Prayer diary April - June 2022

Welcome to our prayer diary. We publish this every three months, with a short paragraph giving prayer points for each week covering all the areas of our work. Your prayers have made a huge difference. From just one local conservation project in Southall 20 years ago, God has grown our work so that we now have a national reach - helping churches, advising other Christian charities managing land, and supporting individuals and families to care for the natural world around them. We are amazed at where God has led us and so grateful to you for being part of this journey and for helping to make it happen through your support.

We now stand looking forward to the next five years, having launched our new vision and strategy for 2021-25 and moved into our new national office in Brentford, west London in September 2021. In the face of accelerating climate change and species loss, our work needs your prayers more than ever. Over the coming five years we are seeking to encourage more Christian organisations (whether individual retreat centres or whole denominations) to manage their land for nature, more churches and Christians to engage in practical action to protect nature and address climate change, and more people to benefit from access to nature on land owned or managed by churches, Christian organisations and individuals.

This springtime, we are encouraged to see creation burst into life around us, reflecting the hope that the Easter message brings. But we are acutely aware of the destruction of life, both human and ecological, which is devastating our world. Where fighting persists, we pray for peace. Where hatred looms, we pray for reconciliation. Where fear overwhelms, we pray for joy. Where land is ravaged, we pray for restoration.

Thank you so much for joining us in prayer. We believe that together our individual actions and prayers will collectively contribute to positive change as we seek to protect and restore the environment around us for the blessing of all in our communities and to the glory of God.

April 2022

4 April

Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these (Luke 12:27)

Lord, we want to thank you for your creation and all the marvellous things that we see in Spring. Thank you for your tender care towards even the smallest of creatures. What an honour it is that you have called us to play our part in caring for your beautiful earth. Forgive us for the times when we have been slow to act and respond. Please fill us anew with fresh insight and vision to nurture the land that is around us, so that Your name may be glorified through it.

11 April

As we enter Holy week, we are mindful, Lord, of all you endured on the cross. We pause to reflect on the solemnity of these few days, and the significance of them for Christian believers. As we turn our faces towards the risen Lord on Easter Sunday, we are also thankful for the new life available through His death and resurrection. Just as new shoots and buds grow towards the light, may we also reach towards the light of Christ this Easter time. Help us Lord to tread lightly on this earth, yet boldly shine for you.

18 April

We give thanks for the growing community of Eco Churches in England and Wales. Almost 5,000 churches are helping each other celebrate what they are doing in caring for the environment, and demonstrating that the Gospel is good news for God’s earth. Pray for all those involved to have vision and inspiration as they encourage those around them to care for creation in their locality. Pray for the churches that are at different stages of the Eco Church journey, and for those who are responsible for moving it forward to have clear direction and enthusiasm as they work for God and creation.

25 April

This week, please pray for the three Eco Church webinars taking place. As churches learn about the scheme, how to progress towards an award, and how to approach Net Zero carbon, pray for strength and perseverance particularly for all those in positions of leadership within these churches. Pray that they would not be overwhelmed, but that they would rely on the Lord’s provision in all that they are doing for His beautiful creation.

May

2 May

At the start of this month we remember our rural reserve in North Essex, Foxearth Meadows. Give thanks that we are able to welcome visitors to the reserve for the open air service this Sunday 8 May. Pray that this would be a blessing and encouragement for all attending. We are also delighted that work is underway to build an accessible pathway for the mobility-impaired. Please pray that we will soon have the resources to finish the project and that it will enable many more people to enjoy this beautiful site.

9 May

This week, we invite you to pray for Wolf Fields, our urban nature reserve in West London. With the help of local churches, we have been creating a prayer Labyrinth (see image above) and a new wildflower meadow. Give thanks that the reserve is maintained as a haven for nature where many can come to reflect and encounter God through His creation. As people of different faiths and cultural backgrounds work together on the site, pray for wisdom and understanding as relationships are built.

