BY LOUISE CONNER, EDITOR – 21 JUL 2022
The Ecological Disciple

Today’s post centers on a prayer from the North American Conference on Christianity and Ecology, one of the earliest United States organizations created to motivate Christians toward ecological action. The prayer begins with praise and thankfulness to God for God’s creation and moves into confession for sins against this gift.
As I pray, I am reminded of the breadth of this creation, the variety it encompasses. When I focus and speak the words from my heart, they stir up a deep gratitude for creation and give me a framework within which to express that response to God.
When I pause amidst the spoken words, letting my mind linger on the words and phrases I am praying, perhaps picturing specifics of the things named, my gratitude and praise deepen as a result, as does the confession that follows.

We pour out our thanks to You, our God,
          for sun and moon and stars,
          for rain and dew and winds,
          for winter cold and summer heat.

We pour forth our praise to You
          for mountains and hills, for springs and valleys,
          for rivers and seas.

We praise You, O Lord,
          for plants growing in earth and water,
          for life inhabiting lakes and seas,
          for life creeping in soils and land,
          for creatures living in wetlands and waters,
          for life flying above earth and sea,
          for beasts dwelling in woods and fields.

How many and wonderful are Your works, our God!
          In wisdom you have made them all!

But we confess, dear Lord,
          as creatures privileged with the care and keeping of Your Creation
          that we have abused your Creation gifts through arrogance, ignorance, and greed.

We confess risking permanent damage to Your handiwork;
We confess impoverishing Creation’s ability to bring You praise.
We confess that Your handiwork displays Your glory, leaving all of us without excuse but to
know You
We confess that Your handiwork provides the context of our living; it is our home,
          it is the realm in which we live the life of Your kingdom:
Your kingdom that is now in our midst and coming yet more
fully.

We confess, Lord, that we often are unaware of how deeply we have hurt Your good earth
          and its marvelous gifts.
We confess that we often are unaware of how our abuse of Creation has also been an abuse of
          ourselves.

O Lord, how long will it take before we awaken to what we have done?
          How many waters must we pollute?
          How many woodlots must we destroy?
          How many forests must we despoil?
          How much soil must we erode and poison, O Lord?
          How much of Earth’s atmosphere must we contaminate?
          How many species must we abuse and extinguish?

          How many people must we degrade and kill with toxic wastes before we learn to love
          and respect your Creation;

before we learn to love and respect our home?

For our wrongs, Lord, we ask forgiveness.

In sorrow for what we have done we offer our repentance.
We pray that our actions toward You and Your Creation are worthy of our repentance;
that we will so act here on earth that heaven will not be a shock to us.

We promise to reverence Your Creation as a gracious gift entrusted to us by You, our God.
We promise anew to be stewards and not pillagers of what You have entrusted to us.

Creator God,
You have given us every reason to learn and promote this wisdom of lives lived in harmony with
Creation.

ay we, your servants, increasingly serve.

May we, your servants, increasingly come to love Your Creation as we increasingly come to love
You,
through Christ Jesus, our Lord.

Amen

from the North American Conference on Christianity and Ecology