Churches Together in Britain and Ireland has put together a programme of resources on the theme of “Creation in Crisis – a time for prayer and action.” In preparation for the UN Climate Change Summit which will take place in Copenhagen in December 2009, the resources include material to enable churches, groups and individuals to focus on issues relating to the decisions which will need to be taken in Copenhagen. These materials include sermons and prayers and are available as free downloads in Word or PDF.
The Summit in Copenhagen is being described by some as the “last chance for
the planet”. In the face of mounting evidence that we are heading for
runaway climate change and massive losses in biodiversity, there is the need
for an international treaty that would bind governments to drastic and
immediate cuts in carbon emissions, but this would require courageous and
far-sighted political leadership to transform our economy and many aspects
of our culture.
More than ever, therefore, Christians are called to demonstrate their
commitment to care for creation, by living simply and sustainably
themselves, and by pressing politicians to take the measures necessary at
national and international level.
More prayers for Copenhagen
Prayer for the Copenhagen Summit by Sr. Mary Ann Garisto, SC
Loving, Almighty God,
our world waits in longing for your light.
In the midst of darkness, reveal your light,
and send your spirit of wisdom, courage, justice and compassion
to our world leaders as they prepare for the summit in Copenhagen.
We pray that all leaders will rise to the challenge facing them.
May they agree to a just treaty that will bind governments
to drastically cut carbon emissions.
We pray that this document will protect all life, especially those people in developing countries who are most at risk to the effects of global climate change.
Bestow on us a sense of responsibility to bring about transforming changes in our lifestyles in order to preserve and maintain your precious gift—the earth.
We pray that in this time of darkness we look toward the coming of your light. May we be signs of hope in our world.
Common Prayer for Copenhagen/A Prayer for the Earth by Rev. Brian McLaren
This prayer is available in several forms: longer; shorter (see below); longer liturgical; and shorter liturgical; and even a video version.
A Prayer for the Earth (Shorter form)
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 December 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.
A Prayer for Copenhagen, Creation and Climate Justice from the Micah Challenge
Creator God, We thank you for the beauty of your Creation, and for giving us the privilege of caring for it. We confess that we have not cared for the earth with the self-sacrificing and nurturing love that you require of us. We mourn the broken relationships in creation. We repent for our part in causing the current environmental crisis that has led to climate change.
Faithful God, sustainer of all – we pray with hope, because you are already at work through Christ to reconcile all of creation to Yourself and to renew all things.
Loving God, help us to turn our lives around to be people of restoration. Help us build just relationships among human beings and with the rest of creation. Help us to live sustainably, rejecting consumerism and the exploitation of creation.
God of justice, give us courage and persistence to work for justice for those most affected by environmental degradation and climate change.
God of mercy, hear the cry of the poor who are already suffering and will continue to suffer water and food shortages and who will be displaced by climate change.
God of all wisdom, give wisdom to the leaders of all the world’s nations who will meet in Copenhagen in December to work together for a global agreement to tackle climate change. Give them the determination to find a just solution that protects the people who are most vulnerable in our world, and protects creation.
Creator God, give us your Spirit to work together to restore your creation and to hand on a safe environment and climate to our children and theirs. Let our care for creation be our act of worship and obedience to you. Your kingdom come, and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.