Prayer of Adoration

Lord of all creation, you have given us this day of beauty, full of your handiwork. Open our eyes wide to see your Spirit’s artistry in all that happens. Open our hearts to the surprising ways of your creative goodness. Then grant us grace to reflect your glory, through the transforming power of Christ, your Word, who beckons us into life abundant. Amen.

-Christine Jerrett

First published in Reformed Worship, Issue 106

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Assurance of God’s Grace

Hear the good news: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. God’s mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning. Wherever this week takes you, remind yourself of this great truth and live from there.

-Christine Jerrett

First published in Reformed Worship, Issue 106

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Prayer of Confession (Psalm 19:11-14, The Message)

God of life, your Word warns us of danger and directs us to hidden treasure. Otherwise, how will we find our way or know when we play the fool? Who can see their own errors? Deliver me, Lord, from hidden faults! Keep me safe, also, from willful sins; don’t let them rule over me. Then I shall be blameless and free from the evil of sin.

[silent confession]

Let the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer. Amen.

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Prayer of Confession: The Earth is the Lord’s

Congregation: The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.

Leader: And yet, we’ve misused it for our gain,

Contributed to its destruction to ensure an extravagant lifestyle,

Neglected its cries for restoration.

Congregation: The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.

Leader: And yet, we greedily deplete this gift of abundance.

We take instead of receive,

consume instead of give,

demand instead of thank.

Congregation: The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.

Leader: And yet, our own wants have taken priority over the needs of others.

Because of our indifference,

species of animals and plants are becoming extinct.

Because of our acts of discrimination,

racialized communities live closest to the sources of pollution.

Because of our selfishness,

Indigenous people are forced to fight for the protection of their own land.

Because of our apathy,

poverty stricken areas are left with unsanitary drinking water.

Because of our carelessness,

Bodies of water fill with waste.

Congregation: The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.

Leader: And yet, we do not take responsibility for our actions or lack thereof.

Instead, we are quick to point fingers—to blame and accuse.

Though we see the pains and hear the groans of this beaten world, we continue to

pass by on the other side of the road.

Creator God, Lord of the earth and everything in it, forgive us.

And now, Creator God,

Just as you breathed life into dust, breathe anew into your people—that these ashes

of confession may bring your justice, peace, and hope to the once dust of this world.

Creator God, you make beautiful things out of the dust. Give us the eyes to see, the

voices to declare, the hands and minds to affirm this truth:

Congregation: The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it. Amen.

-Carissa Groot-Nibbelink

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Prayer of Intercession (Early Summer)

We live day by day wrapped in your love, sustained by your Spirit’s breath, set free through Jesus’ death and resurrection to share in your reconciling work. We praise you for such glorious gifts. Help us to enter more deeply into the truth of your creative power.

We live day by day in a world groaning from the effects of our carelessness and arrogance. We thank you for those people who work to waken us to the wonders of creation; who give voice to the suffering of this earth; who keep calling us to greater care and better stewardship of our fragile home.

We pray for children who are finishing their school year, anticipating the joys of summer. Open their eyes to your glory in the beauty of this world. Make us attentive to opportunities to journey more deeply with them into wonder and awe.

You send us out week by week to witness to your grace and love in the places where we live and play and work and serve. We open our spirits to your Spirit, that the witness we make may reflect your glory and bring you joy, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

-Christine Jerrett

First published in Reformed Worship, Issue 106

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Prayer of Intercession for Water Stewardship

Creator God,

whose Spirit moved over the face of the waters,

who gathers the seas into their places and directs the course of the rivers,

who sends rain upon the earth that it should bring forth life;

we praise you for the gift of water.

We believe that water belongs to the earth and to all species.

We believe that water must be conserved for all time.

We believe that polluted water must be reclaimed.

We believe that water is best protected in natural watersheds.

We believe that water is a public trust to be guarded at all levels of government.

We believe that an adequate supply of clean water is a basic human right.

Create in us 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 name. Amen

-Prayer from Ursulines of the Roman Union

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Prayer of Lament in the Face of Climate Catastrophe (Psalm 80)

Leader 1: Having confessed our sins and failures, we pray in our weakness, our helplessness, our

sorrow and grief. In accordance with the testimony of the Bible, we lament on behalf of our

communities, our countries, and our world leaders.

