Praying for our World

God's world.

God’s world held in praying hands.

“Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God!”
- Bob Pierce, founder of World Vision.

Prayers is an essential part of following Jesus. These links and resources are designed to assist and encourage you to pray for issues of justice and for our earth, both privately and as we worship together. Ideally, when you are leading prayers (intercessions) in church, it would be good to include two or three specific prayers on these issues.

Why pray for justice and the earth?

Because it’s part of our job as disciples of Christ. The world-wide Anglican Church – of which our parish is part – has a list of “Five Marks of Mission”. It’s designed to guide what Anglican Christians do and say as we seek to be God’s people in the world. Two of the five marks focus on social justice and the environment:

  • To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation.
  • To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.

Through prayer, we can all play a part in the mission of our church – God’s mission in the world!

How to pray for justice and the earth?

Be informed.

Prayer is part of our way of demonstrating our care for and involvement in the world. So if we don’t know what’s happening in the world, it’s harder to pray with integrity and passion. Being informed is especially important when we’re leading other people in prayer during worship. Instead of just saying “We pray for persecuted Christians”, for example, we can be specific and mention actual places and current situations. When we pray in an informed way, we are also more likely to inspire other people’s prayers. So:

  • Read the newspaper or listen to the news.
  • Be alert to what’s happening locally (in the Hunter and Port Stephens) as well as globally – through the local newspaper, community newsletters, social media.
  • Visit the websites or read the newsletters of organisations that work for environmental or social justice to see what issues are important to them (see below for some suggestions).
  • Keep a notebook and write down things that need prayer when you come across them.

When leading prayer in church, check to see if there are any relevant “Days” and “Weeks” that promote awareness of themes related to justice or the environment – such as NAIDOC Week, Refugee Week or World Environment Day. The UN has a list of international obsevances, while Do Something’s National Calendar includes special days and weeks in Australia, including charity awareness campaigns.

Be humble.

Prayer is a way of saying that we want to be part of the solution. But if we’re honest, we know that we are often part of the problem. So as we bring our concerns before God, we might want to reflect on whether the choices we make in our lives have played a part in this situation: sadly, greenhouse gas emissions from Australia (cars, mining, heavy industry, etc) are contributing to the shrinking rainforest in Brazil. This point is not to get stuck in guilt or blame, but to acknowledge before God our part in what’s wrong with the world – and to ask for God’s help in finding ways to change.

Being humble also means that we don’t have to know the answer – we can simply ask God to intervene with wisdom and love. And remember that praying is not preaching! When leading others in prayer, recognise that not everyone will think the same about a particular issue as you, or be as passionate. Finally, humility is also closely linked to being thankful for the blessings of peace, freedom and prosperity that so many of us enjoy.

What to pray about?

Where to begin? Here’s a brainstormed list of environmental and social justice issues:

Indigenous reconciliation
Refugees and asylum seekers
The gap between rich and poor
Freedom of religion without persecution
Justice for victims of crime
Child labour
The Middle East
Violence against women
Affordable housing
Communities in poor countries without toilets or clean water
Our neighbours – East Timor and Papua New Guinea
Accountability for the world’s biggest corporations
Access to mental health care
The arms trade
Just government
Fair trade
The Great Barrier Reef
Our local koala population
Sustainable development in Port Stephens
Roads and public transport
The impact of coal mining
Climate change
Sustainable fishing
GM crops
Rising sea levels
Endangered species and biodiversity
Fracking
Sustainable farming

Some prayer resources to use or adapt:

The Anglican Church of Australia has a wide range of prayers and other worship resources on many topics, including the environment, climate change, sustainability and violence against women. The green Anglican Prayerbook also has many appropriate prayers.

The Church of England (UK) has topical prayers on social issues, including some on specific conflicts going on around the world. They also have some prayers for peace.

The Episcopal Ecological Network (USA) has a number of prayers honouring God in creation.

Faith and Worship has collections of Christian prayers from many different sources, on peace, on creation and on living in our beautiful, suffering world.

Some organisations that work for social or environmental justice:

The Anglican Board of Mission

The Samaritans

ANTaR (Indigenous reconciliation)

TEAR Australia

Act for Peace

A Rocha (Christian environmental agency)

World Wildlife Fund

Please note that links from this page to other websites does not imply the endorsement of their content – they’re just provided as a guide.

