Consultation on Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation

Wednesday 24

International Day of Climate Action

Climate talks (a precursor to COP24 – to be held in Katowice, Poland from 3-14 December 2018) were held in Bangkok at the beginning of September.  Civil society organisations acknowledge that while there has been progress on the negotiating text for the Paris Rulebook, it has been uneven. Substantive issues on finance and differentiation, among others, still hang in the balance. To reach an ambitious deal in Katowice, which includes a strong rulebook, finance and stronger commitments to ambition by 2020, political leaders must talk to each in the next few months to infuse trust into climate discussions.

Pray that solutions and agreements can be reached at this important Conference of the Parties

Thursday 25

Disarmament Week – (24-30 October)

Wars are not only financially costly but also environmentally and socially costly. The money spent on weapons could be used more sensibly by making contributions towards the upliftment of communities and moving towards a more sustainable lifestyle.

“Our hard-won political freedom will mean nothing unless we have freedom from violence, freedom from fear …” – Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)

Peaceful God,
We come to you from the midst of a broken world where nations raise weapons against nations and mothers and children are the innocent victims of violence.
We cry out for peace!
Wise God,
Share your wisdom with the leaders of the world who continue to stockpile dangerous weapons, giving other countries the incentive to do the same, despite their commitment to the Nuclear-Non-Proliferation Treaty. We pray for the ability to overcome our brokenness, cooperating, instead of competing, across borders and boundaries.
We cry out for peace!
Tender God, Lover of Children,
It is incomprehensible to us that cluster munitions are still acceptable for use in war, despite the terror they wreak upon unsuspecting children and other civilians during war and for many years afterwards.
We cry out for peace!
Healing God,
So many communities have been left in ruins as a result of the destruction of war. We pray for the healing and rebuilding of communities torn apart by war and violence.
We cry out for peace!
God, Father and Mother of this world,
We pray that you would inspire us to create a peaceful world. Help us call our leaders to accountability and to remind them that more weapons and war do not bring peace. Make us a peaceful people in a peaceful world.
Amen.

by Jill Rauh, Education for Justice

Friday 26  
Saturday 27 “You care for the land and water it; you enrich it abundantly.
The streams of God are filled with water to provide the people with corn,
for so you have ordained it.
You drench its furrows and level its ridges;
You soften it with showers and bless its crops.
You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance.”
Psalm 65. 9-11
Sunday 28 Creator God, we thank you that out of the earth and sea we receive provision for all our needs. We thank you for the skills in harvesting the earth’s resources that people have passed on from generation to generation. We thank you for those through whose vision and work the products of the earth are channelled into areas of need. Help us to use your gifts for the extension of your kingdom here on earth and for the benefit of our fellow-humans.
Monday 29 “It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.”

Neil Armstrong

Tuesday 30

Romans 1

18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

Wednesday 31  

 

 2018 Enviro Prayer Diaries in PDF
2017 Enviro Prayer Diaries in PDF

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