*The framework for this week’s prayer is drawn from “The Four Elements and the Creation of Man,” written by Vladimir Moss, an Orthodox Christian theologian and historian. https://www.orthodoxchristianbooks.com/articles/453/-four-elements-creation-man/
“‘God is a consuming fire,’ says the apostle (Hebrews 12.29). And of the created angels who are filled with the Spirit of God it is said that they are ‘a flaming fire’ (Psalm 103.5). St. John the Baptist, the greatest born of woman, was, in the Lord’s own words, ‘a burning and a shining light’ (John 5.38). These are not just pretty metaphors; they indicate that the angels, and angelic men, are filled with the fire of God’s grace, which warms and enlightens, but also judges and destroys. At the Second Coming the Lord will come in the manifest fire of His Divinity, so that ‘the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat, both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up’ (II Peter 3.10). But this judgement by fire, though destructive, will have an ultimately creative purpose: ‘a new heaven and a new earth in which righteousness dwells’ (II Peter 3.13). Then those in whom there is the fire of Divinity will ‘shine forth like the sun’ (Matthew 13:43).” The Four Elements & The Creation of Man
Lord, hear our prayers, as wildfires and heat rage across the globe: in Iraq it is 120 degrees Fahrenheit, Texas and Phoenix (USA) are over 100 degrees, and in the Iberian Peninsula temperatures are over 111 degrees. Due to the heightened risk of wildfires in southern Portugal over 1,400 people have been evacuated. In Maui, Hawaii (USA) to date at least 53 are reported dead and over 1700 buildings were destroyed as blazes swept through the area.
“The Latin-derived English word ‘humus’ means ‘earth’; and ‘humility’ is therefore the appropriate spiritual state of the earth-born. But the earth is also the source of all our food – under this aspect it is beneficent ‘Mother Earth.’” The Four Elements & The Creation of Man
Lord, hear our prayers. Graciously protect those whose courageously work to protect precious natural resources. This week, leaders from Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela—the eight countries who make up the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO) —met in Brazil to discuss how to protect the Amazon Rainforest. We pray that their actions will guard Amazon cities, knowledge and entrepreneurship in the Amazon, monitoring and cooperation in water resources management, climate change, protection of forests, Amazon coastal zones, vulnerable ecosystems and biodiversity, and a sustainable infrastructure.
“But when God’s justice was satisfied, God sent light through the water in the rainbow to symbolize His reconciliation with man.” The Four Elements & The Creation of Man, by V. Moss
Gracious God, may your love be a healing arc for everything plagued with the damages from typhoons, tropical storms, and flooding. Bring comfort where there is loss of life and home and livelihood. On August 10, tropical storm Khanun caused floods and evacuations of more than 14,000 people in South Korea. Southern Japan was also hit hard. North Korea is preparing flood mitigation procedures in hope of saving crops. This area is still recovering from last month’s monsoons.
“When God created man, He infused into his body an airy substance, the soul; for, as we read, ‘God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul,’ (Genesis 2:7).” The Four Elements & The Creation of Man, by V. Moss
Holy Spirit, bless the air we breathe. We celebrate the clean air for which Switzerland and Iceland can boast. We pray for Saudi Arabia and India and many, many other countries where pollution is severely degrading air quality.
As we pray to you, we recognize the four elements (fire, earth, water, air) ever so present in everything around us. God, forgive us for the sin of falling short in our care for creation. May we carry your Light with us so that all may find their way. Teach humanity to be humble and kind. To care. To treat all lives well because all lives matter.
Blessings of gratitude.