Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ‘Aina ikaPono (Hawaiian)
The Life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness.*
You have many names. On this earth there are sacred spaces, defiled and pristine, known and unknown; common places and rare wild places, side streets, landfills, broken down neighborhoods and little streams forgotten as they are covered over with asphalt. This is our home. All is holy ground.
We call to you Maker of Dry Land and Bringer of Great Waters, waters that flow beneath and around all lands. We offer this prayer like water that we might pour from a bowl onto the earth or into a running stream or offer in a glass to another.
Bless us. Bless us we ask. Bless us again. Turn us toward the good path of respect and generosity.
May we rise as stewards like the Gwich’in people who live upon the tundra that is shared by the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, USA, a land they call Iizhik Gwats’an Gwandall Goodlit, or “the sacred place where life begins.” The place known as “area 1002” land leases while suspended in 2021 this area remains under threat of pipelines, oil rigs and roads that could mark the earth for decades, disrupt caribou calving and their great migration, changing a peoples way of life forever. Help us to see these vital connections and our role in this beautiful miraculous web, this astounding creation, your unfolding joyous work.
Creator God, open our eyes to what you want us to be as custodians of your world.
We pray with the peoples of the Pacific archipelago of Kiribati as Covid has reached their communities — even with all precautions transmission is high. Hasten the sharing of vaccinations for all, strengthen health care workers and support those who are ill. We long for an end to this pandemic.
Healing God: may we do your will.
Our lives are organized in a complex world of streets, roads, lanes, trails, paths, highways and parking lots. We enthusiastically visit forests, beaches and mountains. What marvels to be at a mountain in just a few hours like we see in a TV advertisement for an automobile. Help us, O Lord to pause at all this grabbing and taking, this race to access what ever we want while rarely considering the far reaching impact of white and western privilege on people around the world and the environment.
God of all: may we learn to use lightly and respect the earth, all its resources and people as gifts from you for all on earth.
We are outraged at yet again a massive oil spill, the second since April 2020, has breached the banks of the Coca river in Ecuador. Amplify the 27,000 Kichwa voices as they speak for their lands and waters, fish, birds and all animals. May their words be heard by the judges, heard by President Lasso’s government while the land grab, plundering and degradation goes on unabated by oil mongers and profiteers. Lord bring your mercy to this fragile world known as the headwaters of the Amazon, bring world attention and right action for the indigenous peoples. Nemonte Nenquimo, the elected leader of the Waorani people, also in Ecuador, reminds the world that “the earth does not need us to fix her, but to respect her.”
O Great Mystery, you have been speaking into our ears for thousands of years. Your son came to “tend” “feed” “protect” and “comfort.” Help us to hear your voice in all directions, in twilight and at daybreak. We ask you in this time of great tumult in the Amazon to protect the mountainous forests and those specifically south of the mighty Napo River (in Waorani, Rio Totano or Capybara River) and north of the snaking Curaray (in Waorani, Ewengono or Scarlet Macaw River).**
All rivers and resources are sacred. May it be so.
We are connected in astounding ways with emergency services, internet communications, instant news around the world and the powers of a robust electrical grid. Still, do we need every new road cut through forest and at what cost? The Mount St. Helens, (USA) eruption in 1980 produced a pumice plain that is being studied as life in this fresh world unfolds. Instil in us a sense of stewardship that can pause and listen before the next road is built or tree dropped.
So too for the peoples of the Kingdom of Tonga. Bring your mercy and strengthen the peoples and leaders of this nation as they enter the long-term sorting through of this national catastrophe by volcano and tsunami.
Lord have mercy.
They are exhausted and frustrated, the unfolding needs are complex and great. There is fear that Covid will enter the archipelago that has for the most part avoided the pandemic. Added to this calamity the climate modeling for Tongatapu, the capital of Tonga shows sea level rise that would cause permanent loss of 25% of buildings, 11% of roads, 16% of water, and 29% of power infrastructure. These realities are overwhelming. You walk beside us whispering and guiding, waking us, perhaps warning us.
We pray softly and loudly, openly and in the quiet, shuttered dark, in both misery and with fierce courage. Hear our prayers.
The decades of war and oppression in Afghanistan, the disruption of the economy and degradation of a fragile dry mountain land has set the stage for 3.2 million children to become acutely malnourished. UNICEF reports this week that children under the age of 5 are expected to suffer the most from severe acute malnutrition in the coming year, with 1 million of them at risk of death unless urgent action is taken.
Lord in your compassion: hear and answer our prayers
The African philosophy ubuntu teaches that we are human only through the humanity of others.
Strengthen our steps and make our footing certain as we walk together upon your sacred land and live at the edge of your sacred waters.
*The state motto of Hawaii, USA.
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