Midday Prayers during COP26


We come with faith: 

and we seek understanding.

We come with doubts: 

and we seek understanding.

We come with griefs: 

and we seek understanding.


Equip us and strengthen us 

To lean into the flourishing of life on earth. 

Knowing we are enmeshed in the harming of your creation, 

Redeem our failures and bind up the wounds of past mistakes.


Rework our anger as energy for repair of the world 

Refashion our guilt as active love. 

And for all this, nature is never spent; 

There lives the dearest freshness deep down things; *

Wherever we will tread is crammed with heaven 

And every common bush afire with God.**

(with acknowledgements to *Gerard Manley Hopkins,** Elizabeth Barret Browning;https://ourcommonprayer.org/2021/05/06/climate-emergency/)

Reading: Therefore the LORD God sent them out of the Garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which they were taken. After sending them out, the LORD God stationed mighty cherubim to the east of the Garden of Eden. And the Lord God placed a sword of flame that turned back and forth to protect the way to the tree of life. Genesis 3: 23-24

On this the second full day of discussions and decision-making at COP26, let us pray:- 

We pray for all the participants,

the decision-makers and the protestors,

the bureaucrats and the prayerful.

May they recognise and understand 

the interconnectedness of creation, 

the fine balance of ecosystems,

the necessity of biodiversity 

and our dependence on safe carbon levels.

We pray for scientists and environmentalists

whose skills sustain and protect 

the long-term well being 

of our environment, our lives, our world.

Loving and patient God,

may your will be done.

All: Amen.

Painted lady and bumble bee

damsel and  dragon fly: 

their lives praise you, holy God.

Wood mouse and pipistrelle bat,

urban fox and badger:

their lives praise you, holy God.

Buttercup and toadflax, 

cat’s ear and pimpernel:

their lives praise you, holy God.

Girdled snail and leopard slug, 

shield beetle and earwig:

their lives praise you, holy God.

Copper beech and sessile oak, 

black poplar and mountain ash: 

their lives praise you, holy God.

Yaffle and mistle thrush,

jackdaw and sparrow:

their lives praise you, holy God.

But we humans – blinkered and wasteful, 

short-sighted and careless –

do our lives praise you, holy God?

Renew us, your people;

pardon our failings

and bless our strivings 

that our lives may praise you.


Author: Judith Russenberger

Environmentalist and theologian, with husband and three grown up children plus one cat, living in London SW14. I enjoy running and drinking coffee - ideally with a friend or a book.

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