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A PRAYER GUIDE
THE CARE OF CREATION
“Be careful, or you will be enticed to turn away and worship other gods . . . Then the Lord’s anger will burn against you and he will shut the heavens so that it will not rain and the ground will yield no produce, and you will soon perish from the good land the Lord is giving you.” (Deuteronomy 11.15-17)
“The man who says ‘I know him’ but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.” (1 John 2.4-6)
“Coming before God in prayer is the central God-given human task, the one by which, whether spectacularly or quietly, everything is transformed.” (Canon Tom Wright)
Thursday 1st November.
As the world’s media focus on the conflict
Friday 2nd November.
The Saudi people largely reject Western values and lifestyles but, with its armed forces less than one-fifth those of Iraq and Iran, Saudi Arabia is dependent on the USA for its defence, and on the price of oil for its prosperity. The fact that similar conditions in Iran did not stop the Iranian Revolution should lead the West to question its dependence on oil and to seek urgently a simpler lifestyle based on renewable energy such as wind, water and solar.
Saturday 3rd November.
A new report, “Solar Generation”, released
by the European Photovoltaic Industry Association and Greenpeace shows that solar
power could provide energy for more than 1 billion people, creating over 2
million jobs by 2020 and meeting 26% of global energy needs by 2040. A
Greenpeace spokesman comments: “This report shows that solar power . . could
supply the equivalent of 75 new coal or nuclear power stations. The solar
industry is saying it will invest $75 billion a year in new manufacturing over
the next 20 years. Sadly, the
Sunday 4th November.
Lord, make us instruments of your peace;
Where there is hatred, let us sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is discord, union;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy;
For the sake of your dear Son, Jesus Christ.
Monday 5th November.
“World Energy Assessment” is a joint report from the UN development Programme, the UN Department of Economics & Social Affairs and the World Energy Council. It claims that “there are no fundamental technological, economic or resource limits constraining the world from enjoying the benefits of high levels of energy services and a better environment.” Three fundamental changes needed to achieve this are:
1. More efficient use of energy (about two-thirds of global energy is wasted in conversion processes from raw materials to useful energy)
2. A greater reliance on modern renewable energy resources (which now account for just 2% of the global fuel mix)
3. Accelerated development and diffusion of new energy technologies, including cleaner, safer ways of using fossil fuels.
Although, in its view, the private sector can play a powerful role in bringing energy services to the world’s poor, government guidance and regulations are crucial because without them the market will not meet the needs of the poor, nor will it protect the environment.
Tuesday 6th November.
Since 1991 no nuclear reactor has been
ordered in any EU country. Seven of its fifteen members are non-nuclear, while
another four (
Wednesday 7th November.
Thursday 8th November.
Seventeen German companies have formed The
Club for Rural Electrification, an initiative for advancing solar power in the
developing world and improving living conditions for the 2 billion people
without electricity. (See www.tomorrow-web.com
for the full story) Meanwhile
Friday 9th November.
At the time of writing the World Trade
Organisation (WTO) is expected to meet in
· Recognising that the protection of the environment through international agreements such as the Kyoto Protocol must take preference over narrow trade interests;
· Incorporating the precautionary principle into its decision-making;
· Encouraging eco-labelling that protects the environment such as dolphin-friendly fishing practices and non-GM foods;
· Outlawing patents on life, and reforming the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) to protect indigenous communities and farmers from ‘biopiracy’ and allowing poorer countries access to new technologies;
· Including NGOs and other stakeholders in negotiations and settlement procedures.
For further information e-mail: Charlie.email@example.com
Saturday 10th November.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has licensed its “terminator technology” to its partner Delta Pine & Land. This technology allows seed to be sterilized, so forcing farmers to buy fresh seeds each year instead of saving their own seed. USDA and Delta have applied for patents in 87 countries, so giving them a monopoly in those countries under WTO rules. The royalties will no doubt help US companies to develop new technologies that will further destroy the independence of small farmers throughout the world.
Sunday 11th November.
Father, we thank you for your great gifts of wisdom and ingenuity. Help us to place them wholly at your service in the quest for technologies to protect the world that you created, and all the creatures that live in it.
Monday 12th November.
Both nuclear fuel reprocessing plants at Sellafield were shut down in September when, because of frequent plant breakdowns, the volume of high-level nuclear waste was increasing. BNFL had been warned in August that regulators would close the plants unless it reduced the amount of waste in the holding tanks. Meanwhile five Nordic countries have written to Tony Blair formally protesting over continuing radioactive emissions from the Sellafield plants.
Tuesday 13th November.
The Government’s Energy Review is expected
to recommend the building of new nuclear power stations, despite the ongoing
problem of the disposal of nuclear waste and the fact that it takes many years
to build a nuclear power station, whereas wind power can be quickly installed.
Wednesday 14th November.
The UN Food & Agriculture Organisation has calculated that two breeds of farm animals go extinct every week. Over the last 15 years 300 breeds out of a total of 6000 have been lost. The irony of the situation is that scientists are trying to create GM animals with a range of adaptations to disease and harsh environments while the same qualities are being lost from existing animals. Pray for all who are dedicated to maintaining the diversity of farm animals throughout the world.
