Exactly one week ago, on April 5, 2016, thousands gathered around the world for the Global Day of Prayer for Climate Action. YECA hosted the day in partnership with A Rocha International (ARI), Climate Prayer, the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN), and the Lausanne/World Evangelical Alliance Creation Care Network (LWCCN).
As the chair of the YECA Steering Committee, I was fortunate to be intimately involved with multiple U.S. events on the Day of Prayer. On the morning of April 5th, I attended a prayer breakfast at the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina. The featured speaker, Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, made an appeal for us all to have tender hearts as we work for climate action. This encouragement inspired me distinctly because of how easy it is for my heart to become hard and callous when striving to address the often overwhelming problem of climate change. I was challenged to pray to God for a tender and gentle disposition when dialoguing with those who are antagonistic to climate action or who pursue climate action in a hopeless and negative manner.
As I traveled with YECA National Spokesperson, Rachel Lamb, and EEN Vice President, Alexei Laushkin, to our next event in Asheville, North Carolina, I noticed on social media the incredible outpouring of climate action prayers throughout the world. From Nicaragua and the Netherlands to Kenya and the Philippines, Christians were gathering together to quietly pray for climate action and joyously worship our creator in song. They prayed for our political and spiritual leaders, for the people who are already being affected by climate change, and for forgiveness for how we have degraded the creation God has entrusted to us. People were being compelled to pray for climate action because of their Christian faith and how that faith responds to a critical issue affecting God’s people and the planet.
Our prayer gathering in Asheville was held in a beautiful First Baptist Church. This event included a time of sharing by those who had gathered, and I was struck by the diversity of viewpoints. Some had come because they lacked a community with whom they could pray about climate issues; others came because they believed that caring for God’s creation is a central part of their Christian faith. However, we all shared a desire to join together and pray for God’s providence in the face of an ever-present problem. In fact, this was a theme I noticed throughout the day. Christians were gathering because of the God we worship together. A God who provides strength and peace when times are uncertain. A God who knows what we need even before we do, and ultimately, a God who sent his one son Jesus Christ to save a creation worth saving. As I reflect on this day of prayer, my personal prayer is that I can put all of my trust in the triune God so that I can serve with a most loving and obedient spirit.
For more photos and prayers shared by people across the U.S. and around the world, check out our Flickr album. More than 35 organizations in at least 15 different countries let us know that they participated!