Enviro Prayer Diary

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

August 2020 Environmental Prayer Diary

Women’s Month









Father, we pray for a vision of your world as your love would make it: A world where the weak are protected and none go hungry or poor;
A world where the benefits of life are shared;
A world where nations, races, cultures and religions live with mutual respect;
A world where peace is built with justice, and justice is guided by love;
And that we may have the courage and inspiration to play our part in building it.

Prayer for the week in a time of coronavirus

God’s healing hand

To our brothers and sisters who have contracted and are suffering due to the Coronavirus Disease, we pray that God’s healing hand may rest upon you.
To medical doctors, nurses and the supporting staff who are in the frontline of the fight against COVID-19, may the Good Lord sustain you and inspire you to render your life-saving services with due care, love and compassion.
To all those who have lost their loved ones due to the Coronavirus outbreak, we convey our deepest sympathies. We pray that their souls, through God’s mercy, may rest in eternal peace.
We pray that God may grant all bereaved families his consolation and strengthen their faith and hope in Jesus Christ, the Risen Lord.

Prayer adapted from the 2020 Easter Message of the Catholic Bishops of Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe







God our creator,
you have made us one with this earth to tend it and to bring forth fruit;
may we so respect and cherish all that has life from you,
that we may share in the labour of all creation to give birth to your hidden glory, through Jesus Christ. Amen

Janet Morely
“All Desires Known”





“Ponder the fact that God has made you a gardener, to root out vice and plant virtue. “

St. Catherine of Siena






John 4: 5-42 – “Jesus said to her, ‘Give me a drink’”

Conversations change lives

In this gospel, Jesus sits at the well and strikes up a conversation with a Samaritan woman who has come to draw water. The exchange quickly deepens to challenge her whole way of life.

For millions of women, drawing water from a well or borehole is still a daily reality. Awaiting their turn, conversations spring up, news is shared and confidences exchanged.

Evelyn is an expert in water, sanitation and health in Uganda. She helps and chats with women from a community at their new solar-powered water pump, funded with Lent donations from CAFOD supporters and matched by the UK government.

It is part of Evelyn’s role to maintain a good rapport with local people, particularly the women, as they are key to making any changes in the future of a community.  Much of her work involves communicating about sensitive subjects related to hygiene and cleanliness.

She explains that in this area, going to the toilet in the open was normal. There had never been education around sanitation or hygiene. Even encouraging people to use mechanical pumps to draw water took time and sensitivity, starting by carefully listening to the women explain the difficulties they experienced in fetching water.

Now life is much easier. The pumps bring many advantages – people with disabilities can collect as much water as able-bodied people, and children stay in school because queues are reduced and it takes less time to pump water. Crucially, there is less disease, now that people understand the advantages of toilets and have been trained in how to build them out of basic materials.

Evelyn says: “Out of the ten villages where I have been working, nine are doing really well because they have seen the good effects of hygiene and sanitation.”

Our encounter and exchange with the Word of God can change our outlook and inspire us to consider living in a whole new way, as happened for the Samaritan woman when she conversed with Jesus.


Word made Flesh, speak to us as we read the scriptures. Teach us to listen to the people we encounter so that we can understand their reality and work together to build a fairer world. Amen.


As we consider on this Reflection from CAFOD, we are reminded that many women in our own Country are faced with similar problems.  What can we do to make a difference?





Almighty God, we thank you for making the earth fruitful, so that it might produce what is needed for life: Bless those who  work in the fields; give us seasonable weather; and grant that we may all share the fruits of the earth, rejoicing in your goodness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.








“At a certain point, you say to the woods, to the sea, to the mountains, the  world, Now I am ready. Now I will stop and be wholly attentive. You empty yourself  and wait, listening.”

Annie Dillard





Women’s Day 

Who shall find a valiant woman?
Look! We are all around you:
in the work rooms of industry, and of every functioning enterprise, unheralded, invisible, some say non-existent, but we know otherwise.

Who shall find a valiant woman?
Look! We are all around you:
contributing, setting standards, changing the course of history,  preparing, supporting, challenging those resentful of our collegial claims and capabilities.

Who shall find a valiant woman?
Look! We are all around you:
Woman of courage, compassionate, patient. Our number is legion, our gifts diverse, our goal one and the same: that history hear, that history is cognizant of,  that history will one day recall our names.

