Tag Archives: prayer

Join millions praying tomorrow for God’s creation

banner 1.0_smallFrom the Lausanne/WEA Creation Care Network “Global Day of Prayer 2016” guide.  Read and share the full flyer here.

Every year on September 1st the Catholic Church, Orthodox Church, and Protestants of all stripes come together in unity to pray for God’s good creation.

A Bit of History

The vision for this day started in 1989 when the late Patriarch Demetrios II installed September 1st as a Day of Prayer for Creation for the Orthodox Church. Then in response to Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical on creation care, Patriarch Bartholomäus invited the Catholic Church to be united in prayer for creation with the Orthodox Church on September 1st. This led to Pope Francis’ announcing the annual Global Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation for the Roman Catholic Church, and invited other Christians to adopt this day too. Therefore, we, the Lausanne/WEA Creation Care Network, pray in the company of many faithful Christians and invite you to do the same.

Join Us In Prayer

We encourage you to personally pray for the care of creation on September 1st. Organize a prayer meeting focused on creation care at your church, in your small group, or just among a few friends.   If you are not able to lead a group or join a group, share specific creation care needs and concerns with your Christian friends on social media and invite them to pray for those issues with you.  

Be creative and have fun! Go outside for a prayer walk at a local park, beach, riverbank, community garden, or in your own backyard.  If it is evening, step outside and look up at the stars as you pray, or pray around a campfire.  Perhaps enjoy a wonderful meal and gratefully enjoy the fruits of creation. Continue reading

Global Day of Prayer for Climate Action: April 5th

Environmental problems are a spiritual struggle…that’s why we pray.

Everything we all need is provided by God’s creation–if we seek justice, love mercy and walk humbly with our God.

Join dozens of organizations and hundreds of individuals around the globe praying for a unified response to climate change issues.  Even as Christianity is spreading and growing around the world, many still face increasing challenges to their livelihoods and health due to environmental degradation.

Continue reading

Climate Caretakers: It’s crunch time – ie. time to PRAY

Negotiations are heading toward a finale at #COP21 in Paris.  A draft agreement was to be prepared by end-of-business today, with final negotiations aiming toward a Friday sign-off.  The fate of the conference remains uncertain, though there have been some interesting and unexpected developments, including a strong movement toward limiting future temperature rises to 1.5 degrees C as opposed to the 2.0 degree consensus going into the conference.  Though most observers would agree that the latter would have been difficult and the former next-to-impossible, the mere fact that 1.5 is being discussed is remarkable and unexpected.

With that introduction, here’s a list of prayer items from Climate Caretakers.  Please join with them in praying through the end of this week for… Continue reading

Folks are already testifying…

I am clearly excited for the conference to begin. Photo by Amy Brown.

As many of you know, we just successfully completed the Canada and United States Creation Care and the Gospel conference in  collaboration with the Lausanne Creation Care Network, Care of Creation, and A Rocha International.

A number of conference-goers are already making known the impact of this gathering through op-eds, reflections, and articles: Continue reading

How do you pray about an oil spill?

Today is the 45th celebration of Earth Day.  Monday of this week was the fifth anniversary of the worst environmental disaster in US history, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  The damage to the Gulf was more severe and longer lasting than even the pessimists predicted:

Cynthia Sarthou, executive director of Gulf Restoration Network, says that after five years, there are more questions than answers about what the lingering impact of the spill means.

“Dolphin deaths continue, oil is still on the bottom of the ocean, tar balls keep coming up,” she says. “And nobody really is able to say what we may find in five years, 10 years. It’s really distressing to me.”

Sarthou says there’s no certainty the spill won’t be a problem for generations to come. (NPR)

So, five years after this disaster, and 45 years after the nation started trying to do something about this kind of thing, we ask again, “How long?”   Below is a repost of one of our original commentaries on the oil spill from May 20, 2010.  The oil well had been gushing for a month already, and we asked:

How do you pray about an oil spill?

