For our prayers this month, we are reflecting on the creation narrative in the first chapter of Genesis.
On the third day, as well as creating land and sea, God created plants and trees; on the fifth day God
created sea creatures and birds; and God began the sixth day by creating animals:
Then God said, “Let the water be filled with living things, and let birds fly in the air above
the earth.” So God created the large sea animals and every living thing that moves in the
sea. The sea is filled with these living things, with each one producing more of its own kind.
He also made every bird that flies, and each bird produced more of its own kind. God saw
that this was good. God blessed them and said, “Have many young ones so that you may
grow in number. Fill the water of the seas, and let the birds grow in number on the earth.”
Evening passed, and morning came. This was the fifth day.
Then God said, “Let the earth be filled with animals, each producing more of its own kind.
Let there be tame animals and small crawling animals and wild animals, and let each
produce more of its kind.” And it happened. So God made the wild animals, the tame
animals, and all the small crawling animals to produce more of their own kind. God saw that
this was good.
[Genesis 1: 11–12, 20–25, New Century Version]
There is nothing in God’s work of creation that is haphazard or random or unintentional. There is a
pattern to God’s creating work. In the first verse of Genesis, we read that to begin with, the earth is
‘formless’ and ‘empty’. It is formless – so God gives it form, separating light and darkness, sky and sea,
sea and dry land, day and night. It is empty – so God fills it, with vegetation, birds, fish, animals, and
human beings. In essence, God saw a need, and God dealt with that need.
There is also something to note here about God’s provision for creation: in following the pattern above,
God had prepared the way for every living creature to live and to thrive in the world. Firstly, God provided
the right environment – sky for things that fly, seas for things that swim, land for things that walk or run or
burrow, trees for things that climb… Second, God provided the right nourishment – grasses and grains,
seaweeds and seeds, roots, shoots and fruits… Once again, God saw a need, and God dealt with that
God not only prepared the way for creation, but God also thought ahead, providing the means for
procreation. God commands the sea creatures, the birds, and the animals to produce more of their own
kind, to have many young ones, to grow in number and to fill the earth. And it was not only the animals
that were made to procreate, but also the food needed to sustain them (v11–12). God intended for
creation to continue, to move on, to grow, to evolve and adapt, to thrive and survive. At the risk of
repeating myself – God saw a need, and God dealt with that need!
Have you ever felt ‘formless’, ‘empty’, or ‘in need’ (physically, emotionally, practically,
Can you see (perhaps clearly, perhaps in hindsight), how God dealt (or is dealing) with your need?
Almighty God,We give you thanks for your great plan and purpose,
Not only for your creation, but also for our lives.
We give you thanks for your provision,
Sustaining all that you have created.
When we feel empty or in need,
Forgive us when we try to struggle on alone,
Or when we forget, or are afraid, to ask for help.
May we open our hearts, our minds, our lives,
To all that you have to offer us.
We invite you now to shape our lives,
To fill our emptiness,
And to provide for our need.
We pray in the name of Jesus.
Image: photo by Howard Wilks on www.pixabay.com