We honour the women of the Hebrew scriptures, whose courage, persistence, love, and fidelity kept the lineage of faith alive.

We honour the women of Jesus’ time
Who cared for the community of believers; 
Who followed Jesus to Calvary; Who buried Him; Who proclaimed Jesus’ resurrection
Who passed the Gospel to their families, friends and strangers;

We honour the valiant women of our own time
Who nudge us back on track;
Who remind us of the promises of Christ; Who claim the Gospel for women, too; Who preach the reality of wholeness; Who strain against a patriarchal church Who challenge us to grow!

Adaptation of Miriam Therese Winter’s “Valiant Women”
by Cathy O’Keefe, a graduate of Mercy High School in Baltimore, Maryland.

Prayers for the week in a time of coronavirus

Your loving care

Lord Jesus,
when you walked with us on earth you spread your healing power.
We place in your loving care all who are affected by Coronavirus.
Keep us strong in faith, hope and love.
Bring relief to our sick,
console our bereaved,
protect those who care for us.
We lift our prayer to you Lord,
and trust in your infinite mercy,
as we wait for the daybreak.







World Lion Day

Every day is an important day for lion conservation, but Worl d Lion Day is an opportunity to acknowledge the importance of lions culturally and symbolically worldwide. Can we afford to live without them?

In major game reserves and game areas, lions play a key role in the food chain by helping to control the herbivore population.  But many wild lion populations in Africa have crashed in recent decades, mostly due to habitat loss and increasing conflict with rising human populations, and conservationists have been pushing for years for lions to be “up-listed” to CITES. (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora)

The threats against lions, however, are all too real. They face the dual threats of increasingly popular “trophy hunting” and human incursion on their traditional wildlands. A reduction in food combined with hunting tourism is making them more vulnerable with every passing year. Over the last four decades, the lion population declined by fifty percent.

Canned hunting “ remains a major concern, as does the lion trade.  Traditional Asian medicine is driving the growing international trade in big cat products and leading to the mistreatment of thousands of animals.  Bones, blood, and other body parts of big cats are made into products such as balms, capsules, gels, and wines that practitioners of traditional Asian medicine believe to be able to cure ailments ranging from arthritis to meningitis, though in fact they’ve been found to have no provable health benefits. Even before the cats are killed, however, they’re treated more like products than living, breathing creatures.  Thousands of people visit facilities where they interact with lion cubs. To pet, cuddle and have their photographs taken with a cute lion cub.  Lions deprived of growing up in a natural social group and hand reared cannot be rehabilitated back to the wild.  They are bred for one reason only.  MONEY.

Should you have the urge to indulge in cub petting for the purpose of having your photo taken with a cut e lion cub, you must do so knowing that the lion cubs that you interact with are from the canned hunting industry and that you are contributing to their terrible lives.

There’s no better way to feed your passion for lions and other wildlife than to see them in the wild. Visiting our National Parks and reserves generates employment and financial benefits for conservation and also helps strengthen the political…will for conservation of the wilderness and wildlife …. including lions.





“We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God  is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.”

Mother Teresa





World Elephant Day

 Elephants are living treasures. Nature’s gardeners. Nature’s great teachers.”
Virginia McKenna OBE, Founder a nd Trustee Born Free Foundation

World Elephant Day reminds us to appreciate these majestic beasts and draws our attention to how we can improve on protecting them too…

Elephants are under threat in Africa and Asia with human development, the dubious nature of wildlife tourism, animal cruelty and the illegal wildlife trade contributing to the species’ ill-treatment.  There has been a marked increase in elephant poaching within South Africa and particularly Kruger National park in recent years and the COVID-19 pandemic has made matters worse.

One of the biggest messages this World Elephant Day is to celebrate and appreciate elephants by becoming their allies to ensure their protection and survival.

Things you can do to promote elephant conservation:
  • Do not buy ivory or other wildlife products. Be an elephant aware consumer.
  • Enjoy elephants in their “keystone” role in the environment and interrelationships with plants and other animals because all of nature is interconnected.
  • Support organisations that are working to stop the illegal poaching and trade of elephant ivory and other wildlife products, those that are protecting wild elephant habitat and those that are building natural sanctuaries and alternative habitat for domesticated elephants to live freely.
  • Support healthy, alternative, sustainable livelihoods for people who have traditionally relied on elephants, wild animals and natural resources.
  • Be aware of elephant habitat. Do not buy coffee that is not fair-trade or shade-grown, nor products with palm-oil. These commercial crops are grown in plantations that have decimated elephant habitats. Only buy wood products that have been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, which promotes responsible management of the world’s forests – the natural habitat for elephants and other wildlife.





