Guest Post by Matt Carter: Prayer of a Tree

angels falls creek downstream 2017One of my friends, Matt Carter, provides a guest post for Call for Fire Seminar today.  Matt is a staff member at Harding School of Theology and among the ministers at Cordova Community Church of Christ.  As he explains, this post and prayer grew out of planning a worship service built around Psalm 104. In the psalm, verse 16 and verses 27-30 are especially relevant. Creation is portrayed as aware of God’s care and provision. The tree’s prayer functions as a metaphor and suggestion for prayer for we who are likewise sustained He gave me permission to share his thoughts on today’s blog.

At Cordova Community, we are focusing our worship through Psalm 104 this week, and our challenge is to praise God with and within creation (as opposed to praising Him for creation as though we were outside creation).

In our planning meeting, I asked what it would be like if we could hear the prayer of a tree or a lion. Of course, eventually I was assigned to write such a prayer.

Google has done nothing for me, but I can’t imagine no one has thought this way before! Anyway, here is my first crack at the Prayer of a Tree. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated!

Our goal today is to join creation in praising God. We’re not praising God for creation as though we stand outside of it, but rather we are praising God with creation as insiders. With that thought in mind, we wondered what it would sound like if we could understand creation’s praise. What would it sound like if we could hear a tree pray?

Prayer of a Tree
I lift my branches to you, Lord God.
I stretch my limbs high to feel your breath on my leaves.
No matter how high I grow, you are higher still.

When your breath blows through my leaves, they say
[whispered] Worthy … Worthy … Worthy.
[whispered] Holy … Holy …. Holy.

The mighty heat of your sun warms my leaves and makes my sap flow.
Your children the birds nest in my branches,
Even the insects have a place in my bark.

You have planted me, Lord, and I am well watered.
Your rain falls through my canopy, streaming refreshment down my trunk,
Your rain soaks into the soil, providing nourishment to my roots.

You have planted me, Lord, and my roots stretch deeply into the earth.
You hold me tightly to the earth,
You make me stand firm in the fiercest storm.

You are the God of all glory and I stand for you.
You are the Mighty One who created and sustains all life.

Though the sun beat down mercilessly, though the storms buffet cruelly, through drought and through frozen winter, you alone are God.
I rest in your shade.
I sing your praise.

[whispered] Worthy … Worthy … Worthy.
[whispered] Holy … Holy …. Holy.

About Michael Summers

Michael Waymon Summers has preached in twenty-seven of the United States as well as seven other countries. Michael earned a Master of Theology degree. He also has done graduate work in international studies. Michael likes to run, loves to sing, and reads voraciously.
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