Congregation: Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock! You who are

enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh. Stir up your

might, and come to save us!

 

Leader 2: From a Persian Gulf on the cusp of a permanent deadly heat, to oceans verging on a cascade of extinction, Your creation groans.

Congregation: Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

O Lord God of hosts, how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers?

 

Leader 1: The troubles before us are overwhelming in their enormity. Everywhere the cry of the poor is matched and echoed by the cry of the earth.

Congregation: You have fed them with the bread of tears, and given them tears to drink in full measure.

You make us the scorn of our neighbors; our enemies laugh among themselves.

 

Leader 2: Our political leaders, in our own countries and in international gatherings, make promises

with deceit in their hearts. They follow other gods, golden idols and proud flags.

Congregation: Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

You brought a vine out of Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it.

 

Leader 1: Our young people are born into a polluted and rapidly degrading world. Our dreams for future generations are overtaken by fear and terror.

Congregation: You cleared the ground for it; it took deep root and filled the land.

The mountains were covered with its shade, the mighty cedars with its branches;

it sent out its branches to the sea, and its shoots to the River.

 

Leader 2: Even technological solutions face only scattered implementation, subjected to the rule of markets and political stubbornness; your gifts of reason and curiosity have gone unappreciated.

Congregation: Why then have you broken down its walls, so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit?

The boar from the forest ravages it, and all that move in the field feed on it.

 

Leader 1: Extractive industry poisons our soil, air and water. The components of all life, the substances you formed in the beginning, are themselves sickened and diminished; they need your reconciling and healing.

Congregation: Turn again, O God of hosts; look down from heaven, and see; have regard for this vine, the stock that your right hand planted.

They have burned it with fire, they have cut it down; may they perish at the rebuke of your

countenance.

 

Leader 2: Our fellow creatures, the birds of the air and the fish of the sea, every living thing that moves upon the earth, are subjected to new conditions for which they bear no responsibility. The whole world cries out to be drawn forth.

Congregation: But let your hand be upon the one at your right hand, the one whom you made strong for yourself.

Then we will never turn back from you; give us life, and we will call on your name.

 

Leader 1: Not by our strength or by our own greatness can we redeem ourselves, but we know that your power and grace are without end. You release the captives; you liberate the oppressed; you bring sight to the blind; you bring good news to the poor. Through you is the salvation, redemption, and reconciliation of the entire creation.

Congregation: Restore us, O Lord God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

-Shay O’Reilly

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Prayer of Thanksgiving: The Earth is the Lord’s

The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.

Jesus, in your life, death, and resurrection you showed us your glory through miracles and works done in and through creation. Water and dirt. Wine and bread. You used the familiar, the tangible, the known.

The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.

Jesus, you were baptized with water, the water of Genesis, the waters of  creation. The heavens opened up and the Spirit rained down, and we were made clean. We were made right and new, and with water your righteousness was fulfilled. Thank you for giving us a visible sign of an invisible grace.

The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.

Jesus, at the marriage feast in Cana, you turned water into wine and we saw a glimpse of your glory. We witnessed a miracle through the ordinary and the natural. The simplicity of water to the rich, flavorful complexity of  wine. Thank you for your creation, for joy and gladness, for showing us your authority over all things.

The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.

Jesus, you spat on the ground and made mud. Dirt and saliva, spread over the blind man’s eyes then washed in the waters of Siloam. And the blind man’s eyes were opened to the beauty of  your creation, and our eyes were opened to the wonder of  your works. And we are thankful.

The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.

And in that same dirt, Jesus, you bent down and wrote with your finger a message to the accusers of an adulteress woman. Not a stone was thrown. And she stood and went and sinned no more. And we saw that by your grace, by your works, by your goodness, we are always forgiven.

The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.

Jesus, on the night of your betrayal, you ate and drank with your disciples, bread and wine. You fed them, you ate with them, and with water you washed the dirt from their feet. Come to us, Lord Jesus.

The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.

Lord we are thankful that we belong to you, that this earth belongs to you. We are thankful for your miracles and works done through dirt and water, bread and wine. With all creation we praise you Lord.

-Anna Gabhart

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Prayer of Thanksgiving for the Gift of Air

Creator God,
who sets the stars in their places
and directs the courses of the planets,
who has robed this earth with a thin garment of air,
making it a haven of beauty and life,
who has breathed into each of us
the breath of life:
We thank you for the gift of air.
Create in us
such a sense of wonder and delight
in this and in 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.

