Prayers for Planet Earth and COP26 - Week Four
The UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow on 31st October – 12th November 2021. Leading up to that event Deacon Cedric May is writing a series of prayers, one for each day of the month throughout October. The theme is "Prayers for the Planet and COP26".
Here are the fourth week's prayers - (plus additional up to the 31st Oct):
Each day we count our blessings. We bless you for COP26 and the nearly 200 nations which are signatories to the Rio Accords. The word ‘accord’ is so heart-warming. The Psalmist says: how blessed it is when brothers agree. We pray for agreement in Glasgow in November. It’s together that we will achieve our goals. Let’s pray that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) get an airing again. There’s so much idealism and practicality in them and they are a good example of inter-departmental co-operation. The church leaders, Francis, Welby and Bartholomew, stressed the word ‘together.’
COP26 is a sign to the nations that we will take the climate crisis seriously, make promises that we can deliver, and refurbish the ideals of the United Nations Organisation by seeing no nation, especially China, as a rogue nation not to be trusted. In Jesus’ powerful name,
Father God, Maker of all things, lover of all you have made,
thank you for Glenwood, our home, our families and friends, our happy marriage and especially our 17 precious grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. On 8th October, after some delay, an air pump is being installed to suck heat from the air to heat our home. This will be powered by our 21 solar panels and the battery which stores surplus electricity. This will mean that our gas boiler can be taken out and that we shall no longer be dependent on fossil fuels. We are conscious that not everyone can afford to do this but churches, schools and shops can do this and must if we are to end the damaging dependence on gas, coal, oil and petrol for the energy we consume.
Help us, dear Lord, to spread the word. This is your Good News for the wealthy western economies and a technology we must offer to the developing world.
The Prisons Week Prayer (10 -16 October 2021)
Lord, you offer freedom to all people.
We pray for those in prison. Break the bonds of fear and isolation that exist.
Support with your love prisoners and their families and friends, prison staff and all who care.
Heal those who have been wounded by the actions of others, especially the victims of crime.
Help us to forgive one another, to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly together with Christ in his strength and in his Spirit, now and every day.
Bless prison chaplains and advocates for prisoners who seek justice. I pray for the charity Lifelines which recruits volunteers to write to inmates on Death Row in the U.S.A. I pray for Marbel Mendoza to whom I have written since 2005 who is in prison in Raiford, Florida. He is a good Christian and father to two children. He has recently renewed contact with a son after 20 years who tells him of a grandchild and another on the way. He typed his last letter to me because of a slipped disc which makes it too painful to sit and write. Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy.
We bless your Holy Name when things come right. Thank you for the 3 Circuits Environment meeting we held. Five like-minded sisters and brothers met digitally to share concerns and to seek a way forward. Bless you Lord for Malcolm, Vicky, Kate, Lou and myself. You gave us the time and the inclination to make the climate catastrophe a priority for our lives, our churches, our communities, our children and grandchildren. The enthusiasm chased away the frustration we can so often feel at the inertia that surrounds us. We resolved to be catalysts for change, to motivate preachers to catch the sense of urgency and to seek to co-operate with Anglican (Quaker, URC, Baptist and agnostic) friends for a better world and your kingdom.
The cutting below was dated 9th August. Two months have gone by; were we too rash to fix 2030 for our net zero target? It was a bold gesture but there’s less than nine years to go.
In 2030 I shall be 95, God willing. Shall I live to see a new day dawning, the New Heaven and the New Earth your Holy Word promises us? My burning hope is that as a human race we will co-operate globally, change our economy and create the conditions in which planet Earth can regenerate. Meanwhile, we have to feed the poor, house the migrants, vaccinate the millions in Africa and Asia, find a solution to the plastic mountain and persuade the super-rich to pay their taxes. Lord have mercy.
Father of all,
How we love our cars! We will say that they are just useful aids to our busy lives. We have chosen to live far too far from the shops and from our churches. Are we not ashamed when we pour all of that fossil fuel into our petrol tanks? Are we too proud to accept a lift? We confess that the cars are symbols of our success and we love them, Lord. We could take the bus to the supermarket and take a taxi home with our heavy bags. In the lockdown, we had food delivered.
The other day, standing at a level crossing, we saw a freight train rushing by. Jackie counted: 40 containers from around the world. That’s 40 trucks fewer on our crowded roads. Hallelujah.
Father of all,
Thank you for Insulate Protestors, many older people worried like us for our grandchildren. How clever they are at striking symbolically at the signs of our wealthy creation and the institutions of our wicked growth mentality. Yes, they are over-the-top but most of them have been arguing for thirty years with no results, just empty promises. They are prepared to risk a prison sentence for our sakes. They’ve seen that non-violent, direct action works. They certainly have a point. Our British housing stock is woefully badly insulated. We rely still too much on fossil fuels to heat our homes and our bathwater, and too much of the heat goes through our doors, our roofs and our windows. And we claim to hate waste! Lord hear our prayer and let our cry come unto you.
Dear Lord and father of us all,
Glory to you, Father God, for the rich biodiversity of the beautiful garden in which you have placed our lives. We promise to be good stewards and to care. We heed the warnings. Biodiversity is down 53% of what it was in our childhood. The ecological movement started with the American Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring (1962). Al Gore tells how his mother read this book to him. She saw how we have the power to seriously harm the environment. “The way we thought about nature and the Earth was never the same again.” (Al Gore, An Inconvenient Truth, 2007). When did we last hear a Thrush sing on a sunny evening from the rooftop? Hear our cry for your sweet Earth, loving God, to the honour of your son Jesus in whom we pray.
Dear Father God,
“Countdown to COP26,” says the BBC. We can visualize the tens of thousands of negotiators and their advisers heading for Glasgow, in planes, trains, buses, ferries and private cars and for the mega-rich their private jets. All nations of the earth, signatories of the Rio Accords, united in a common cause. The intentions are admirable. The constraints are as tight as the purse-strings.
Lord, open their eyes to the gravity of the moment, to the threats to our very survival and to the health of Mother Earth. We think of all those whose plight we have evoked: the displaced peoples of the Pacific Islands, the refugees in Syria, Palestine, Libya and Mexico, those threatened by famine in Ethiopia and East Africa, the homeless of Haiti and the firefighters in California and North Spain.
Have mercy, Lord. May COP26 begin to be the answer to their prayers … and ours, in Jesus’s name.
Dear Father of all,
As the delegates to COP26 gather in Glasgow, grant them a sense of the peril the Earth is in. Give them a clear sight of the heavy responsibility that hangs over them all. Bless them with true humility. There’s no room for grandstanding. No one has the right to lord it over others.
We pray fervently for harmony and a united sense of purpose and that blend of hope and realism which can bring results. Bless the poor and needy and keep their plight in the forefront of the deliberations. We look for a hopeful outcome. It is vital that, as the negotiators leave for home, they carry with them a belief in what can and must be achieved. Strengthen their resolve.
Thank you for those who have accompanied me in this month of prayer. Thank you for the blessings it has brought. In Jesus we pray.