Prayers for Sustainable Development 

CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 by

the Reverend ​Laura Marie Piotrowicz, AFP Canada Executive

1. Holy One, help us to recognize our position of (relative) abundance. May we be inspired and empowered to support people, frameworks, and resources to END POVERTY IN ALL ITS FORMS EVERYWHERE, that all your children may know the abundant life your Son came to deliver.

2. God of plenty, we celebrate the beauty of the harvest. We delight in the systems and structures that exist, allowing us to know the 5 A’s (availability, accessibility, acceptability, appropriateness, agency) of food security. Help us to improve these systems, to share the manna you provide, as we work to END HUNGER, ACHIEVE FOOD SECURITY AND IMPROVED NUTRITION, AND PROMOTE SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE.

3. God of healing, you are the great physician, promising spiritual health. As your Son taught his disciples to heal, may we use our gifts of memory, reason, and skill to ENSURE HEALTHY LIVES AND PROMOTE WELL-BEING FOR ALL AT ALL AGES. May our work in research, development, and provision reflect your compassion for everyone, everywhere, to overcome those realities of our world which threaten our health.

4. God of learning, in our baptism we ask to receive the gift of an inquiring and discerning heart. We are privileged to be nourished and encouraged by education as a “pervasive life experience.” May our grateful response be to work to ENSURE INCLUSIVE AND EQUITABLE QUALITY EDUCATION AND PROMOTE LIFELONG LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL.

5. God of love, you have made us in your image. Male and female, You created us; yet we continue to discriminate against half of your children. We pray, O God of equality, that we may help create societies where gender does not initiate rejection, violence, and injustice. May our hearts yearn and inspire to ACHIEVE GENDER EQUALITY AND EMPOWER ALL WOMEN AND GIRLS.

6. Holy One, you repeatedly teach us of the fluidity of grace and justice through the simple element of water. In our baptism we receive the promise of true life as we are physically and spiritually made clean. May we, with joy, ENSURE AVAILABILITY AND SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT OF WATER AND SANITATION FOR ALL, so all may know water to be a wondrous and healing gift from you.

7. The wind blows where it wishes, and the sun shines where it will, and the waves and tides are directed by forces beyond this earth. While we may not fully know where such energies come from, we trust in the Spirit who reveals their potential to us. May we use this trust to ENSURE ACCESS TO AFFORDABLE, RELIABLE, SUSTAINABLE, AND CLEAN ENERGY FOR ALL.

8. Empowering God, your Holy Spirit pours upon each of us wonderful gifts, encouraging us to use and share these spiritual gifts through the works of our hands. Help us to PROMOTE SUSTAINED, INCLUSIVE, AND SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC GROWTH, FULL AND PRODUCTIVE EMPLOYMENT, AND DECENT WORK FOR ALL, celebrating everyone’s role as contributors to the building up of our earthly societies and of your glorious kingdom.

9. God of patience, throughout the ages we have failed to live in equality. Forgive us our greed, and help us to mature and grow. May we BUILD RESILIENT INFRASTRUCTURE, PROMOTE INCLUSIVE AND SUSTAINABLE INDUSTRIALISATION AND FOSTER INNOVATION, thereby encouraging a more just society, to the benefit of all.

10. Gracious God, you made us all in your image, yet we find and create ways to discriminate. Help us to see beyond the divisions of social, economic, and political exclusion, and REDUCE INEQUALITY WITHIN AND AMONG COUNTRIES, delighting in the great variety you create from your perfect love.

11. Unifying God, you call us together in your love to be one family. May this inspire us out of patterns of co-existence into celebrations of community. May we intentionally MAKE CITIES AND HUMAN SETTLEMENTS INCLUSIVE, SAFE, RESILIENT, AND SUSTAINABLE, using our living spaces as a tool to promote your promise of belonging.

12. Holy One, you provide an array of colour to amaze and inspire us. We thank you for the potential to use and share the resources around us to delight in beauty. Help us to recognise and appreciate that which we are given, protecting the resources of this world to ENSURE SUSTAINABLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION PATTERNS, that all future generations may be equally delighted at what is possible from your creation.

13. Creator God, who breathed the cosmos into existence, you included us in your Garden and declared your creation to be whole and very good. As we take this masterpiece for granted, we have disobeyed your call to care for your world. Help us to realize and repent for our sins, and TAKE URGENT ACTION TO COMBAT CLIMATE CHANGE AND ITS IMPACTS to reconcile ourselves to you.

14. O Lord, who made the sea and all that is in it, help us to understand the importance of all that is below the surface, and its connection to all that is above. May our actions to CONSERVE AND SUSTAINABLY USE THE OCEANS, SEAS, AND MARINE RESOURCES FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT reflect a desire to appreciate all your works.

15. May we recognize the universe as “a single celebratory event” and be inspired to redevelop our relationship with the entirety of the cosmos. Help us to shift from a human-focused perspective a one which is based in respecting the beauty of all of existence, and PROTECT, RESTORE, AND PROMOTE SUSTIANABLE USE OF TERRESTRIAL ECOSYSTEMS, SUSTAINABLY MANAGE FORESTS, COMBAT DESERTIFICATION, AND HALT AND REVERSE LAND DEGRADATION AND HALT BIODIVERSITY LOSS.

(quote from Thomas Berry, “The Dream of the Earth”)

16. Your peace you gave to us, a peace that the world cannot fully understand. Inspire us to strive for this peace, that it may be known through all the world. Breathe this peace upon us, renew within us your call to work for justice, anoint us with the passion to PROMOTE PEACEFUL AND INCLUSIVE SOCIETIES FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, PROVIDE ACCESS TO JUSTICE FOR ALL AND BUILD EFFECTIVE, ACCOUNTABLE, AND INCLUSIVE INSTITUTIONS AT ALL LEVELS.

17. Just as the entirety of our world is interconnected and interdependent, help us to re-imagine and re-create our systems of finance, technology, capacity-building, trade, and policy and institutions. May we STRENGTHEN THE MEANS OF IMPLEMENTATION AND REVITALISE THE GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT to your Glory, uniting the potential and reality for all of your people into just and healthy relationship