The inspiration for the next two weeks of prayers comes from a subscription to The Cloud Appreciation Society, (https://cloudappreciationsociety.org/) which I was given as a Christmas present. Each day, you receive a photo or painting of clouds, with an explanation or comment about what is being shown. The variation of cloud names is phenomenal. It is only since the early nineteenth century that clouds have been named. There are three main types: stratus, cumulus and cirrus.
I am not knowledgeable about clouds whatsoever, but I do appreciate it when Paul Hudson, the weather man (on BBC North) indicates what clouds are in some of the photos that have been sent in to him. I understand that there is a “Cloud bar” at Anderby Creek on the Lincolnshire coast, near Skegness, which was opened in 2009 by Paul Hudson, where you can lie back and look up and enjoy the clouds. On the day of opening there was not a cloud in the sky!!
Genesis 9: 12-15
“And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: 13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind.”
You can’t have a rainbow without clouds. The rainbow in the story presents hope after disaster. We know that today, people continue to experience floods, and they are becoming more frequent, but God’s promise of presence and hope continues throughout the ages. There are also people who constantly look at the sky for signs of clouds, to break the long drought. God’s presence in the clouds and in the sun.
Prayer of confession
We confess that we have allowed our lives to be overcome by different kinds of clouds
Forgive us when we have allowed:
the cloud of despair to block out hope.
The cloud of fear to resist trust.
The cloud of intolerance to hide acceptance
The cloud of hate to hinder love
The cloud of doubt to prevent faith
The cloud of discord to disguise peace.
Enable us to recognise where we have failed, and to know and trust your unfailing forgiveness.