Thursday 15th November.
The European Commission has published two documents on the regulation of GM food and animal feed and the traceability and labeling of food produced from GMOs. Businesses would be obliged to transmit and retain for five years information on the origin and destination of GM foods. All foods and animal feed produced from GMOs would be labelled, with a maximum permitted contamination of 1%. The proposals are subject to co-decision with the European Parliament and the Council; they should become law in 2003 at the latest.
Friday 16th November.
Canadian farmer Percy Schmeiser was found
guilty of infringing Monsanto’s patent on RoundupReady canola on the legal
principle that he knew, or should have known, that the seeds he was growing
were Roundup-tolerant. However, the producers of GM crops appear to have no
corresponding set of obligations over GM pollution of surrounding crops, though
this has never been tested in the courts. Moves are afoot to bring legal action
Saturday 17th November.
A poll in
Sunday 18th November.
Father, we pray for a vision of your world as your love would make it:
A world where the weak are protected and none go hungry or poor;
A world where the benefits of life are shared;
A world where nations, races, cultures and religions live with mutual respect;
A world where peace is built with justice, and justice is guided by love;
And that we may have the courage and inspiration to play our part in building it.
Monday 19th November.
After six years of negotiations on a
strengthened Biological Weapons Convention, the
Tuesday 20th November.
A voluntary agreement between the Government and the insurance industry has imposed a 5-year ban on disclosure to insurance companies of the results of genetic tests – except for the 3% of life policies above £500,000. But the financial limits will be reviewed after 3 years. GeneWatch comments: “Without legislation, people taking tests today will not know whether they will be excluded from insurance and employment in future. The Government has backtracked from an important principle under pressure from insurers.”
Wednesday 21st November.
Recent events have led many to take a closer look at Islam and its tenets. “The World of Islam – Tradition, Change & Conflict”, just published, is one of a series of booklets called “Understanding Global Issues” obtainable at £2-95 from The Runnings, Cheltenham GL51 9PQ tel.01242 245252. It states the “five pillars of Islam” thus:
1. to accept that Allah is the only God and that Muhammad is his Prophet;
2. to pray to God five times a day;
3. to undertake a pilgrimage to
4. to fast during daylight hours for one month a year (Ramadan);
5. to give alms to the poor, typical rates being 2.5% of savings and 10% of farm produce each year.
The last “pillar” ensures that even the poorest
families in the back streets of
Thursday 22nd November.
Friday 23rd November.
According to John Esposito in “The Islamic Threat: Myth or Reality?” (OUP 1992) “Many in the Muslim world view the history of dealings with the West as one of victimization and oppression at the hands of an expansive imperial power, They counter that it is “militant Christianity” and “militant Judaism” that are the root causes of failed Muslim societies: the aggression and intolerance of the Crusades and the Inquisition; European colonialism; the break-up of the Ottoman empire and the artificial creation of modern states; the establishment of Israel, its occupation of the West Bank and its invasion of Lebanon; and the extent to which oil interests have been the determining factor in support for autocratic regimes.”
Others might say that the causes of failed Muslim societies are their lack of democratic management, the restrictions placed on innovation, the high proportion of national budgets spent on arms and the tendency to rely on natural resources such as oil rather than investing in the education of their future citizens.
Saturday 24th November.
The Muslim fellowship of ‘ummah’ – the brotherhood of man – cuts no ice when it comes to political rivalry and wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Sudan and hostility between Libya, Egypt and Sudan, all of which belie the Islamic ideal. Ruling elites in most Muslim countries are afraid to open the door of democracy too wide for fear of what might be unleashed. Islam, unlike Christianity, provides not just a religion, but a complete system of law and government. Some say that Islamic rule is bound to be authoritarian because it puts the unchangeable certainties of God’s law above the will of the people. Yet Muslim intellectuals are increasingly calling for a re-interpretation of the Qur’an that will make it more relevant to developments in the modern world.
Sunday 25th November.
Give us, Father, we pray, a deeper understanding of your purpose, that we may be steadfast amid the turmoil of our times. May our faith never fail, nor our love grow cold, nor our hope become faint. May we look up and lift up our heads as we look for the redemption of your world, through Jesus Christ your Son and our Redeemer.
Monday 26th November.
Western societies have long separated religion from government and economics, with negative results for the poor and marginalized. Muslims argue that Islamic notions of personal morality and human brotherhood offer the prospect of a better world order than either free market capitalism or socialism. However, because of the ban in the Qur’an on charging interest, Islamic banks can only invest directly in a business, and so must share in its profits and losses instead of simply charging interest on a loan. This makes banks naturally more cautious than their Western equivalents, therefore it is less easy to obtain capital for business start-ups.
Tuesday 27th November.
Even remote Muslim households now have
access to television programmes, many of them imported from
Wednesday 28th November.
The Catholic church in
Thursday 29th November.
A 36-year old Brazilian activist, Dema
Federicci, was killed in August when a gunman invaded his house. He was a leader
in the campaign against the construction of dams on the
Friday 30th November
A million tones of sand eels are caught
each year in the
UNDERSTANDING GLOBAL ISSUES
For further information and prayer request please write to:
Philip Clarkson Webb
15 Valley View
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