Power of Prayer and Positive Intention - Prayers for the Earth
As we nurture the spirit of URI, let us renew the power of prayer and positive intention that unites our global community and awakens our hearts and souls. See the full series of posts here.
Celebrating Earth Day, April 22, with prayers from different traditions:
Prayers for the Earth
Baha’i: Blessed is the spot, and the house, and the place, and the city, and the heart, and the mountain, and the refuge, and the cave, and the valley, and the land, and the sea, and the island, and the meadow where mention of God has been made, and God’s praise glorified. ~ Baha ‘U’lla’h
Buddhism: Even as a mother protects with her life, her child, her only child, So with a boundless heart should one cherish all living beings, Radiating kindness over the entire world, spreading upwards to the skies, and downwards to the depths. ~ Metta Sutta
Christianity: The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein; for the Lord has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the rivers. ~ Psalm 24:1–2
Hinduism: Even if there is only one tree full of flowers and fruit in a village, that place becomes worthy of worship and respect. ~ Mahabharata, Adiparra, 138:25
Indigenous Native American: Earth, teach me stillness as the grasses are stilled with light. Earth, teach me suffering as old stones suffer with memory. Earth, teach me humility as blossoms are humble with beginning. Earth, teach me caring as the mother who secures her young. Earth, teach me courage as the tree which stands all alone. Earth, teach me limitation as the ant which crawls on the ground. Earth, teach me freedom as the eagle which soars in the sky. Earth, teach me resignation as the leaves which die in the fall. Earth, teach me regeneration as the seed which rises in the spring. Earth, teach me to forget myself as melted snow forgets its life. Earth, teach me to remember kindness as dry fields weep with rain. ~ Ute Prayer
Islam: Do not cut down a tree. Do not abuse a river. Do not harm animals. And, be always kind and humane to God’s creation, even to your enemies. ~ Abu-Baker
Jainism: One who disregards the existence of earth, air, fire, water, and vegetation. Disregards his or her own existence which is entwined with them. ~ Mahavir
Judaism: But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or the plants of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you; Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In the Lord’s hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all humankind. ~ Job 12:7–10
Sikhism: God created night and day, seasons, time, and occasions. So also air, water, fire, and nether regions. Amidst these has God fixed the earth, the place for Righteous Activities. ~ Guru Granth Sahib
Sufism: Lord, the air smells good today, straight from the mysteries within the inner courts of God, a grace like new clothes thrown across the garden, free medicine for everybody. The trees in their prayer, the birds in praise, the first blue violets kneeling. Whatever came from Being is caught up in being, drunkenly forgetting the way back. ~ Rumi
Taoism: Heaven cannot but be high. Earth cannot but be broad. The sun and moon cannot but revolve. All creation cannot but flourish. To do so is their Tao. ~ Chuang Tze
Shintoism: Our gratitude, love, and responsibility within a living nature should not be avoided. Seeing a forest as merely an object of economic activity is a kind of trafficking in flesh, an injustice, a crime. A long time, deep love, and continuous effort are needed for a natural environment to recover and to compensate for the human crime of cutting trees. Nature can’t be revived without our understanding and resolve. ~ Shoroku Shinto Yamatoyama
Unitarian Universalism: The food which we are about to eat is Earth, Water, and Sun, compounded through the alchemy of many plants. Therefore Earth, Water, and Sun will become part of us.
This food is also the fruit of the labor of many beings and creatures. We are grateful for it. May it give us strength, health and joy. And may it increase our love. ~ Unitarian Universalist Prayer
Marianne Horling, Global Council Trustee from URI Europe, shares:
Prayer from a Humanist:
"God, give us the entire understanding, that we, as individuals, can only exist with the other individuals, with the nature and cosmos around us. Alone, we are nothing. Together with others, we are something. And with the cosmos around us, we are everything. The Earth we are living on is very unique in the cosmos and is the basis of our life. And this interdependence makes us so rich. Let’s be aware of it. Help us to do the right things to care for it."
Samira Barucija, Regional Coordinator for URI Multiregion, shares:
The Prophet Muhammad said: “If a Muslim plants a tree or sows seeds, and then a bird, or a person or an animal eats from it, it is regarded as a charitable gift (sadaqah) for him.”
I love this quote because it encourages kindness and service through our work towards all living beings on the planet. It shows the interconnectedness of goodness: planting trees, taking care of the planet, feeding animals, feeding humans, etc.