16 May

On 16-17 May, our Head of Conservation Andy Lester and our Partners in Action coordinator Regina Ebner are speaking at the National Cathedrals conference. Please pray for them as they speak to 49 diocesan leaders, that they would inspire those present as they consider how to use their land for nature and for the community. Please also pray for strength and energy for Andy and Regina as they travel extensively across the country visiting prospective and current Partners in Action.

23 May

Our conservation Partners in Action programme is growing rapidly and we give thanks for five new partners who have joined in the last couple of months: Nettle Hill Retreat Centre in Warwickshire, Heatree Activity centre in Devon, Knowlands Farm in East Sussex, the Othona Community in Essex, and The Hayes Conference Centre in Derbyshire. Please also pray that our current partners, who are in the process of recruiting staff to help with their conservation work, can find the right people to join their teams.

30 May

At the start of Volunteer Week we are thankful for the important role that the many A Rocha UK volunteers undertake in caring for the environment around us. Each week there are conservation and volunteering days at our reserves where volunteers provide a vital extra pair of hands. Give thanks for those who come along, for their hard work and cheerfulness, and for the relaxed conversations that touch on faith.

June

6 June

This week, churches across the country will be taking part in Churches Count on Nature, a wonderful opportunity for churches to identify and record wildlife in their church grounds. Give thanks that, after the hugely encouraging turnout last year (a quarter of whom were not from a church community), the project is able to happen again. Please pray that it would be a blessing for many more individuals and churches, that they would enjoy encountering nature and playing their part to address the loss of biodiversity in the UK.

13 June

We are encouraged by the many churches that took part in Climate Sunday in 2021, collectively raising their voices and choosing to make a difference to care for creation. As this campaign comes to an end, please pray for all the churches involved, that they will build on the commitments they made. Pray for a continuing spirit of collaboration between the Christian organisations and denominations working on climate issues at this time. Pray for our leaders, both political and within the church, that they are unafraid to speak up and lead people towards greater care for the planet.

20 June

This Saturday, 25 June, we are excited to be hosting our first Act for Nature day at Wolf Fields. Pray that this would be an inspiring day for all attending and that fruitful conversations and connections will be made with others in the local community, reserve volunteers and A Rocha UK staff. Please pray that the skills and tips they learn would be shared widely as they care for nature at home and in their church communities.

27 June

We pray for our wider A Rocha family this week. The Dakatcha Woodland on the coast of Kenya is one of the 10 most threatened forest hotspots in the world. With help from others, A Rocha Kenya is purchasing land to create a nature reserve and safeguard this indigenous forest and its threatened wildlife. Give thanks for the vision for this project, and pray for all involved, that the Lord would use them to bring encouragement and hope to the local area and community.

Welcome to our prayer diary. We publish this every three months, with a short paragraph giving prayer points for each week covering all the areas of our work.

Your prayers make a huge difference. From just one local conservation project in Southall 20 years ago, God has grown our work so that we now have a national reach - helping churches, advising other Christian charities managing land, and supporting individuals and families to care for the natural world around them. We are amazed at where God has led us and so grateful to you for being part of this journey and for helping to make it happen through your support.

We now stand looking forward to the next five years, having launched our new vision and strategy for 2021-25 and moved into our new national office in Brentford, west London in September 2021. In the face of accelerating climate change and species loss, our work needs your prayers more than ever. Over the coming five years we are seeking to encourage more Christian organisations (whether individual retreat centres or whole denominations) to manage their land for nature, more churches and Christians to engage in practical action to protect nature and address climate change, and more people to benefit from access to nature on land owned or managed by churches, Christian organisations and individuals.

On the wider scene, please join us in continuing to pray for governments around the world to act on the climate action commitments made at COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, and to have the vision and courage to go much further, faster.

Thank you for joining us in prayer. We believe that together our individual actions and prayers will make a difference as we seek to protect and restore our land and climate for the blessing of our current communities and the good of future generations.