Listening for God in creation

On Tuesday evening, some of us gathered for a time of guided prayer and silent listening to what God might be saying to us about climate. We are deeply concerned; yet we do not want to run around frantically doing a hundred futile things, nor do we want to be so overwhelmed that we bury our heads in the sand and do nothing. There many things which are good to do, but we must discern what is good for us to do: and we can only discern that when we are grounded in prayer. Therefore, we prayed, and between now and our next meeting on 5th October, we ask you to continue to pray daily, laying before God the issue of climate and asking God to reveal what God would have us do.

We all pray differently, but here are some suggestions to guide your prayer in the coming weeks. Try one, or try all! As you pray, we encourage you to journal (write, draw, paint, sculpt, whatever) about your experience. We will gather again around faith and climate on 5th October, and there will be an opportunity then to share what has emerged during your prayer.

~ Use your imagination ~
God gave us imaginations to communicate with us, so let’s use them. You could repeat the guided meditation we heard on Tuesday, imagining yourself each time going further into the desert, discovering new paths and new blossoms. Download the meditation here. Or you could source other meditations focussed on climate, and let them guide you.

~ Go outside ~
Our ancestor Jacob woke from his sleep and said, ‘Surely God is in this place, and I didn’t know it!’ (Gen. 28:16). Like Jacob, people have sensed God’s presence in creation for millennia, and perhaps this is why Jesus so often prayed outdoors. So go outside, in whatever way and to whatever place you like. There, take the time to be fully present. Pay attention to your breath and your body. Notice what you can see, hear, touch and smell. Ask God to reveal her presence as you do this. If you want a bit of structure, sensio divina takes you through some simple steps to help you observe God’s presence in the place where you are. Find it on our website here.

~ Meditate on an object ~
Choose a natural object: a twig, a stone, a shell, a bone, whatever. Each day, look at it  carefully. Hold it gently; turn it around in your hand. Pray with it. Alternatively, find a symbol of climate change or any of the issues we are facing. Hold this symbol in your heart as you pray, dwelling on the images and listening for God’s response.

~ Consider the sky ~
Read Scripture in a place described in that text, allowing for dialogue between Scripture, creation and yourself. There are dozens of possibilities: Read of Jesus’ baptism beside a significant waterway. Read Psalm 104 in a paddock, on a hilltop, or beside the ocean. Read Job 38-39 atop Tower Hill. Read resurrection stories in a garden. Or  take your Bible and journal to where you can see the sky, read Psalm 19, and pray. You can find a step-by-step guide to considering the sky on our website here.

Over the next few weeks, as we pray and lay before God the issue of climate, may God guide us and reveal to us the next step. And may we remain alert to God’s presence in everything we do, as we seek fullness of reconciliation with God, with each other, and with the earth.

Alison, with Delia, Elvira & Greg

Emailed to Sanctuary 15 September 2021 © Sanctuary, 2021. Photo by KAL VISUALS on Unsplash.

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