Prayers of the people
Watch or 50:25
Before we start – let’s settle ourselves in our chairs, close our eyes or focus on our candle, plant our feet carefully and deliberately on the floor to sense to earth below us. Take a few slow breaths to drawing up from our feet to connect with the spirit of the earth and with the spirit within us. Sense the air settle around our heart-space with each breath.
Loving God, we come to you in prayer acknowledging the incredible beauty and wonder of your creation and the stunning gift of life that you provide to each of us. As we breathe deeply into our lungs, we stop to consider the wonder of our own existence, the incredible complexity of our bodies, the interplay of our organs: muscles, bones, eyes, ears, skin, blood and nervous systems, our brain and its chemistry. All providing us with the ability to dwell in and explore your beautiful creation. Forgive us when we criticize and condemn or neglect our bodies, forever wanting to change and improve them rather than dwelling in their wonder, our ability to be present, to move, to engage, to create, to think and explore the world around us.
Show us instead, how to be part of your creation, celebrating its beauty and adding to its wonder with our very existence. May we always use this gift of life to care and protect the earth.
As we sit here with our feet planted on these old wooden floors, made with magnificent trees grown centuries ago, we acknowledge our deep connection with mother earth – this stunning blue planet that provides us with so much beauty and wonder: air to breathe, food to eat, shelter and warmth, forests to explore, stunning oceans and mountains, waterways and canyons, places of extreme beauty that can take our breath away. We also acknowledge the small wonders of flowers, insects, birds and hidden animals just outside our doors. The amazing creative patterns that occur all around us if we stop and look closely.
But we know that mother earth is deeply wounded and we feel her pain and her cry for healing and repair. And we want to say sorry. We want to apologise for our neglectfulness that means we rush on by and often do not stop to wonder – when we let our needs, our wants, our safety, our convenience, our fears and anxieties blind us to the beauty that is in and around us always.
Forgive us for expecting everything to be safe, bug free and risk free to protect our needs without concern for other species and their habitat needs. Instead, let us wonder at the importance of the mosquito and the fly and the ant and even the cockroach and their role in this fragile ecosystem, to protect and create healthy soil and for the important food they provide for our wildlife.
More than anything, we want to apologize for the part we play in using the resources of our economic system that wants to extract and exploit, trash, control and concrete over all this beauty for our convenience, our wealth, our safety and security, at the expense of other beings on this earth. As we watch companies knowingly destroy more and more habitat, extract fossils fuels and witness the impact on our very climate, on our oceans, species extinction, show us how to be part of a people that says stop, enough!
Help us to be the people who turn around and work together to advocate for change, to restore, to recycle, to protect, to regenerate and heal this beautiful place. Not just for generations to come but for all living beings that are part of this incredible, interconnected beautiful world that you have created.
Help us to seek the wisdom and knowledge of our first nations people to heal this earth together. Help us to recognise the healing that this wisdom can bring, not just to the earth but for all of us.
Dear God, we hear your cry and we feel the pain, give us the courage to take action to be part of your healing world. We thank you that your creation is forever renewing, recreating, rebirthing and we want to be a part of this renewal and restoration. We pray that our lives can be a part of this creative and recreative cycle and seek your love and courage to stop and choose beauty in everything that we do.
Meredith Budge, offered for worship 04/09/2022, Season of Creation 1