September 16, 2020 | by Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner | NCNW National Chaplain and President of Skinner Leadership Institute
O Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your mighty power and outstretched arm. You created a world of exquisite, indescribable beauty, and fashioned us as humans in your image and likeness. The image of God consists of knowledge, reason, and righteousness, and expresses itself in creative human stewardship and dominion over the earth. Even more, you commanded us to care for the wondrous world you magnificently created. You blessed the first humans and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it.” You charged them, and now us, to care for it in ways that advance your heavenly kingdom on the earth so that all living things survive and thrive.
Forgive us today, O God, for squandering the accountability and moral authority you extended to us by polluting your earth to such a hazardous level that all human, plant, and animal life are now imperiled. Forgive us for putting human profit above climate care and proper stewardship of the earth by making an idol of fossil fuel that emits greenhouse gases unsafely warming the earth. Help us to understand that climate change's damaging social, economic, public health, and other adverse impacts on underprivileged populations. Wake us up, O Lord, to see that the fires now setting California, Oregon, Washington states ablaze, burning 4 million acres, killing 34 persons, and reducing thousands of homes to embers are a sign of a dangerously warming earth.
We pray right now for leaders of the western states uniting and seeking emergency solutions to the historic fires. We pray for every person who lost their home, those mourning loss of life, and for those who were homeless before the fires now made even more destitute. Help us, Lord to use the wisdom you generously shower on us to listen to the scientists and urgently seek new, responsible alternatives for fueling human life and industry. Help us each as to do our part to care for the earth. In your mighty and precious name, we pray. Lord God, AMEN!