SDG Goal #5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

While the world has achieved progress towards gender equality and women’s empowerment under the Millennium Development Goals (including equal access to primary education between girls and boys), women and girls continue to suffer discrimination and violence in every part of the world.

Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.

Providing women and girls with equal access to education, health care, decent work, and representation in political and economic decision-making processes will fuel sustainable economies and benefit societies and humanity at large.

Prayerfully reflect on this






Pope Francis

“127. We are convinced that “man is the source, the focus and the aim of all economic and social life”. Nonetheless, once our human capacity for contemplation and reverence is impaired, it becomes easy for the meaning of work to be misunderstood.  We need to remember that men and women have “the capacity to improve their lot, to further their moral growth and to develop their spiritual endowments”.[ Work should be the setting for this rich personal growth, where many aspects of life enter into play: creativity, planning for the future, developing our talents, living out our values, relating to others, giving glory to God. It follows that, in the reality of today’s global society, it is essential that “we continue to prioritize the goal of access to steady employment for everyone”, no matter the limited interests of business and dubious economic reasoning.”

Prayerfully reflect on this matter





Patient and giving God,
send your Spirit to reveal the truth to us, to nourish us on our journey through life, to bring us an understanding of all that you ask of us, and to move us to take action to change our world for the better.






Prayer for the week in a time of coronavirus

 Prayer for the end of the virus

SECAM, the Symposium of the Episcopal Conferences in Africa and Madagascar, has suggested the following prayer for all those affected by the coronavirus:

Almighty and merciful Father, who show your love to all your creation.
We come before you asking for a quick control of the Coronavirus currently ravaging our world.
Hear graciously the prayers we make for those affected by the virus in various parts of the world.
Grant healing to the sick, eternal life to the dead and consolation to the bereaved families.
We pray that an effective medicine to combat the sickness be speedily found.
We pray for the relevant governments and health authorities that they take appropriate steps for the good of the people.
Look upon us in your mercy and forgive us our failings. Amen.







Habakkuk’s Prayer

3 A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet. On shigionoth.
Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord.  Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.
God came from Teman, the Holy One from Mount Paran.  His glory covered the heavens and his praise filled the earth.
His splendour was like the sunrise; rays flashed from his hand, where his power was hidden.
Plague went before him; pestilence followed his steps.
He stood, and shook the earth; he looked, and made the nations tremble. The ancient mountains crumbled and the age-old hills collapsed – but he marches on forever.
I saw the tents of Cushan in distress, the dwellings of Midian in anguish.
Were you angry with the rivers, Lord? Was your wrath against the streams? Did you rage against the sea when you rode your horses and your chariots to victory?
You uncovered your bow,  you called for many arrows. You split the earth with rivers; 10 the mountains saw you and writhed. Torrents of water swept by; the deep roared and lifted its waves on high.
11 Sun and moon stood still in the heavens at the glint of your flying arrows, at the lightning of your flashing spear.
12 In wrath you strode through the earth and in anger you threshed the nations.
13 You came out to deliver your people, to save your anointed one.  You crushed the leader of the land of wickedness, you stripped him from head to foot.
14 With his own spear you pierced his head when his warriors stormed out to scatter us, gloating as though about to devour the wretched who were in hiding.
15 You trampled the sea with your horses, churning the great waters.
16 I heard and my heart pounded, my lips quivered at the sound; decay crept into my bones, and my legs trembled.  Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity to come on the nation invading us.
17 Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails  and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Saviour.
19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.





One Part of Creation

If you would learn more, ask the cattle,
Seek information from the birds of the air.
The creeping things of earth will give you lessons,
And the fishes of the sea will tell you all.
There is not a single creature that
does not know
That everything is of God’s making. 

God holds in power the soul of every living thing,
And the breath of every human body.
—Book of Job 12:7-10

My friend and fellow Franciscan Jack Wintz has written a book called Will I See My Dog In Heaven? In it he takes the scriptural, Christian, and Franciscan traditions to their logical conclusions and his conclusion is Yes, of course!

