Natalie Mayer, Radiant’s sustainability writer, reviewed the book Earth Gospel…
Author: Sam Hamilton-Poore
Publisher: Upper Room Books
What it’s about: Earth Gospel is a prayer book to guide you in praying for God’s creation. It contains morning, midday and evening prayers for each day of the week, for four weeks.
The weekly outline gives you a good overview of the book’s contents: Mondays’ prayers are about God creating, Tuesdays’ are about God’s providence, Wednesdays’ focus on creation’s witness about God, Thursdays’ remind us of our vocation as God’s stewards of the earth, Fridays’ look at sin and the destruction of creation, Saturdays’ are about God’s promised restoration of creation, and finally Sundays’ prayers feature creation’s praise to God.
The book offers more than just three daily prayers. Both morning and evening slots include the words of a hymn, readings from scripture, and ‘voices’ of Christians past and present from a variety of churches across the world. At the back of the book are Bible comments, which provide the theological context of the scripture readings for each day – great if you want to read more about the passage.
“Set me free, O God, from my empire-prison of human self-importance. Help me to serve you and your creation with energy, intelligence, imagination, and love.” pg 45
My opinion: On the back of the book it says “Do something for the environment – pray for the earth.” This is quite a profound statement, especially when you’re trying so hard to live green and solve the world’s environmental problems through your own efforts. This book made me step back and remember that God is in control, not me, and that he has an amazing plan of restoration for the world. Praying for creation through this book helped me to commit to God’s plan, and put human effort into perspective. If I had to be super critical, I would say that in some parts the prayers could have been more scripture based, and were a bit ‘airy-fairy’ as a result. Nevertheless, the book was a source of encouragement for times when I felt the world’s environmental problems were too big to solve. The sheer amount of scripture that speaks of creation blew me away! It is certainly not an afterthought in the Bible.
As a prayer guide, Earth Gospel is quite unique compared to other creation care books. Definitely worth a look!
Natalie Mayer is Radiant’s sustainability writer. She holds a Master’s in Sustainable Development from Stellenbosch University and works as a writer, researcher and content editor. A committed follower of Christ, Natalie has a special interest in motivating other Christians to take care of creation, through her blog UrbanEcoMission.org. This review was first published on her blog.