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Cornwall Alliance · Mar. 25, 2020

By E. Calvin Beisner

Every year on March 25 the Cornwall Alliance hosts a Day of Prayer for the Environment and the Poor. This year, with the coronavirus bringing suffering to millions all over the world, we really need to pray. Here are some broad, general ideas to guide you.

First, begin with praise and thanksgiving to God for

  • His wisdom, power, and love displayed in all of creation;

  • His faithfully preserving all of creation;

  • His just judgments in creation for man’s sin;

  • His plan to reconcile all of the cosmos to Himself through Christ’s death and resurrection;

  • His provision for the salvation of sinners through the atoning death and vindicating resurrection of Christ;

  • His making men and women in His image, able to comprehend His cosmos so as to fulfill His mandate in Genesis 1:28 to “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over” everything in it;

  • His reconciliation of millions of sinners to Himself, leading to the transformation of their minds by the Word of God, so that they can understand and control the earth with increasing wisdom;

  • His provision for your daily needs for food, clothing, shelter, and much more;

  • the beauty of oceans and skies, lakes and streams, forests and deserts, mountains and valleys, sun and moon, and planets and stars;

  • the beauty of fish and birds, animals and plants, and human beings;

  • the fact that God has made the earth robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, able to recover from many kinds of harms, natural and manmade.

Second, pray in humble confession of your own misuse of God’s earth, which might include some of the following:

  • thanklessness as you view its beauty and enjoy its other benefits;

  • wastefulness in your use of resources such as energy and food;

  • careless disposal of wastes that might instead have been transformed into resources through recycling;

  • lack of concern for those with little access to food, clothing, shelter, energy, pure drinking water, sewage sanitation, highly productive agriculture, healthcare, transportation, education, and other benefits;

  • any violations you recognize of any of the Ten Commandments or the two Great Commandments (to love God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind, and to love your neighbor as yourself).

Third, pray specifically for the billions of poor around the world, that they might

  • be reconciled to God by faith in Christ’s atoning death and His resurrection;

  • benefit from the things that have lifted others out of poverty already, such as private-property rights, entrepreneurship, free trade, limited government, the rule of law, and access to abundant, affordable, reliable energy;

  • be protected from policies, at local and national and international levels, that would deprive them of any of those things necessary to rising out of poverty;

  • be good stewards of the environments in which they live, learning and practicing wise use of resources and proper disposal of wastes.

Fourth, pray specifically for the billions of wealthy around the world, that they might

  • be reconciled to God by faith in Christ’s atoning death and His resurrection;

  • take care lest they oppress the poor, either intentionally or unintentionally, by any of their actions;

  • use their influence to prevent others’ oppressing the poor;

  • give generously to help the poor;

  • be good stewards of the environments in which they live, learning and practicing wise use of resources and proper disposal of wastes.

Fifth, pray for scientists, economists, other scholars, educators, journalists, and officials in all three branches of government, whose work shapes public opinion and government policies with impact on the environment and the poor, that they might

  • be reconciled to God by faith in Christ’s atoning death and His resurrection;

  • have the wisdom they need to understand truly the workings of God’s amazing creation, especially on controversial environmental issues like climate change or economic issues like what societal arrangements do, and what ones don’t, lift societies out of poverty;

  • have integrity in all their activities — that is, that they might “do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God” (Micah 6:8);

  • have the moral judgment to distinguish ethical from unethical policies;

  • have the courage to stand for truth and righteousness regardless whether doing so is popular.

Finally, please pray for the Cornwall Alliance and other organizations promoting Biblical earth stewardship, asking that through their and others’ contributions, godly dominion over the earth might increase — that is, that men and women created in the image of God would labor lovingly together to enhance the fruitfulness, the beauty, and the safety of the earth, to the glory of God and the benefit of our neighbors.

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