As Franciscans, we studied the scriptures and chanted Psalms that were filled with allusions to the natural world and animals. From the beginning of the Bible to the end, it is clear that a loving God includes all of creation in God’s Kingdom. In the Genesis story, God’s love, beauty, and goodness overflow into creation; and all creatures, including humans, are living peacefully in God’s presence. Isaiah prophesies the “peaceable kingdom” to come (11:1-9; 65:17-25). In Revelation, John hears “every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, everything in the universe” giving God “blessing and honour, glory and might, forever and ever” (Revelation 5:13). Finally, John sees “a new heaven and a new earth” (21:1) and the Bible ends with a new garden, complete with “the river of life-giving water” and “the tree of life” (22:1-2).

God shows authentic and primal concern for all animals by directing Noah to take a male and female of every species onto the ark (see Genesis 7:2-3) to be saved. After the flood, God makes a covenant, not just with people but with all of creation: “God said: ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I am making between me and you and every living creature with you for all ages to come: I set my bow in the clouds to serve as a sign of the covenant between me and the earth’” (Genesis 9:12-13, emphasis mine). How did we miss that? God’s plan is clearly social, historical, and universal, and not the anthropocentric and individualistic model that most of us grew up with.

Don’t worry: I won’t try to fit the whole Bible into this meditation. But I do encourage you, if you are so inclined, to study Scripture for yourself. Note especially these few selections: Daniel 3:57-82 and Psalms 104 and 148 calling on nature to bless and praise the Lord. As Wintz says, “We are a part of the Creation, not apart from it.” To love something is to be present to its inmost core and dignity. That might well be a definition of contemplation.

Gateway to Silence:
Praised be You, my Lord, through all your creatures. —Francis of Assisi 

From Richard Rohr’s daily meditations






How I go to the woods

Ordinarily, I go to the woods alone, with not a single
friend, for they are all smilers and talkers and therefore

I don’t really want to be witnessed talking to the catbirds
or hugging the old black oak tree. I have my way of
praying, as you no doubt have yours.

Besides, when I am alone I can become invisible. I can sit
on the top of a dune as motionless as an uprise of weeds,
until the foxes run by unconcerned. I can hear the almost
unhearable sound of the roses singing.

If you have ever gone to the woods with me, I must love
you very much.”

Mary Oliver





World Mosquito Day

World Mosquito Day was created in order to honour the discovery made of the link between humans, malaria, and mosquitoes. This is something that has changed the health industry considerably, ensuring that humans can be protected.

Mosquitoes can transmit diverse infectious pathogens (viruses) and parasites that cause diseases. Therefore, the mo squitoes are so-called disease vectors for diseases such as dengue, Zika, Chikungunya, West Nile fever, or malaria.. In order to do so, though, a mosquito must bite a sick human first, thereby infecting itself with the pathogen.

It was on this day – 20 August – in 1897, that Sir Ronald Ross made the breakthrough discovery of the connection between mosquitoes and the malaria disease that would later earn him a Nobel Prize in Medicine. However, despite successes in research into the war against Malaria, an estimated 300-600 million people still suffer from malaria each year with an estimated 435 000 deaths globally – many of these children under the age of five.

Malaria is endemic in the Lowveld of Mpumalanga and in Limpopo (including the Kruger Park and private game reserves). When travelling to these areas, malaria can be avoided using the ABCD approach to prevention, which stands for:

  • Awareness of risk – find out whether you’re at risk of getting malaria.
  • Bite prevention – avoid mosquito bites by using insect repellent, covering your arms and legs, and using a mosquito net.
  • Check whether you need to take malaria prevention tablets – if you do, make sure you take the right antimalarial tablets at the right dose, and finish the course.
  • Diagnosis – seek immediate medical advice if you have malaria symptoms.  A chat to a healthcare professional can give advice.

 So, let’s Pray for:

  • Continued breakthroughs in research involved with mosquito-borne diseases
  • For the many people affected by and infected with these diseases
  • For the necessary funding to be available for combating this problem





“The Word is living, being, spirit, all verdant greening, all creativity. This Word manifests itself in every creature.”

Hildegard of Bingen 










Give us courage, Lord God, to stand up and be counted,
To stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves,
To stand up for ourselves when it is needful for us to do so.
Let us fear nothing more than we fear you.
Let us love nothing more than we love you.
Let us have no other God before you, whether nation or party or state or church.
Let us seek no other peace but the peace which is yours.
Make us its instruments, opening our eyes, our ears and our hearts, so that we should know always what work of peace we may do for you.

