Prayer for the Tortured Earth

KaterinaBy Katerina Friesen

Katerina wrote this for a chapel service on Sept 1, 2015 at AMBS on “Crying out with Creation.” Pope Francis declared Sept. 1 as the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, as the Orthodox Church has done since 1989.

O Lord of mercy,
We pray for Your tortured Earth.
For forests scorched by drought-fueled wildfires out west.
For island nations drowning in rising ocean waters:
Fiji, Palau, Cape Verde, Kiribati, Micronesia.
For the sinking boats of refugees,
fleeing resource wars and famine.

We cry out with the tortured Earth:
Lord, have mercy!

For the electrocution of the night sky
as light pollution creates a constant day,
For children choked by smog in places like
Delhi, Beijing, and Richmond, California.
For the 1 in 6 species facing extinction today:
the Golden-shouldered parrot, Staghorn coral, the Tuatara.

We cry out with the tortured Earth,
Lord, have mercy!

For peoples whose waters and lands
have been injected with poison from mining and fracking:
the people of Papua, the Igorot, the Innu, the people of Appalachia.
For the violation of the precious soil
until it can produce no more.
For the enslavement of rivers and displacement of people for mega-dam power projects: the Marañón of Peru, the Three Gorges in China, the Jalaur River in the Philippines.

We cry out with the tortured Earth,
Lord, have mercy!

For the Elkhart River watershed and the EPA Superfund sites
of uncontrollable toxic waste: Himco Dump, Conrail Railroad, and the Lusher contaminated groundwater plume within miles of here.
For the sleep-deprived bodies of factory workers, our neighbors
working multiple jobs to survive.
For the missing fathers and mothers of Elkhart,
Your created ones, incarcerated in jails and prisons
without even a patch of direct sunlight.

We cry out with the tortured Earth,
Lord, have mercy!

O Dios, Madre de los desaparecidos,
O God, Mother of the disappeared:
Come quickly to our aid!
Come, help us – our governments are failing.
Technology won’t save us.
Many are in denial or despair.
There are losses beyond what we can bear.
We call on you in lament:
You are our only hope for salvation.

Come, Lord Jesus Christ – firstborn of the New Creation!

You who know torture and death, come.
Teach us how to do to those downstream
as we would have those upstream do unto us.
Come, Water of Life, flood of rebirth,
Come Holy fire of the Spirit, purifying our sin and guilt,
Commission us, we pray,
to be missionaries of your overpowering love for the world.
Bind the powers of death!
Release the captives!
And loose the Peace of Christ over all creation,
from the foundations of the deep to Your heavens above.

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