All of creation is itself groaning (Romans 8:22), and that groaning can be heard if we have the ears to hear it. From songbird extinctions to topsoil loss, from habitat destruction to the increase in natural disasters, creation’s groaning is fever pitch. Are we willing to intercede on creation’s behalf?
Today’s prayer challenge is to pray for creation.
Have you ever done that? Praying for creation is an expression of our responsibility to care for God’s creation as his images. As royal priests within creation, we attend to the hurt and pain of creation, and cry out on its behalf to the creator.
Here’s what I encourage you to do today:
- Go outside. There’s just something about being in creation, praying for creation. Even sitting near a flower pot or standing in a tiny park helps.
- Read a Psalm of Creation, such as Psalm 104 or Psalm 19.
- Begin praising God for features of his creation that you love–name them to him, giving him glory for their wonder and beauty.
- As you praise God for his wonderful creation, begin to name areas of his creation that are hurting or groaning in some way. Depending on your particular knowledge, you may want to pray for the desperate state of our honeybees, the significant increase in natural disasters worldwide causing huge hurt to many of the world’s poorest people, local farmers striving to produce good food in earth-careful ways, or policy makers who affect how we conduct business and care for creation.
- Our role as God’s earth-keepers must include intercession, as we pray on behalf of creation to the God of all creation. Pray today as one human feeling the weight of your responsibility to serve and protect God’s good earth.
- Finish your prayer time by thanking God for the resurrection, recreation hope we have, hope that includes all of creation. Read Romans 8:18-28, taking heart in God’s promise to work out all things for the good of those who love him, and for the good of those he loves.
Praying for creation may seem new to you, but I can’t think of a better way to embrace our role as God’s care-taking stewards than to echo creation’s groans within our own, knowing the Spirit will take all these groans and intercede on behalf of us all.
Prayers on behalf of creation are increasing, and we need to join in. A Rocha Canada, a Christian conservation group, hosted a prayer room on behalf of creation at the 2017 Mission Fest in Vancouver. I encourage you to check it out this update, which includes a wonderful little prayer guide you’ll want to download. And there are more. I’ve been enjoying an amazing prayer guide for God’s creation called Earth Gospel by Sam Hamilton Poole. Poole breaks down this guide into four weeks of daily prayers, leading us toward loving intercession for the world God loves.
So go outside today and pray. Start simple, but start.
And as you do, this is my prayer: We believe in you, Father, Creator of heaven and earth. And today we pray that you would create in us a desire to intercede on behalf of your beautiful yet broken creation. May we hear the groaning, and may we echo that groaning within our own spirit, confident that you hear us and that you respond. Increase our commitment to care and our capacity to love all that you have made. For the earth is yours, and everything in it, the world, and all who love in it–we bless you and thank you for your good gifts, and for the blessing, privilege and responsibility to care for your good earth, as you made us to do. For your glory and earth’s good we pray, amen.