Praying with Creation

young girl gardening

Sometimes we fail to see that an entire created world can lead us to prayer. We don’t need to look far for it, because often it’s in our own home or yard. This week, let’s pray with creation.

When you tend a plant, you are fulfilling one of your purposes as a human being on this earth. The Book of Genesis tells the story of God creating the world; Adam and Eve represent humanity, and the garden there in paradise represents the created world. Adam and Eve are charged with care of the garden. This earth is under our care, and too often we have damaged it rather than cared for it. But when we water our potted flowers or prune foliage when it’s time or plant seedlings and harvest fruit, we are doing holy work. This can be a prayerful time.

So when you tend your garden or go to a you-pick blueberry patch or apple orchard, consider this your time of communion with God. Do your work mindfully, not rushed, and not with a million other things on your mind. You can pray as you simply sit in your back yard and admire the begonias. You can pray as you prepare a meal from the fresh produce.

When you deal tenderly with creatures, you are also doing holy work. If you’re a farmer caring for cattle, sheep, pigs, or other, you can carry out your work in a number of ways. If you consider this work holy, not just a job but part of your role in caring for creation, then you will look at your practices in a certain light. If your main connection to creatures is a pet dog or cat, you are nevertheless caring for creation when you care for that pet. And whether you’re doing the chores of a farmer or doing the daily tasks of a pet owner, you can treat these actions as prayer, as your connection with God the Creator.

I have learned to pray while cuddling pets. What better thing can I do with this moment than allow the cat to sit on my lap and nuzzle me and let me rub her belly and talk to her? I’m not saying that talking to the cat is the same as talking to God, but I do believe that my communion with a creature can be experienced as an extension of my communion with the Creator. When I marvel at the perfect ears, the intricate patterns of color in her fur, and the eyes that look straight into mine, my soul is doing good work, even prayerful work.

How do you pray with creation?


This post is part of a series: Praying Through the Summer.

About Vinita Hampton Wright 110 Articles
Vinita Hampton Wright has served as senior editor at Loyola Press for 16 years and recently became managing editor of the trade books department. She has written various fiction and non-fiction books, including the novel Dwelling Places with HarperOne, Days of Deepening Friendship and The Art of Spiritual Writing for Loyola Press, and most recently, The St. Teresa of Avila Prayer Book for Paraclete Press. Vinita is a student and practitioner of Ignatian spirituality, and from 2009 to 2015 she blogged at Days of Deepening Friendship. For the past few years, she has co-led small groups through the 19th Annotation of the Spiritual Exercises. She lives in Chicago with her husband, three cats, and a dog. In her “spare” time these days, she is working on her next novel.

9 Comments on Praying with Creation

  1. I was just about to go out and water my 13 flower gardens when I read this lovely article. I always feel closer to God when I look at the beauty He created for our enjoyment. I’m reminded of how much He loves us. Each time a stranger stops to say how much they enjoy my gardens, as they drive past our home, I get a renewed feeling that this is one of Gods purposes for my life here on earth. I rejoice in His goodness.

  2. I meditate every morning and one morning my 3 month kitten jumped up on my lap and curled up and began to purr. When I was done I opened my eyes and looked down at him. His eyes were closed and he looked like he was meditating also.Our creatures can teach us so much about our Creator who created us all.

  3. Dear Vinita,

    I love your articles . I live in tropical urban Singapore. Recently I started recycling paper in our apartment block for 268 units . Residents recycled about 150kg of paper in first week . It is encouraging . When I drop by Starbucks , I asked for their grounded coffee beans . I feed our condomium plants with them. Thank you for reminding me to care for Mother Earth .

    • Joy, thank you for the wonderful work you’re doing! You’re also modeling creation care to the people who live on your block. This, indeed, is holy work. Thanks for sharing your story.

  4. Vinita, thank you for your wise and sensitive post. I feel something of the love of God whenever an animal – a dog or a cat especially – shows me affection. Some people laugh and think I must be a pathetic old woman, but I don’t actually mind if that’s their impression, and I don’t think it would be yours!

  5. I just had to send your article on to one of my friends. It was so timely as she had just sent me a picture of her garden and her potted beautiful plants. I love nature and use my morning walks to commune with God. Your reflections mirrored my thoughts and actions. I overlook Lake Ontario and thank God daily for the sheer beauty of the water which changes its hue every day, for the sky with its fluffy clouds, the geese and the swans that float by. God’s goodness for his creation can never be praised enough.
    Thank you for your wonderful caring words

  6. Whenever there is a full moon, I love to stare at it and pray in thanksgiving for the gift of the Eucharist. That is my thank you to God the Creator of all things, great and small things.

  7. The open blue sky is framed by trees and water when suddenly, a swallow pulls my heart from its swamp and tosses it into the joy of motion as it glides and darts, now point in at the sky , now skimming the water. Thank you God

  8. Thus reflected India’s Mahatma Gandhi: “God resides in every human form, indeed in every particle of His creation, in everything that is on his earth”.

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