Arbor Day Prayer

This Arbor Day Prayer can be used for Arbor Day celebrations or as a prayer of dedication for those planting trees.  This Arbor Day Prayer can also be used to meditate on the spiritual symbolism of trees in the Bible.

Arbor Day Prayer  

Dear Creator of the World,

On Arbor Day we give thanks for allowing us to play our part in caring for your world by replenishing and renewing your beautiful earth with life-giving trees.

We thank you that trees are one of the first blessings you provided for us when you placed us on earth.  (Genesis 1:29)

We thank you

For their fruits, nuts and spices

For their sheltering shade

For their wood which provides building material for our homes, furniture and tools

For the fuel they provide to warm ourselves and cook our meals

For the healing medicines they provide

For the nourishment they provide for the soil with their fallen leaves

For their beauty, majesty and grandeur

For the home they provide for birds and wildlife

For the forests that cover our hills and prevent erosion

For their protection as they break the wind

We pray that on Arbor Day you will plant in every heart a commitment to preserve and protect our trees.   May we use our natural resource of trees wisely, respectfully and responsibly.  Protect our forests from wartime scorched earth tactics.  Protect them from commercial exploitation and overuse.   Preserve them for future generations.

We plant trees today as an act of faith, knowing that although we plant, we depend on you to send your good rain and sunshine.  Although we can plant, we cannot make a tree grow.  And yet you give us vision that someday these new young trees will become living monuments of majesty and shelter  for future generations.

We plant a tree today we act as visionaries, believing that this small tree will grow into a tall beacon of are showing our vision and faith to future generations so that your promise may be fulfilled, “Everyone will sit under their own vine and under their own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the Lord Almighty has spoken.” (Micah 4:4 NIV)

Amen

About this Arbor Day Prayer

I was surprised to learn that the modern day celebration of Arbor Day has its roots in church history.  In 1805 a village priest named Juan Abern Samtres in the Spanish town of Villanueva de la Sierra set aside a day when he and the townspeople planted trees.  According to historians,

Juan was, “”convinced of the importance of trees for health, hygiene, decoration, nature, environment and customs” and decided to make planting trees a festive occasion.  After Mass he led the townspeople to the place where they planted a poplar tree.

In the US, Arbor Day is traditionally celebrated on the last Friday of April.  On Arbor Day in Nebraska in 1885, local groups and citizens and individuals planted almost one million trees.

The Bible is full of references to trees, the blessings they give us and the lessons we can learn from them.

Today Arbor Day is celebrated in countries across the globe as people plant trees for the good of our world.

Bible Verses for Meditation with this Arbor Day Prayer  

“I give you ever seed -bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it.  They will be yours for food.” Genesis 1:29 NIV

“The trees of the Lord are well watered, the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.”  Psalm 104:16 NIV

But his delight is in the law of the Lord and on his law he meditates day and night.  He is like a tree planted by streams of water which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.  Whatever he does prospers.  Psalm 1:2,3 NIV

“I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit.”  Leviticus 26:4 NIV

“‘A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord.”  Leviticus 27:30 NIV

“When you lay siege to a city for a long time, fighting against it to capture it, do not destroy its trees by putting an ax to them, because you can eat their fruit. Do not cut them down. Are the trees people, that you should besiege them?”  Deuteronomy 20:19 NIV

“Let the trees of the forest sing, let them sing for joy before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth.”  I Chronicles 16:33 NIV

“At least there is hope for a tree: If it is cut down, it will sprout again, and its new shoots will not fail.”  Job 14:7 NIV

“But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever.”  Psalm 52:8 NIV

“The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;”  Psalm 92:12 NIV

“Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.”  Psalm 96:12 NIV

“The one who guards a fig tree will eat its fruit,” Proverbs 27:18 NIV

“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”  Isaiah 55:12 NIV

“No longer will they build houses and others live in them, or plant and others eat. For as the days of a tree, so will be the days of my people; my chosen ones will long enjoy the work of their hands.” Isaiah 65:22 NIV

“They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:8 NIV

“Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.”  Ezekiel 47:12 NIV

“Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit … Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”  Matthew 7:17, 19  NIV

“Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.”  Revelation 2:7 NIV

Other articles of interest

Earth Day Prayer

How to meditate outdoors in nature

How to meditate on a nature walk

Copyright Karen Barber 2018.  All rights reserved.