Prayer before a scripture about animals*

Holy Creator, give us eyes to see and ears to hear
how every living thing speaks to us of your love.
Let our conscience bark
at news stories about laboratory testing,
factory farming and fishing,
unbelievable statistics
of species endangerment and extinction.

But also open the fur, fins, and feathers
of today’s scripture for us.
Let us be taught, inspired, challenged
for our own lives.

Then enable us to rejoice
that we are alive among so many miracles
and give us a spirit of gratitude and responsibility
for all your creatures,
for we pray in the name of Jesus
who lay in a cow’s manger when he was born,
told a parable about the kindness of dogs,
and arrived in Jerusalem
on a borrowed donkey. Amen.

* additional scripture examples are: the naming of animals, the story of the flood, Balaam’s Ass, Psalm 104, Jonah’s rescue, God’s care for sparrows, the wisdom of the birds of the air, services that include Blessing companion animals, or that sing the old carol “The Friendly Beasts,” Bill Staines’ “All God’s Critters”or “All Things Bright and Beautiful”

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