It’s a legitimate question:  The news is getting worse by the day for those of us many miles away, and no doubt by the hour for those living in the area of impact.  This morning we learned that some experts believe the amount of oil leaking may be much more than even the revised estimate of 5,000 barrels per day. More worrisome than that, there is now real concern that the oil may join the Gulf stream ocean current, which would send it around the tip of Florida and all the way up the East Coast of the United States, staining beaches and killing wildlife as it goes. Continue reading

The Examen and the Earth

Guest post by Lowell Bliss.

This bench looks like the perfect spot for an examen, a prayerful review of one’s conscience and day. CC Licensed photo.

The Lenten season has come and gone, but the ancient spiritual practice of Examen is certainly not limited to a specific forty days of the liturgical year.  There is great health, we are taught, in regularly lifting our consciences up to the Holy Spirit with the prayer: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts;” (Ps 139:23).

Recently I’ve encountered two proposals for The Examen which involve an ecological twist.  The first is in a book, The Light is On For You, by Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington.  The book is a heartfelt appeal for Catholics to re-embrace the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the sweet freedom of absolution received in “going to confession.” Appendix D is a longer, quite systematic, examination of conscience and has been formulated anew by U.S. bishops.  Cardinal Wuerl also includes a section for “Examination of Conscience based on Catholic Social Teaching.”  Among questions derived from “Life and Dignity of the Human Person” or “Option for the Poor and Vulnerable” are these four suggested questions for “Care of God’s Creation:”

  • Do I live out my responsibility to care for God’s creation?
  • Do I see my care for creation as connected to my concern for poor persons, who are most at risk from environmental problems?
  • Do I litter?  Live wastefully? Use energy too freely?  Are there ways I could reduce consumption in my life?
  • Are there ways I could change my daily practices and those of my family, school, workplace, or community to better conserve the earth’s resources for future generation?

St. Ignatius Loyola is perhaps most associated with the Examen as a discipline, and in the Ignatian Exercises, examen is more than just documentary prep work for a visit to the confessional.  Jesuit writers speak of it as “a method of reviewing your day in the presence of God. It’s actually an attitude more than a method, a time set aside for thankful reflection on where God is in your everyday life.”  Jim Manney in A Simple Life-Changing Prayer has formulated these modern five-steps:

  1. Ask God for light: I want to look at my day with God’s eyes, not merely my own.
  2. Give thanks: The day I have just lived is a gift from God.  Be grateful for it.
  3. Review the day: I carefully look back on the day just completed, being guided by the Holy Spirit.
  4. Face your shortcomings: I face up to what is wrong—in my life and in me.
  5. Look toward the day to come: I ask where I need God in the day to come.

And then here is how Joseph Carver S.J. has brought this exercise to bear on creation care:

  • All creation reflects the beauty and blessing of God’s image. Where was I most aware of this today?
  • Can I identify and pinpoint how I made a conscious effort to care for God’s creation during this day?
  • What challenges or joys do I experience as I recall my care for creation?
  • How can I repair breaks in my relationship with creation, in my unspoken sense of superiority?
  • As I imagine tomorrow, I ask for the grace to see the Incarnate Christ in the dynamic interconnections of all Creation.
What have I planted and watered today?  CC Licensed photo.
What have I planted and watered today? CC Licensed photo.

While this blog post is reproducing list, here’s one final one of my own: “What I, as an evangelical Protestant, like about this discovery of not one, but two, ecologically oriented examens:

  1. I like that creation care can be more than just a part of my ministry (and certainly more than just of my hobbies).  I like that creation care can touch upon my spirituality, my walk with God.
  2. I like that creation care can be more than just a part of my ministry (and certainly more than just of my hobbies). I like that creation care can touch upon my spirituality, my walk with God.
  3. I like that violations of creation care are taken seriously enough to rise to the level of sin requiring confession and transformed lifestyle.
  4. I like that a Christian of Cardinal Wuerl’s stature has adopted the language of creation care. We are singing the same tune in the same key, even using the same words.
  5. It makes me excited for Pope Francis’s upcoming encyclical on the care of creation, due to be issued in June or July.

Lowell Bliss is the director of Eden Vigil and the author of Environmental Missions: Planting Churches and Trees. He lives with his wife Robynn and three kids.