The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.
Week One – Lake Chad is shrinking fast
Lake Chad has lost 90% of its water due to climate change (Hammed Shittu). It was the world’s sixth largest lake and bordered Chad, Niger, Nigeria & Cameroon. It provided fresh water to 30 million people.
Ewah Eleri, of the International Centre for Energy, Environment & Development, says Nigeria is facing ‘accelerated environmental degradation’, including desertification, ocean surge, floods and erosion due to deforestation and climate change.
He adds, many villages have been overtaken by dunes as the Sahara advances 3 km per year, and that government and society are failing to rise to the challenge.
- Pray for Nigeria’s government to act wisely and courageously to reduce the environmental impacts of climate change
- Pray for the UN’s Adaptation Fund to provide flexible funding to regions suffering most from the changing climate
- Pray that people around Lake Chad will find alternative sources of fresh water, with help from NGOs and others
- Pray that environmentalists and organisations like ICEED can protect this vital natural resource for future generations
Week Two – dormice decline ‘is slowing down’
Dormice are small and cute. They are also an important part of local biodiversity. In recent years the loss of woodland and hedgerow habitats have led to them becoming extinct over half their range in England. Dormice are also vulnerable to climate change as warmer winters prevent them hibernating properly.
Now conservationists are encouraged the decline is slowing down. Research says numbers fell by 9% between 2002-8, compared with 31% from 1992-2002. It seems conservation efforts such as coppicing hazel woodland and encouraging landowners to be ‘dormouse-friendly’ are paying off.
The People’s Trust for Endangered Species said: “Conservation and monitoring efforts remain a priority if dormice are not to disappear from the British countryside.”
- Give praise for the work of so many volunteers in monitoring, checking and protecting dormice habitats
- Pray that other species at risk from the impact of climate change will not go unnoticed, but receive similar attention and support
- Pray for the work of A Rocha in small reserves around the world – inspiring and training volunteers to improve habitats
Week 3 – Brazil floods displace thousands
Weeks of heavy rain in the usually dry north-east of Brazil have left at least 49 people dead. Tens of thousands are homeless after flooding and mudslides, the worst in 20 years.
In Piaui there is a state of emergency in 19 towns and cities. Brazilian authorities say over 400,000 cannot return home. Many small farmers have lost a whole year’s crops. Bad weather is forecast for another fortnight.
Experts say global warming may be behind the wild climate swings that have made dry areas of the Amazon wet, and wet areas dry.
- Pray for the thousands who have had to leave home, unsure if they can ever return
- Pray for farmers who have lost a year’s crop, that they will be supported in the hungry months ahead
- Pray for wisdom for the government; not just to meet immediate needs, but to make far-reaching decisions in adapting to future climate change
Week 4 – Multiplying mice beat big elephants
Which have the most impact – elephants or mice? A pair of elephants take two years to have just one baby. In that time, a pair of mice can easily produce more than 100 million offspring – over 2000 tons of mice! The moral is that multiplying matters more than how big you are to start with. That’s why Jesus talked about being fruitful and told us to ‘go and make disciples!’
- Pray against despair when those in power do little to respond to climate change. Remember the mice…..!
- Pray that many ordinary people will persuade those around them to begin to care (www.twitter.com/climateprayer is a great way to spread the word)
- Pray that everyone who has taken the first steps to better living with low carbon lifestyles will go on to do more (www.amberlinks.org has all sorts of useful information)
- Pray that all of us will be able to love those who we think are wrong
A prayer for God’s will
All powerful, merciful and just God, grant that we poor creatures might do, by your grace, what you want us to do – and to always want what is pleasing to you. Grant that as we are cleansed and enlightened, and inflamed by the fire of the holy spirit, we might follow the footsteps of your beloved son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
Francis of Assissi
Better living on low carbon
Produced by Climate Stewards, A Rocha’s global programme to help people respond to climate change. For more about ‘better living on low carbon’, visit www.climatestewards.net
Daily prayer updates
For more frequent climate prayer items, check twitter.com/climateprayer. Spread the word.