Guidelines for Eco-Prayer and Good Will Intention
These are suggestions. Each person can follow his or her own tradition and conscience.
Choose one or more places, plants or animals that you love.
Each day pray with positive intention for that place, plant or animal and the entire Ecosystem that support it.
For example: If you choose Panda Bears then pray daily for them and the entire forest environment that they live in.
1. What You Love
Daily prayer and Intention for what we love grows with practice. Choose a place, plant or animal that you love. Pray and hold good will intention for it and the whole environment that supports it each day.
For example, if you care for hawks, pray for them to thrive (or visualize them as healthy) and for the sky and trees that they live in.
You may choose to include prayer for the people who live in and influence the ecosystem as well.
As you do this, consider expanding your prayer for farther reaching places, plants and animals. If you chose something locally, chose another on the other side of the plant for a global prayer or intention.
2. Get a Picture
Get a picture of the place, plant or animal that you have chosen and put it where you will see it every day to remind you.
See our individual ecosystem pages or Resources page for a selection of photo resources.
3. Positive Focus
Daily Eco-Prayer and good will for what you want. This can be as examples: blessing, beauty, healing, purity, abundance, balance, thriving, or health. You can even just hold it in your heart.
Avoid prayer or intention against what you do not want (for example: stop oil spills) or to control people. Fear, anger, judgment, blame, revenge and scapegoating (finding someone to blame for problems) disconnect us from the power of positive intention. Focusing on negative feelings may only give them more power.
Focus on love, hope and connection.
4. Big Picture
Our limited, human viewpoint, does not know all that is happening within the complex web of life or how best to help. Eco-Prayer and good will can be for a plant or animal and its whole ecological system at once rather than just for specific problems.
Non-directed prayer or intention for the highest good rather than a specific goal may be best. This may help allow a creative response to prayer. Highest good may be expressed however as your tradition or conscience understands this, such as: health, healing, purity, peace, balance, beauty, thriving or blessing.
Ask for direction: How should I pray? What should I intend? What should I do? Be open to new and creative answers from unexpected places.
7. Open Expectation
Expect an answer but have no expectations about what the answer will look like. Our beliefs about what should happen may be too small or time limited. Be open to creative answers and unexpected new possibilities. A change in your own attitude may be an answer.
"Pray like it is all up to God. Act like it's all up to me." What should I do? Should I make changes in my life? How am I called to help in the world (there are a million good causes but what am I called to)?
9. Gratitude and Humility
Gratitude and humility helps create a beautiful world and expand our ability to be of service. There are people who care all around the world. Friends, allies, and support may come from unexpected people. A change in attitude may be the miracle.
Why Eco-Prayer and Positive Intention?
The relationship could be a philosophical or theological paper. A few of the reasons for both are:
- "Intention" is what I intend to happen, my "will". Whether in myself, others or the world. My will is affected by ideas, beliefs, feelings, desires and choices. They can be mixed or confused. A person's mind, heart and will may go in different directions. A person can say one thing, feel another and act in yet another way—and not even realize it. Our conflicting hopes, dreams, needs, hurts, fears, judgments, shame and guilt can cause mixed intentions that we do not even know we have.
- "Good Will" or "Positive Intention" is the choice to intend and act from high ideals, inspiration, compassion and humility—for one's self, others and the world. There are many influences and agendas trying to control or program our choices and actions. By daily consciously choosing one's intentions by high ideals, they can be clear rather than confused, manipulated or negative (see Poles ecosystem).
- The words of one's prayer may be less important than the underlying feelings, desires, choices, will or intentions. Aligning ideals, beliefs, feelings and intentions in prayer is powerful. Get a clear picture of what you want to happen from love, an inspiration, or high ideal. Compassion, caring and love can be the bridge between ideals and intention.
- The beliefs of religions and individual spirituality differ. The shared ideal and hope of a thriving world for our descendants can be a shared good will intention across different religions, cultures, regions, languages and nationality. All people of good will can become neighbors in a global community of transformation.
- Eco-Prayer is an aligned weaving of inspiration, ideals, good will, love and hope for the earth, the life of ecosystems, humanity and the future. When a person's ideals, love, desire, choices, intentions and actions line up (mind, heart and will) change happens. When prayer, mind, heart and good will line up, the world can change.
Theology of Ecology or Eco-Theology, is a spiritual understanding of the relationship of the divine, humanity, earth and living creatures. Eco-Theology is intrinsic in some religious traditions, not well developed in some and problematic in others. That there are people engaged in Eco-Prayer encourages development of Eco-Theology to understand and perhaps inform and direct it. Eco-Theology developed in a religion and between religions can encourage cross religion, cross cultural and international environmental education and action. We all share a common globally connected web of life, a common earth, common humanity and a shared future."
The work of creating a thriving world and future for our descendants is a goal that all the world's religions, countries and cultures can agree on. By expanding awareness and depth, Eco-Theology can be common ground between religions and people across the world. Eventually this may expand to greater cooperation in many areas. Perhaps people and groups can expand the story of their individual lives to include the story of bigger circles of those around them and even to the story of life itself. The bigger the story; the bigger the circle of compassion, understanding, humility and service. The story of Eco-Theology can include all people of good will.
Eco-Theology encourages action—spiritual interventions and action in the physical world. It provides the theological basis for, sustainable lifestyles for the Earth and our future. Religious professionals can be trained in teaching sustainable behavior in line with their tradition. In addition to Eco-Prayer, many religious traditions may also encourage ritual, ceremony and other spiritual interventions for our world.
Eco-Prayer is for all humanity. This web site is intended for people from cultures around the world and so must use broad language. Please translate any words or suggestions in a way you are comfortable. If you feel any of the content or translations gives offense, it is not intentional. We welcome any ideas and alternative suggestions for better communication through the Contact page.