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Prayers

Church WindowOpening Prayers

Responsive Prayer

Prayers of the People

The Lord's Prayer & Creation Care

Pastoral Prayer

Prayer of Praise

Intercessory Prayer

Prayer of Compassion

NCC Offertory Prayer

Offering Prayer

Prayer of Thanks

Prayer for Restorative Work

Prayer after Restorative Work

New Zealand Prayer

The United Nations Environmental Sabbath Service

(Includes: A Call to Prayer, A Prayer of Awareness, A Prayer of Sorrow, A Prayer of Healing, and A Prayer of Gratitude)

Prayer Related Publications


Opening Prayers

(From St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Medina, Washington.)

Celebrant: Blessed be the Lord God, Author of all Creation.
People: Glory to God forever and ever.
Celebrant: God of unchangeable power, when you fashioned the world, the morning stars sang together and the host of heaven shouted for joy: Open our souls to the wonders of creation and teach us to manage faithfully the riches of this good earth, to the honor of your glorious name; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen. ...

Celebrant: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you.
Celebrant: Let us pray.  O heavenly Father, who has filled the world with beauty.  Open our eyes to behold your gracious hand in all your works; that, rejoicing in your whole creation, we may learn to serve you with gladness.  For the sake of him through whom all things were made, your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

 

Responsive Prayer

(From the National Council of Churches [NCC] Earth Day Sunday 2003 resource packet, "Waters of Life: Enough for All."  To download this helpful resource, go to http://www.nccecojustice.org/EarthDay/2003/index.html. Written by Rev. John Paarlberg.)   

Creator God,
whose Spirit moved over the face of the waters,
who gathers the seas into their places
and directs the courses of the rivers,
who sends rain upon the earth
that it should bring forth life:
we praise you for the gift of water.

Redeemer God,
who spared Noah and creatures of every kind
from the waters of the flood,
who led your people over dry land through the sea
and across the Jordan to the land of promise,
who marks our adoption as children
with the sign of water:
we thank you for the gift of water.

Sustaining God,
create in us such a sense of wonder and delight
in this and all your gifts,
that we might receive them with gratitude,
care for them with love
and generously share them with all your creatures,
to the honor and glory of your holy name.

 

Prayers of the People

(From St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Medina, Washington.)

We give you thanks and praise, O God of creation, for the grandeur of all that you have made, saying
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 dishonoring 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.

 

The Lord's Prayer Liturgy

(From Limestone Presbyterian Church, "The Lord's Prayer and Creation Care:
A Litany of Confession ."  To download this helpful resource, go to http://www.limestonepresbyterian.org/solar/LordsPrayer/LordsPrayer.htm. Written by Revs. Bruce and Carolyn Gillette.)   

Loving God, we remember that Jesus taught us to pray saying, "Our Father…" 
 
You created us, you made this world, and you called your creation very good. Yet often we forget that you are our loving Parent who continues to bless your world. 
 
Jesus told us that you are "…in heaven…" 

Yet we fail to live in awe of you. We take you for granted, and we don't see the awesome beauty of the world you have made. 
 
We pray, "Hallowed be your name…" 
 
We confess that our reverence for you does not always lead us to care reverently for your earth, sky and sea. 
 
We pray, "Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven…" 
 
We confess that we often put our own interests first-exploiting your creation, and living for our own convenience and self-interest. 
 
We pray, "Give us today our daily bread." 
 
We confess that we consume more than our share of the world's resources, while billions go hungry every day and your whole creation suffers. 
 
We pray, "Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us." 
 
We confess that we see these words only in spiritual terms, while the Bible is filled with teachings about economic justice and creation care. 
 
We pray, "Save us from the time of trial." 
 
Help us to resist the temptations of spending more, using more, acquiring more, and wasting more. 
 
We pray, "Deliver us from evil…" 
 
Free us from greed and self-centeredness that separate us from you and others. 
 
We pray, "For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and forever." 
 
Help us to know that in caring for your wonderful world, we are working for your kingdom, being good stewards of your creative power, and giving you glory. 
 
We pray, "Amen." 
 
We end our prayers with "Amen," a word that means "let it be so." We know we can be faithful disciples by your grace. Amen! 

Pastoral Prayer

using Genesis 9, Genesis 17, and Deuteronomy 30

(From the National Council of Churches [NCC] Earth Day Sunday 2002 resource packet, "Caring for Creation: Making the World Safe for Children."  To download this helpful resource, go to http://www.nccecojustice.org/EarthDay/2002/index.html.) 

Gracious God, your amazing love extends through all time and space, to all parts of your creation, which you created and called good. You made a covenant with Noah and his family, putting a rainbow in the sky to symbolize your promise of love and blessing to every living creature, and to all successive generations. You made a covenant with Abraham and Sarah, blessing them and their descendants throughout the generations. You made a covenant with Moses and the Israelite people to all generations, giving them the 10 commandments and challenging them to choose life. In Jesus, you invite us to enter into a new covenant, in communion with all who seek to be faithful to you.

