Prayer for COP26 summit.

Glasgow 31 October – 12 November

Dear God, for thousands of years we have lived by the rhythm of the seasons.  Like a never-ending circle they come round each year: Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn.  Our worship too falls into the same pattern.  In the cold of December when the ground is dormant, we celebrate the birth of our Saviour- a light in the darkness of winter.  In the Spring, we sow seeds and watch our crops grow, watered by the April showers, and our animals return out to the land from their winter quarters.  We also celebrate Easter, remembering how our Lord and Saviour died on the Cross for our sakes, and then rose from the dead, defeating death for all time.  And then as the days lengthen into Summer the harvest begins: hay and silage for the stock, and fruit and vegetables in the gardens.  The schools close and we plan our summer break.  Autumn sees the days grow shorter once again as we harvest the barley, wheat, oats and maize.  And in our Harvest services we thank you Lord God for our food, the sunshine, the rain and the regularity of the seasons.

Then the cycle begins again, round and round in a circle, as it has for thousands of years.  But now there are “cracks” emerging; the circle is  beginning to fall apart.  It started over 100 years ago  as we began burning fossil fuels to heat our homes, power our factories and produce steel and copper.  It continued as we opened refineries to produce petrol and diesel for our transport, and gas for our cooking and central heating.  We didn’t realise that the gases we were pumping into our atmosphere as by-products of all we were producing were destroying our world.  Then we found that sulphur compounds emitted from our heavy industries were poisoning our rivers and Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) used in aerosols and refrigerants, were breaking down the ozone in the upper atmosphere, showering harmful UV rays on our planet. And now our seasons are changing; there are more heat waves, droughts, hurricanes, wild fires, floods, rising sea levels and a loss of biodiversity across the planet.

So we pray that as nations come together for the COP26 summit there will be real progress in bringing  emissions down to net zero.  Otherwise we will lose our seasons, and our circle will become a straight line leading to the destruction of the world that You entrusted to our care.