Prayers in the leadup to the United Nations Climate Change Conference
The United Nations Climate Change Conference will be held in Glasgow from 31 October to 12,November. In the weeks beforehand, people across the world continue to advocate for stronger action to limit global warming and for just solutions to the climate crisis. Students will strike from school on 15 October, and faith communities across the world join together for a global day of action on 17-18 October. These prayers have been prepared by Youth Climate Action Task Group members for use by congregations, other groups and individuals in the leadup to and during the conference. Feel free to adapt and use them in whole or in part.
A prayer for those on the frontlines of climate change
Leader: We pray for those who are most impacted by the changing climate. We remember First Nations peoples, who particularly suffer from resource extraction and climate change. We hold before you the people of the Pacific, whose identities are threatened and livelihoods destroyed. We remember the victims of droughts and floods, fires and storms and temperature extremes across the world.
Response: God of love,
Heal the broken-hearted and bring hope for a sustainable future.
Remind them that you are near and comfort them with your presence.
Give them strength to rebuild and restore what has been broken,
And bless those who provide aid to their rescue.
A prayer for the climate strike, Faiths 4 Climate Justice Global Day of Action, and all who advocate for climate justice
Leader: We pray for the School Strike 4 Climate movement, who are striking from school on October 15 to demand that our politicians take their future seriously and treat climate change as what it is: a crisis.
Response: Merciful God,
Worry and anxiety fill the hearts of your children as they contemplate their futures.
Hear their prayers and give ear to our cries.
Move in the hearts of our politicians –
May they repent of their ways, have mercy for the suffering, and discern what is just.
Leader: We pray for the multi-religious Faiths for Climate Justice Global Day of Action, as people of faith from all over the world join together on October 17-18 to send a clear message to governments and major financial institutions: destroying the planet is against our religions.
Response: God of our faith,
You have called us to love you with our heart, soul and mind and to love our neighbour as ourselves.
Fill your people with sacrificial and selfless love that we may love everyone as you do.
Grant your blessing upon the unity of faiths.
Strengthen us as we stand together and witness to your gospel in our troubled world.
Leader: We pray for all others who advocate for climate justice, those who publicly call for change, the organisations and governments who publicly admit their part and genuinely commit to change. We pray for individuals who work on policy that we will never know about, and the many who have conversations around the dinner table, changing heart and mind, one person at a time.
Response: God of courage,
Again and again we hear the stories of old, giving your prophets the courage to speak out for justice:
Moses, Ezekiel, the Syrophoenician woman, and the woman at the well.
May your voice be heard through modern day prophets, in expected and unexpected places,
And may even the smallest voice help bring about your will and purpose for Creation.
A prayer for the United Nations Climate Change Conference (Glasgow, Oct 31 – Nov 12)
Leader: We pray for all participants at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow – governments, negotiators, civil society organisations, businesses, scientists, communities – as they work together to strengthen countries’ commitments to limit global warming and to adapt to the impacts of a changing climate.
Response: God of justice,
Renew those discouraged and desperate from long years of advocacy.
Move those who have blocked action to limit temperature rise to a different imagination.
Grow in those alienated from earth a vocation to care for her and her creatures.
Inspire in all compassion and solidarity across cultures and generations.
A prayer for all of us in our striving to care for each other and the earth
Leader: God of hope, at times the breadth of climate justice seems too great.
Response: Remind us that you are greater, that you are on the side of the marginalised.
Leader: At times the nature of climate justice seems too complex.
Response: Remind us that your love encompasses all Creation, that there is nothing outside love’s scope.
Leader: At times the path of climate justice seems too long.
Response: Remind us that you walk with all who call for climate justice, including us.
Sustain us, bolster our courage, give us wisdom,
In our small and large actions, remind us you are with us.
Leader: That the urgency of our warming world may be matched by concrete plans to respond.
That the voices of those most vulnerable to climate impacts may be heeded.
That the opportunities and burdens of climate action and adaptation be fairly shared.
That we will grow together in love.
That all in your good Creation may yet flourish.
We pray in the name of Jesus.
David Hay (Berowra Uniting Church, Uniting)
Miriam Pepper (South Sydney Uniting Church, Uniting Eco Group)
Michael Ramaidama (Burwood Uniting Church, Christian Students Uniting)