As people of faith, we are called into covenant. Your covenant of faithfulness and love extends to the whole creation. We pray for the healing of the earth, that present and future generations may enjoy the fruits of creation, and continue to glorify and praise you.

 

Prayer of Praise

(By St. Gregory Nazianzen, c.330-389)

You alone are unutterable,
form the time you created all things
that can be spoken of.
You alone are unknowable,
from the time you created all things
that can be known.
All things cry out about you;
those which speak,
and those which cannot speak.
All things honor you;
those which think,
and those which cannot think.
For there is one longing, one groaning,
that all things have for you ...
All things pray to you that comprehend
your plan
and offer you a silent hymn.
In you, the One, all things abide,
and all things endlessly run to you
who are the end of all.

Intercessory Prayer

(From the National Council of Churches [NCC] Earth Day Sunday 2001 resource packet. To download this helpful resource, go to http://www.nccecojustice.org/EarthDay/2001/index.html.) 

Creator God, you make all things
and weave them together in an intricate tapestry of life.
Teach us to respect the fragile balance of life and to care for all the gifts of your creation.
Guide by your wisdom those who have power and authority,
that, by the decisions they make, life may be cherished
and a good and fruitful Earth may continue to show your glory and sing your praises.

Almighty God,
you have called us to tend and keep the garden of your creation.
Give us wisdom and reverence for all your plants and animals who share this planet with us and whose lives make possible our own.
Help us to remember that they too love the sweetness of life and join with us in giving you praise.

 

Prayer of Compassion

(By St. Basil the Great, 330-379.)

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.

 

NCC Offertory Prayer

(From the National Council of Churches [NCC] Earth Day Sunday 2002 resource packet, "Caring for Creation: Making the World Safe for Children."  To download this helpful resource, go to http://www.nccecojustice.org/EarthDay/2002/index.html.)

Generous God, you have blessed us with the resources to share the good news of your love for all creation. We dedicate these gifts and pray that they may bring healing, wholeness, and hope to the world, that future generations may also know your graciousness and love. Amen.

 

Offering Prayer

(By Tanya Marcovna Barnett)

All good gifts come from you, dear God, and you reveal glimpses of your grace through them.  Thank you for inviting us to be partners with you in caring for your creation.  We offer these gifts now, knowing that they come first from you, then from other members of your family of creation, then from us.  Bless these symbols of our awareness that we depend upon you and your creation for all that we call "ours."  Please accept these gifts and our desire to be your partners.  In Your name, Amen.

 

Prayer of Thanks

(From St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Medina, Washington.)

Gracious God, you have given us much this day: the wheat and grapes which found our feast, the wit and will to transform them into bread and wine, and the precious presence of your Son who transfigures and redeems all that we have broken and lost.  Send us out now to care for this fragile earth, our island home.  Grant us the wit and the will to transform the toxic, irreverent ways we live, and the saving presence of your Son, Jesus Christ, who goes before us and calls us into this world you love.  To him, to you, and to the Holy Spirit be honor and glory, now and forever, Amen.

 

Prayer for Restorative Work

(By Tanya Marcovna Barnett, Earth Ministry.  A prayer to precede a tree planting or other hands-on restoration event.  May be read/prayed using four different people.)

People: Our Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer,
Today, we come together with You, with one another, and with Your larger family of creation and ask that you bless:
One: These trees and plants –
that they may continue to grow as blessed members of Your intricate family of creation
that they may remind all lives they touch of Your sustaining presence.
One: These tools –
that they may be “instruments of Your peace”
that they may remind us that we too are called to be instruments of Your peace.
One: Our hands –
that they may know their strengths and limitations
that they may lovingly touch other members of creation as kin.
One: Our hearts –
that they may be open to Your presence in this place, in this community of life
that they be renewed through this work to and render back to You expressions of justice and joy.
People: May this be so!

 

Prayer after Restorative Work

(By Tanya Marcovna Barnett, Earth Ministry.  A prayer to follow a tree planting or other hands-on restoration event.) 

Let us leave this place of blessed work
With the joy of having joined our strengths
With a gratitude for our kinship with the lives we’ve touched today
With the hope of life-giving verdancy for these and all our kin in God’s family of Creation.
With the resolve to honor and be a blessing to our kin.  Amen.

 

New Zealand Prayer

(From "A New Zealand Book of Prayer")

Eternal Spirit, Earth-Maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver,
source of all that is and that shall be,
Father and Mother of us all, Loving God, in whom is heaven:
The hallowing of your name shall echoe through the universe!
The way of your justice be followed
by the peoples of the earth!
Your heavenly will be done by all created beings!
Your commonwealth of peace and freedom
sustain our hope and come on earth.
With the bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and test, strengthen us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.
For you reign in the glory of the power that is love,
now and forever.

Amen.

 

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