For all creation: scripture-guided prayer on climate change
Why do we pray?
We pray to know God and to know ourselves. Prayer helps us break through the noise of the world and teaches us to listen and understand the heart of God. We pray with our hearts, yes, but also with our hands and our feet. We pray because of God’s everlasting grace, justice, and forgiveness. We pray in exultation. We pray with groans. We pray with tears. We pray with laughter. We pray with thanksgiving for the world that the Lord has given us. For the air we breathe, the fresh water we drink, the food we eat, the nature we enjoy, the community that supports us, the family who loves us, the children who inspire us.
We pray because climate change threatens all that we love, know, and cherish. We pray because of the impact climate change has on all of us. We pray in Jesus' name because he is our lord and our savior. We pray God uses us to heal the wounds of our damaged world and to protect those who are in harm’s way. We pray.
Use this guide to pray for justice in your home community as well as the world. There are four sections that relate to our connection to climate change:
- God’s creation
- The human impact
- World leaders
After reading the scriptures, pray the accompanying prayer or your own words. Pray that God’s justice be done for all of creation.
Prayers for God’s Creation
And God said, “let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:20-21
We thank you for the birds in the air, the fish in the streams, the whales in the ocean. Each living thing bears your fingerprints. Each is a testament to your glory. Lord, stir in our hearts a spirit to protect these magnificent creatures and to preserve the oceans that are rapidly changing due to climate change.
Prayers for Our Role as Caretakers
Then the righteous will answer him, “lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?” The king will reply, “truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:37-40
Transform our hearts and awaken our minds. Help us know that as creation suffers so too do those who live upon it. Give us eyes to see the suffering of your children and the determination to do something about it. Peel back the indifference that allows us to abuse nature and ignore the cries of the most impoverished among us.
Prayers for the Human Impact
Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow. Isaiah 1:17
We acknowledge our complicity in the cycles of oppression that plague the world. Give us courage to speak up for what is right, and to become the stewards you designed us to be. Our poorest brothers and sisters have done the least to create climate change yet are suffering the most from it. Drought, flood, and famine are more severe now than they have ever been. We are your hands and feet, oh God, guide us in our work to bring healing and salvation to the world.
Prayers for Our Leaders
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all Godliness and holiness. 1 Timothy 2:1-2
Give those in positions of authority wisdom and the humility to listen. Remove their pride and sow seeds of peace in their hearts. Give our leaders a heart for the most impoverished amongst us and the courage to take action where it is needed most.