The Common Good

A Prayer for the Earth

Tim Costello of World Vision Australia and I have been working behind the scenes to compose a prayer that could be used by individuals and groups leading up to the Copenhagen gathering on climate change Dec. 6. Click here to read alternate versions of this prayer.

Most gracious God, creator of all good things, we thank you for planet Earth and all creatures that share it.

Have mercy on us, Lord. Through ignorance and carelessness we have poisoned clean air and pure water. For monetary gain we have reduced verdant forests to barren wastes. In our craving for more we have plundered your beloved creation and driven many of our fellow creatures to extinction. Only recently have we begun to realize the dangerous future into which our current patterns of consumption and waste are driving us, especially in relation to Earth's climate. Only recently have we begun to see our need to find a wiser and better way of life in the future, before it is too late and our choices are limited by the consequences of inaction.

We who join in prayer today believe the time has come, Lord. Please guide us now, our God, at this critical moment in history, to better fulfill our role as stewards of this fragile planet. Guide the leaders of nations who (will) gather in Copenhagen (on Dec. 6). Give them courage to set noble goals that reach beyond short-range political expediency, short-term economic profit, and short-sighted self-interest. Impress upon their conscience our sacred duty to bequeath to our children and grandchildren a healthy and thriving environment rather than a world in climate crisis.

If our leaders fail, Lord, if they fail to take the necessary action, they will violate both our trust and your calling to use their power for the common good. If they fail, every person will be affected, including generations not yet born. Rouse us all to action, for we are all woven together in the fabric of creation.

This is the moment, God, when a great turning of hearts must begin. So through this prayer, we of many traditions who follow Christ -- joined by friends and neighbors of many faiths -- unite our hearts in a cry for change. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray in the name of Christ, through whom you have given yourself to the whole world in incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection. Amen.

Brian McLarenBrian McLaren (brianmclaren.net) is a speaker and author, most recently of Everything Must Change and Finding Our Way Again.

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