Prayer for the week in a time of coronavirus

Infinite power and love

Lord God, we entrust to you the families and communities affected by Coronavirus, wherever they may be.
We pray especially for health care workers, that you may guide and protect them.
We pray that your Spirit might inspire those researching new medicines and treatments.
And in the midst of this, keep us strong in faith, hope and love. Grant us the courage and perseverance to be good neighbours.
May the words of your Son Jesus Christ in the Our Father,
be our prayer as we entrust ourselves and all of us who are affected
to your infinite power and love. 

Adapted from an Ebola prayer by Caritas Guinea







“The Lord has loved me so much: we must love everyone…we must be   compassionate! “

Josephine Bakhita





“Let Creation Sing”

The whole earth
With Your Power
And Your Glory
There is no one like You God
There is no one like You God

Mountains bow
Nations tremble
At Your feet we cry Holy
There is no one like You God
There is no one like You God

Let creation sing of the risen King
Let the universe resound
With a shout of love
We will give to You
All the highest praise

Let Your light
Shine upon us
Let Your light
Shine upon us
For the Glory of Your name
Will be over all the earth

Forever I’ll sing
Forever I’ll sing

Hillsong Worship







God of strength,
Shower us with hunger for change so that we are able to work together to change the system that leaves millions of people facing food insecurity. Hear our hunger for justice and bring us your hope and salvation, so that we may be a voice for the world and everyone may have enough food on their table to eat.





Lord of all life
your care is known through the sparrow and the hairs of our head:
remind us of your goodness in creation and our place within it that our voice may resound with every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea proclaiming honour and glory to the Lamb,
Through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives with you and with the Holy Spirit forever.









Some Inspirational thoughts ….

Shimmering hot
Powder soft
Spirit Moved
Flowing, rising into wind formed dunes from lonely plains
Misty forms move in haze of heat 
Vanish into endless space
Drifting to Eternity

Crystal pools
Water surging, ebbing
Foam floating snow like onto shell encrusted rocks
Life – intriguing forms of shape and colour
Bursting into praise

Cool, damp greenness
Leafy haven, inky dark
Carpet soft with lacy shadows
Life slides, glides, leaps and floats
A sparkle here a movement there
The peace of silent prayer.

Spreading branches dappling shade
Mystery depths through open patches,
Sandy, rocky bushy grassy,
Life treads softly, cautious,, blending
A quiet walk in heaven.

Diamond dew on feathery waves of green and red and gold
Earth and heaven  meet and touch in  mosaics of sprinkled seed
Life treads halting, stalking across vast open plains
Space stretches to eternity
A glory of creation

Cool silent pools
Shallows mingling land and water,
Spirit breeze moves reeds to sing
Life, floating, swimming hovering, – nurtured
A gift from heaven to earth

Salty breezes sift through flower bells and buzzing life
Tapestry rich roughly woven
Wind tossed birds frolic free
Sipping from nature’s nectar cups
Moments of ecstasy

A majesty of rock rising before the heavens
Unmoving, un-hasting
Silent as light
Guardians of water  gushing  flowing ever downwards
Life giving, lifesaving, refreshing and pure
A baptism of blessings from Creator to created

Vast open beauty starkly bare
Sky meets land in haze of heat
Clouds play their shadows
Sailing across a waveless land
A  timeless thirstland  guarding the past beneath [its dust

Life bursts out above, springing. striding, scrambling, pronking
Heaven  at play upon the earth.

Diana Steward,
St Thomas, Linden





Bless to me, O God,
Each thing my eye sees;
Bless to me, O God,
Each sound my ear hears;
Bless to me, O God,
Each odour that goes to my nostrils
Bless to me, O God,
Each taste that goes to my lips
Each note that goes to my song
Each ray that guides my way
Each thing that I pursue

God our Creator and Healer,
We confess that we have sinned:
We have used creation
Not cherished it;
We have lived selfishly
Not watched the balance of life;
We have been greedy
Not sharing earth’s gifts;
And our footprints are heavy not gentle.
Forgive us the damage
That disturbs our planet.
Grant us the grace
To live for the world’s healing and our own.
Bless the seasons of the year;
May they be restored to your design.

Chris Polhill,
A Heart for Creation





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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