As climate disasters strike in Australia and across the world, students and their supporters continue to advocate for a just response to the crisis. These prayers have been prepared by Youth Climate Action Task Group members for use by congregations, other groups and individuals in the leadup to the climate strikes and beyond to the Australian federal election. Feel free to adapt and use them in whole or in part.
David Hay (Berowra Uniting Church, Uniting)
Miriam Pepper (South Sydney Uniting Church, Uniting Eco Group)
Michael Ramaidama (Burwood Uniting Church, Christian Students Uniting)
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 global climate strike and for all who advocate for climate justice
Leader: We pray for the students across the world who are striking to demand that world leaders fight for people not profit and protect the futures of young people, First Nations lands, and the safety of all.
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 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 those running for office and for elected representatives
Leader: As we come up to a federal election we pray for all those running for office. May their hearts be open to listening to the stories of those impacted by climate change; by more regular extreme weather events, by islands sinking beneath the rising waters of the pacific and, the emerging generation who will live with the consequences of today’s actions, or inaction, long after current decision makers have to.
Leader: We pray for those who are elected. May those who made strong promises to act on climate change be emboldened and held accountable. May those who did not make such election promises have their hearts softened, prioritising the common good over short term political gain.
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 met with urgent and committed action.
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.