-John Paarlberg

First published in Reformed Worship, Issue 35

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Prayer of Thanksgiving for the Gift of Water

Creator God,

whose Spirit moved

over the faces of the waters,

who gathers

the sea 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.

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.

-John Paarlberg

First published in Reformed Worship, Issue 35

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Prayer of Thanksgiving for the Gift of Soil

Creator God,
who lifted up the mountains and formed
the dry land,
whose hands have shaped us out of
the dust of the earth,
who has formed the soils and made this earth
a place of beauty and abundance:
We give you thanks for the gift of soil.
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.

-John Paarlberg

First published in Reformed Worship, Issue 35

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Prayer of Thanksgiving for the Harvest

Lord of lords, Creator of all things, God of all things, God over all gods, God of sun and rain, you created the earth with a thought and with your breath.

Lord, we brought in the harvest. The rain watered the earth, the sun drew cassava and corn out of the clay. Your mercy showered blessing after blessing over our country. Creeks grew into rivers; swamps became lakes. Healthy fat cows grazed on the green sea of the savanna. The rain smoothed out the clay walls; the mosquitoes perished in the high waters.

Lord, the yam is fat like meat, the cassava melts on the tongue, oranges burst in their peels, dazzling and bright.

Lord, nature gives thanks, your creatures give thanks. Your praise rises in us like the great river.

Lord of lords, Creator, Provider, we thank you in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

-Fritz Pawelzik

First published in Reformed Worship, Issue 16

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Idea for Prayer: Intercession for Uprooted Peoples

Climate change is not just an environmental issue.

It affects social stability, economies, and educational systems. It impacts the pursuits of equality and global peace. It plays out in ecosystems and community health, technology, and transportation systems.

The current legacy of climate change is mostly the fault of developed countries and wealthy consumers. However, it is communities in least developed countries, low-lying states, and small island nations that will be most negatively impacted by climate change.

Extreme weather events, climate variability, and sea level rise due to climate change are already uprooting communities. Fierce typhoons in the Philippines have displaced hundreds of thousands of people; changing rainfall patterns in Peru have severely threatened food production; and unusually heavy monsoon rains in Pakistan have caused flooding that killed thousands and displaced millions.

 

Listen to the challenges of international climate migration

Read the stories of people who have to migrate

Reflect on how our carbon footprint may cause the forced migration of many feet. Think about how climate change will affect your community, and how your community can affect climate change.

Pray for those whose stories of migration you hear, and those whose stories may never be told. Pray that policies on climate issues will be grounded in principles of equity and justice.

-Karri Munn-Venn

Find other ideas for prayer from Citizens for Public Justice at cpj.ca/sites/default/files/docs/files/CWR-Ideas4Prayer.pdf

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Idea for Prayer: Intercession for your Watershed

One way to get to know your ecological community is to learn about and inhabit your watershed.

A watershed is the area of land from which surface water drains to a single point. Watersheds can be outlined at many scales, and so connect us within our neighborhoods, our neighborhoods within our country, and our countries within continents. No matter where you are, you are in a watershed! Watersheds unite our ecological communities, and they facilitate the cycling of water that sustains life.

Human activity on land and in waterways affects our watersheds.

Climate change will negatively impact our watersheds: more variability in rain patterns may compromise fresh water availability and increase risks of water-borne disease. Shrinking glaciers in the Rockies are leaving less meltwater for aquatic and human ecosystems. Bodies of freshwater are expected to shrink, and droughts may become more frequent in the Prairies. Aquatic ecosystems in Canada’s North are particularly at risk due to water temperature fluctuations.

 

Learn about the current threats—including climate change—to the health of Canadian watersheds using WWF’s interactive watershed reports map.

Read the theology behind watershed stewardship, and consider joining KAIROS’ Reconciliation in the Watershed program.

 

Now, go for a prayer walk in your watershed! Think about how your community’s activity affects your watershed.

Imagine how the water you see will flow to be connected with water from all across your watershed. Reflect on how your watershed, and its wellbeing, fits into the global cycling of water.

-Karri Munn-Venn

Find other ideas for prayer from Citizens for Public Justice at cpj.ca/sites/default/files/docs/files/CWR-Ideas4Prayer.pdf

 

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