Universal Day of Prayer for Students 2010

January 16th, 2012 11:06 am

Climate Justice

Liturgy prepared by the Reverend Ejike Okoro (Nigeria) on behalf of the Africa Region, formatted and edited by the WSCF Interregional Office.

First celebrated in 1898, the Universal Day of Prayer for Students is observed on the third Sunday of February; in 2010 it is celebrated on February 21st. The UDPS is one of the oldest ecumenical days of prayer.

In line with WSCF’s theme for 2010 the UDPS theme is Climate Justice.  Former WSCF Chairperson Rev. Ejike Okoro of Nigeria has prepared the 2010 UDPS liturgy and accompanying Bible study on behalf of the Africa region.

Preparation and Call to Worship 

(Provide or improvise the sound of a siren, an alarm clock or a gong.)

As the alarm sounds, the following call is made:

Leader: Blow the trumpet in Zion, sound the alarm on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble…

The sound of the alarm tells to us it is time to wake up, it is the time we must prepare – the climate has changed and is changing, it is time for action. The siren is blasting – we have an emergency, make way for the dying! The village crier with his gong calls us to the village square – the rains have not come as usual, the land has dried up, crops fail and the flocks have no forage; and now comes the rain but it’s an unprecedented flood destroying in its trail.

We look up to the heavens; to the clouds – from where will our help come? Our hope is in God who made the universe.

All: Teach us to consider our ways Lord, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom in these times.



Prayer of Adoration, Thanksgiving and Confession

Reader A: Almighty and Sovereign God, Maker of the heavens and earth, Creator of all that lives, You formed the seasons and the times to provide for all of your creation. We worship, adore and revere You.

We stand in awe of the greatness, beauty and harmony of that which Your hand has made – the suns, moons, stars, clouds that bring us light, warmth, rain and shade; the soil, the streams, lakes and ocean, the grass and trees, animals and birds with which we share the gift of life and provisions of nature – and say ‘Thank You’.

Reader B: For failing to live up to the privilege and responsibility of managing and caring for the earth we ask for forgiveness. For our self-centered exploitation of the earth’s resources to the detriment of others, forgive us. For satisfying our extreme appetites and comfort in ways that have unjustly harmed the earth and brought suffering to others, have mercy on us.

We now come in repentance and plead that the light of your love be rekindled in our hearts and that we will use our hands in the service of your Creation, through Christ our Lord. Amen


Scripture Readings
Job 38: 39 – 39: 8 and 2 Corinthians 9: 6-15

Scripture Reader: Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church

All: Thanks be to God


(Provide cards for people to write prayers on. Invite people to write prayers on them before the service begins or distribute them during the service. The prayers on each card can be read out during the intercessions and pasted on a board or elsewhere, or the prayers below can be used.)

Leader: The prayers we say are reminders of our fears about climate change and our hopes for climate justice. We pray to the God over us and the same God who is within us by the Spirit empowering us for action.

Let us pray,

For vulnerable, poor and devastated communities who are already suffering the effects of climate change

All: Giver of life sustain your creation

Leader: For the land, the waters, the islands, the air, the animals and plants which struggle for survival as a result of human greed and abuse

All: Giver of life sustain your creation

Leader: For industrialised nations which urgently need to make adjustments to their lifestyles and adopt appropriate environmental policies

All: Giver of life sustain your creation

Leader: For developing nations whose national economy is largely dependent on earning from export crude petroleum and other polluting substances, who will have to diversify their economies

All: Giver of life sustain your creation

Leader: For an increase in solidarity in all your people and practical support with those communities most affected by climate change

All: Giver of life sustain your creation

Leader: For ourselves, that we may adjust our lives to be in harmony with creation and that we may work for climate justice for all people

All: Giver of life sustain your creation

Leader: All these prayers we bring together in the prayer Jesus teaches us

The Lord’s Prayer


Prayer for WSCF
God we pray for the World Student Christian Federation. We thank you for the blessings you continually give to our Federation. This year we give thanks and praise for 115 years of WSCF work and witness.

We pray for the Federation at every level: locally, nationally, regionally and globally. We pray for all the students involved today, for the senior friends and for all those who support and encourage us.

We pray for the strengthening of the Federation’s work and that we may continually welcome more students into this ecumenical community of justice, love and peace.

We pray that your Holy Spirit will guide the Federation’s officers, Executive Committee and staff, and the entire Federation in the year ahead.

We pray that every part of the Federation may more effectively proclaim your gospel to the students of the world so ‘that they may all be one’.


The Peace

Leader: The peace of the Lord be always with you

All: And also with you

Leader: Let us share a sign of Christ’s peace with each other

Participants share a sign of God’s peace with each other


The Benediction

May we live in peace and justice with all our sisters and brothers,

May we live in harmony with God’s creation,

May our hearts move in compassion to bring succour and hope to the helpless,

May we commit to care for God’s creation and God’s people,

May the blessing of God the creator, the liberator and the sustainer of life be amongst us now and always,


Printable version available: UDPS Liturgy

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