A Prayer for Animals

On St. Francis Day, I wanted to share this lovely prayer:

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Creator God,

You have made a beautiful world filled with wonder and surprises!

We adore you.

Creator God,

who has gifted us with the blessing of animals, those in the wild, those on farms, those in our own homes,

We adore you.

Creator God,

you brought into being that which we could not imagine for ourselves, life we cannot see without the aid of microscopes, animals we can only see in pictures from remote regions of this planet earth,

We adore you.

We thank you for abundant life; for the birds we hear in the morning, for the drone of the bees when we are outside, for the vast tapestry of life which is interwoven,

We give you thanks.

We thank you for the gift of our own animal companions;

For the joy they bring us, For the unconditional love and forgiveness which teaches us about you; For the confidant, the listener, the stress-releaser, For the benefits they are to our health-and to our Spirit.

We give you thanks.

And yet, we know that we have not always been faithful caretakers of our animals;

Forgive us when we have dirtied their environment, erased places of shelter, polluted the waters, killed off their food supplies or neglected to feed or tend animals in our own communities.

Forgive us when we have neglected our own animal companions; when we have said we are too busy to play with them, when we have shooed them away; when we have made excuses, saying we are too tired…too busy…more important engagements have come up…so that we do not walk them, cuddle them, spend time with them.

Forgive us when we have not loved them as they have loved us

Forgive us when we have not considered the wider picture; when we have neglected the animals in the wild, the cruelty inflicted in the name of ‘sport’, or in the name of food production.

Forgive us when we have focused only on our ‘favorites’ and neglected the care of the supposedly less beautiful, those who hold a lower public profile

Each year more animals are becoming extinct, or are added to the endangered species list: forgive us, for allowing beauty to be forever destroyed.

Forgive us when we neglect to see all animals as part of your creation,

forgive us when we neglect to acknowledge that your love beats in all hearts,

and that you give breath to all creation.

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