by Marleigh Powell
Established in 1989 by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation on September 1st is an encouragement to be still in God’s presence and creation. It is a day to take time to thank God for and pray on behalf of the Earth. In 2015, Pope Francis declared that the Roman Catholic church would also recognize this day as the beginning of the Season of Creation. Churches of many denominations now incorporate the Season of Creation into their calendar every autumn to focus on our responsibility to care for creation. This year, as the world experiences increasing climate-related weather extremes and suffering, take this opportunity to pray for all of creation as we work together to combat global climate change.
How to Respond Today and This Month
Genesis 1:1-31 is a beautiful passage that displays the care that God took in creating the Earth and all that is in it just by speaking it into existence. He continually calls it good and gives us dominion over it. This should call us to take care of what God has graciously gifted us. Psalm 33:6-9 similarly praises God for commanding the Earth into existence.
Psalm 65:9-13 touches on how God’s creation graciously satisfies our earthly needs by providing nutrition and notes how even the meadows and valleys praise Him. This passage reminds us that we are also made with the same artistry and creativity by God, and should also be pouring out praises to our creator.
On behalf of the Earth and its inhabitants, pray that we would see God’s power and Kingdom values reflected in our own actions and that we would take time to be still and enjoy creation. Pray that we would take action to protect the environment and reverse the damage being done by our exploitation of the Earth. Ask that Christ would be glorified through this healing of nature and his children would be united in this care of creation.
For prayer resources, go to our Pray page, and follow Climate Stewards on social media. We will highlight prayer requests from our partners every week during the Season of Creation.
As a Group
Consider sharing a plant-based meal of locally-grown produce among friends or family and going over scripture and praying together (see above). Additionally, your group could gather outside for a hike, watch the sunset or admire the stars, and take time to appreciate God’s handiwork in creation. Pray in encouragement with one another on behalf of creation and for its protection. This could also be a time to implement a challenge to begin reducing your carbon footprint, such as beginning to bike rather than drive or incorporating more plant-based meals.
After your time in the word, prayer, and fellowship, continue your worship by responding as a church community. Use 360carbon, our free carbon tool for churches, to see exactly where carbon emissions are highest, and get ideas on how to reduce them. You may compensate for carbon that you are not able to reduce by supporting community carbon projects run by Climate Stewards USA.
Check out the many resources available on the Season of Creation website.
Let’s continue to work to protect God’s beautiful creation!