Thursday, May 27, 2010

Oil Spill Prayer: Asking God to intervene in the Gulf of Mexico

Oil gushes into the Gulf of Mexico as I write today; it's been doing this for over a month now. And only now are some people becoming aware of the extent of this devastating crisis. The Exxon Valdez spilled 250,000 barrels of oil into Alaska's Prince William Sound in 1989. On conservative estimates, U.S. government scientists indicate that at least twice as much oil as that has now gushed into the Gulf of Mexico, making it the largest oil spill in U.S. history.alg_oil_plume_vid

Today we find out if the latest of many BP attempts, the "Top Kill," was effective in stopping (more likely slowing down) the oil. To date every attempt has failed and the human cause of this tragedy is clear.  Are we praying for God to intervene in this horrible assault on his creation? I found surprisingly little of a Christian response on the Internet, so I offer this prayer which I used for leading in prayer in church last Sunday.

We pray today for the preservation of our natural environment,
especially the Gulf of Mexico and the lands and waters it touches:
Please stop the oil from gushing into the ocean;
Guide those who labour to contain the oil 
   that endangers the creatures of sea and land;
Strengthen those who work to protect them;
Have mercy on those whose livelihoods will suffer;
Forgive us for our carelessness in using the resources of nature,
and give us wisdom and reverence so to manage them in the future,
   that no one may suffer from our abuse of them,
   and that generations yet to come may continue to praise you
   in the beauty of your creation; 
   through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

OILSPILLThis prayer is a slightly revised version of a prayer written by the Rev. Canon Beverly Findley Gibson, subdean of Christ Church Cathedral  in Mobile, Alabama.

The NCC put together a church bulletin insert with facts and prayer.

Let's continue to pray. We should be desperate to see this oil stop: our Father's world is being ruined.What have we done?


  1. We almost grow numb to disasters now. Even with (or perhaps because of) CNN’s frequent, live, up to the minute reports in all their high definition horror, some can still manage to detach themselves from it.

    The NCC church bulletin manages to encapsulate the Gulf of Mexico situation very well. So easy to point fingers at those capitalist money mongering oil companies who cut corners at the expense of this “tiny jewel called earth.” Our own complicity is also noted in the bulletin, so we are not blameless either. And it’s all too easy to try to shift this blame on to the media or Madison Avenue for making people weapons of massive consumption. “Not my fault!” people say “What difference can I make?” or “What does it matter if I drink bottled water, container of which requires tons of natural resources to produce, and then preserved in land fills for eons after a brief use?” or even “I have the money so I have the right to own a Hummer!” The irony is that we as Christians are called to make a difference, to be different, to do the right Christian thing even when it seems like all around us are not. Even when there is the overwhelming urge to conform to the so called “norms” of our society. (It was tempting to use the expression “Go with the flow” but that would be too ironic even for me.) As a Christian I am taught and I believe that God’s grace and forgiveness are great and always present. God promises to forgive us and heal our land, but it comes at the price of doing, in effect, the right thing in His eyes according to 2 Chronicles 7:14. Is this too much of a sacrifice for us? Right now, at the very least we should petition God using Ken’s prayer, or the original in the bulletin. Then we should all meditate on the concept of stewardship, and the “consequences of our idolatry.” There are far too many golden calves in this world.

  2. P.S. Great blog Ken. Just because you don't always hear back right away, doesn't mean people aren't listening. ;)

  3. Peter, I concur with all that you have said. God has indeed placed us in a position as faithful stewards on this beautiful planet called earth and He expects all of us to make a difference without exception.

    Having said that and I ask the following question only because it begs to be asked and I certainly do not claim to have an answer. What do you offer as an alternative and are we all prepared to do without with that which we have become so accustomed to?

    I agree with Ken we need to pray fervently that God will intervene, preceding that there needs to be confession of sin on our part. We as a people are no different than the children of Israel.

    Unfortunately we are like a snowball starting at the peak of mountain and rolling down ever increasing in size and unable to stop the downward plunge until we self destruct.


  4. There was a non toxic Alternative to clean up the spill that has been successfully tested by BP after 10 months of spill damages. The Coast Guard sent a letter from headquarters stating to the FOSC to take action with OSE II, and the EPA, Lisa Jackson stopped the Coast Guard from allowing BP from implementing OSE II. In fact the EPA stopped the application of OSE II 11 times denying State Senators direct request for use of OSE II from Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. La Department of environmental requested the use of OSE II as well, EPA's Sam Coleman denied their request without reason. Governor Jindal tried to get OSE II demonstrated on the Chandelier Islands on May 6, 2010, and the EPA stopped the Governor as well. The EPA in fact stopped the use of OSE II 11 times, without a reason given. Had the EPA allowed Governor Jindal to allow the demonstration of OSE II on May 6, 2010, it is possible a significant portion of the environmental damages, including the shorelines and the seafood industry would have been spared. The toxicty test comparison between OSE II and corexit really cannot be compared since with corexit, the label states it can cause red blood cells to burst, kidney, and liver problems if a chemical suit and respirator are not worn. OSE II in contrast can be used to wash your hands and is non toxic. The BP Deep Horizon spill has proven that corexit only sinks oil and causes the same oil to be addressed a second time when it comes ashore as under water plumes, or tar balls, while OSE II has a substantiated end point of converting oil to CO2 and water. See Coast Guard letter below

    U. S. Department
    of Homeland Security
    United States
    Coast Guard

    Commanding Officer 1 Chelsea Street
    U. S. Coast Guard New London, CT 06320
    Research and Development Center Staff Symbol: Contracting Office
    Phone: (860) 271-2807

    July 10, 2010



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