Thursday, March 2, 2017

Praying the Earth's News: March 2, 2017

In the belief that prayer in itself is a creative act that can effect change, we pray this week for climate refugees, bees, seasonable weather, and our national political will.

Almighty God, in giving us dominion over things on earth you made us fellow workers in your creation: Give us wisdom and reverence so to use the resources of nature, that no one may suffer from our abuse of them, and that generations yet to come may continue to praise you for your bounty; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Collect For the Conservation of Natural Resources (The Book of Common Prayer, p. 827)

Please pray for:

Climate refugees. Climate change fuels natural disasters like floods and droughts. Given the rate of climate change, the world’s refugees include people who have been dislocated by such disasters or the food insecurity and political unrest resulting from such pressures.   The UN Refugee Agency, UNCHR, has photo stories of some of the people who have had to leave their homes. 

Bees. Reuters reports that “More than 700 of the 4,000 native bee species in North America and Hawaii are believed to be inching toward extinction due to increased pesticide use leading to habitat loss.” Bees are, of course, essential to agriculture and to  sustaining biodiversity through pollinating plants in the wild. 

For seasonable weather.  We have not had “seasonable weather” in most parts of the United States this year. In Chicago, for example, there was no measurable snowfall in either January or February — a first in 146 years of record-keeping. Warmer springlike weather has been widespread this year, which brings a mixed bag of welcome relief from winter weather with long-term consequences. (The Atlantic explains What’s Dangerous About an Early Spring.)

Wisdom, courage, and foresight for our leaders. A large number of our political leaders do not publicly acknowledge or accept the fact of anthropomorphic climate change. Another segment of our leaders accept the science but don’t give addressing climate change a high priority. The proposed budget for the Environmental Protection Agency cuts programs aimed at mitigating climate change and air and water pollution. Along with prayers for our leaders, we pray for our own political will. (The prayer For Sound Government on pp. 821-822 of The Book of Common Prayer is appropriate.)

As we pray for others, we might also pray for our own hearts to be open so we can see the needs in the world around us and gladly respond to those needs:

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.
Prayer for Joy in God’s Creation (The Book of Common Prayer, p. 814)

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