Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13.4-8
As many of us have just celebrated St Valentine’s Day, let us not only remember our love for one another but also our love for God, and the debt which we owe him for the creation of our earth and selves. In Genesis 1:31 it is written – God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. Lord, give us the will to mold this world ever closer to your heart’s desire and the patience to work with what we have, where we are. Many of us work hard to inspire and maintain our planet, to conserve it and enjoy the fruits it holds, so we pray that those working against it and causing its destruction from global warming are halted in their ignorance of its fragility.
We are saddened to hear that over 400 pilot whales have died after being beached on Farewell Spit, New Zealand, but we thank you, Lord, for the people of Project Jonah and the hundreds of volunteers singing to, pouring water on, and guiding hundreds more of these beautiful creatures back out to sea.
Creator God, let Your glory touch us in the light we see, the fruitfulness of the earth, and the joy of its creatures. Inspire and breathe love and life into our lives.
We pray for the people of Bali, Indonesia, after landslides killed 12 people and destroyed villages. We pray for the families of those who died in an avalanche at a Tignes ski resort in France. We pray for the people of the Philippines, where an earthquake has claimed the lives of eight people, injured 120 more, and where nearly 100 aftershocks have been felt. We pray for the people of Taipei, Taiwan, where 150 people died in five days during a crippling cold spell. We pray for those affected by bushfires spreading across New South Wales, Australia. We pray for the people of Oroville, California, US, who have been forced to evacuate their homes in the wake of continued structural damage to the Oroville dam. We pray for the people in the Northeastern US, where seven blizzards and snow storms have dumped up to seventy inches of snow in the last nine days and where widespread power outages are occurring regularly. Lord, although we are in awe of the beauty of this earth, we are so often shocked and disillusioned by the magnitude and frequency of natural disasters. Help us, Lord, as we seek Your comfort and understanding during these events.
Creator God, thank You for the universe, our great home, for its vastness and riches beyond our knowledge. Deliver to us your true plan.
We pray for the eight who died in a fierce battle in Kashmir, India, and for the dozens of fighters killed in inter-factional fighting in northern Syria. We beg of You, Lord, to hold back man’s desire for control over Your lands.
Creator God, humble us and embrace us with Your tenderness.
Let us pray for the people of Lahore, Pakistan, where 13 people were killed and dozens more injured by a suicide bomber, for the two radio journalists shot dead during a live broadcast in the Dominican Republic, and for the thirty-two lives lost and thirteen people injured when their tour bus overturned near Taipei, Taiwan. Lord, give strength and comfort to grieving families and friends.
Creator God, console and comfort us when tragedy occurs.
Lord, as we humans appear to become ever more polarised between the rich and powerful and the poor and powerless, we ask You to enlighten and inspire the strong to strengthen the weak. Help seal divisions between those who consume too much and those who have nothing to consume. Help those with plenty be fuelled with a desire to share with those who have little. Assist us in healing our flawed society so that we may cherish each other and delight in living together in peace and harmony.