To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
To teach, baptise and nurture new believers
To respond to human need by loving service
To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation
To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth – See more at: http://www.anglicancommunion.org/ministry/mission/fivemarks.cfm#sthash.M9fLTphk.dpuf

To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
To teach, baptise and nurture new believers
To respond to human need by loving service
To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation
To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth – See more at: http://www.anglicancommunion.org/ministry/mission/fivemarks.cfm#sthash.M9fLTphk.dpuf

To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
To teach, baptise and nurture new believers
To respond to human need by loving service
To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation
To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth – See more at: http://www.anglicancommunion.org/ministry/mission/fivemarks.cfm#sthash.M9fLTphk.dpuf

To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
To teach, baptise and nurture new believers
To respond to human need by loving service
To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation
To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth – See more at: http://www.anglicancommunion.org/ministry/mission/fivemarks.cfm#sthash.M9fLTphk.dpuf

To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
To teach, baptise and nurture new believers
To respond to human need by loving service
To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation
To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth – See more at: http://www.anglicancommunion.org/ministry/mission/fivemarks.cfm#sthash.M9fLTphk.dpuf

To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
To teach, baptise and nurture new believers
To respond to human need by loving service
To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation
To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth – See more at: http://www.anglicancommunion.org/ministry/mission/fivemarks.cfm#sthash.M9fLTphk.dpuf

To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
To teach, baptise and nurture new believers
To respond to human need by loving service
To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation
To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth – See more at: http://www.anglicancommunion.org/ministry/mission/fivemarks.cfm#sthash.M9fLTphk.dpuf

To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
To teach, baptise and nurture new believers
To respond to human need by loving service
To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation
To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth – See more at: http://www.anglicancommunion.org/ministry/mission/fivemarks.cfm#sthash.M9fLTphk.dpuf

To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
To teach, baptise and nurture new believers
To respond to human need by loving service
To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation
To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth – See more at: http://www.anglicancommunion.org/ministry/mission/fivemarks.cfm#sthash.M9fLTphk.dpuf

To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
To teach, baptise and nurture new believers
To respond to human need by loving service
To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation
To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth – See more at: http://www.anglicancommunion.org/ministry/mission/fivemarks.cfm#sthash.M9fLTphk.dpuf

To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
To teach, baptise and nurture new believers
To respond to human need by loving service
To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation
To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth – See more at: http://www.anglicancommunion.org/ministry/mission/fivemarks.cfm#sthash.M9fLTphk.dpuf

To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
To teach, baptise and nurture new believers
To respond to human need by loving service
To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation
To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth – See more at: http://www.anglicancommunion.org/ministry/mission/fivemarks.cfm#sthash.M9fLTphk.dpuf

To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
To teach, baptise and nurture new believers
To respond to human need by loving service
To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation
To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth – See more at: http://www.anglicancommunion.org/ministry/mission/fivemarks.cfm#sthash.M9fLTphk.dpuf

To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
To teach, baptise and nurture new believers
To respond to human need by loving service
To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation
To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth – See more at: http://www.anglicancommunion.org/ministry/mission/fivemarks.cfm#sthash.M9fLTphk.dpuf
To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
To teach, baptise and nurture new believers
To respond to human need by loving service
To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation
To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth – See more at: http://www.anglicancommunion.org/ministry/mission/fivemarks.cfm#sthash.M9fLTphk.dpuf
To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
To teach, baptise and nurture new believers
To respond to human need by loving service
To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation
To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth – See more at: http://www.anglicancommunion.org/ministry/mission/fivemarks.cfm#sthash.M9fLTphk.dpuf
To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
To teach, baptise and nurture new believers
To respond to human need by loving service
To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation
To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth – See more at: http://www.anglicancommunion.org/ministry/mission/fivemarks.cfm#sthash.M9fLTphk.dpuf
To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
To teach, baptise and nurture new believers
To respond to human need by loving service
To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation
To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth – See more at: http://www.anglicancommunion.org/ministry/mission/fivemarks.cfm#sthash.M9fLTphk.dpuf