World Council of Churches

A worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service

You are here: Home / Resources / Documents / WCC programmes / Spiritual Life / Prayer for Everyone / Prayers related to SDG6 Water and Sanitation

Prayers related to SDG6 Water and Sanitation

These materials were prepared by the Student Christian Movement India (SCMI) and first published by the WCC's Ecumenical Water Network (EWN).

23 September 2015

Call to worship

Dear brothers and sisters,
as many rivers merge together into the sea,
we have come together to worship our God,
the fountain of living water.
As we worship God in spirit and in truth,
let our hearts overflow with praise,
let us be cleansed by the waters of God’s grace and forgiveness.
Let us be refreshed and restored by Jesus Christ
who promises us the waters of life through his resurrection.

Prayer of adoration and thanksgiving

With hearts welling up in praise for God the fountain of all goodness,
let us adore the Lord.
God of the deep ocean and the tiny brook,
we praise you and adore you for the gift of water that sustains all life.
At this time of worship we remember with thanksgiving
the manifold manifestations of your grace through the gift of water.
Leader:            We remember the waters of Massah and Meribah and
All:                  we praise and thank you for you are the God of gracious provision.
Leader:                        We remember the healing waters of the pool of Siloam and
All:                  we praise and thank you for you are a God of ceaseless compassion.
Leader:            We remember the baptism in the waters of the river Jordan and
All:                 we praise and thank you for you are a God of transformation.
Leader:             Today we worship and adore you, God of provision,
compassion and transformation.
All:                  Let this worship enable us to be responsible stewards of your provision,
channels of your compassion and agents of your transformation.

Prayer of confession

Leader:                        God, the very source of life,
whose spirit hovered over waters at the time of creation;
God in Jesus Christ, who came as living waters to quench the thirsty;
God the Holy Spirit, who waters and brings forth the fruit;
we come to your presence confessing our attitudes of greed, dominance and insensitivity towards your wonderful creation, and particularly towards water.
All:                  Let justice roll down like rivers, and let rivers roll out in justice.
Leader:            We confess that we have been irresponsible in our use of water,
wasting it to satisfy our comfortable lives.
In many places we have commodified and privatised water, a natural resource, denying people access to it.
In the name of development projects, water sources have been drained or polluted with industrial waste, causing risk to flora and fauna.
All:                  Let justice roll down like rivers, and let rivers roll out in justice.
Leader:            We acknowledge the lack of cooperation between different authorities and organisations to manage water resources fairly.
We confess our failure, as faith communities, to address water justice and seek forgiveness for not speaking out for the thirsty and the dying in situations of drought.
All:                 Let justice roll down like rivers, and let rivers roll out in justice.
Leader:            We confess to being silent spectators as many vulnerable communities walk miles every day in search of water for their families.
We regret our involvement in the commodification of water, which has resulted in contamination and reduction of water supplies.
We come to your presence ashamed of our apathy and insincerity towards the abuse of water and other natural resources, asking you to inspire us to be challenged to conserve, preserve and use water prudently.
All:                  Let justice roll down like rivers, and let rivers roll out in justice.


All:      God who brought water out of the rock,
God who quenched the thirst of those dying in the wilderness,
God who in Jesus gave the living waters
so that those who taste them would never thirst,
God who in Jesus died on the Cross thirsty,
for there was none to quench his thirst,
listen to all those who truly confess
and grant us forgiveness so that we act responsibly in our use of water,
become sensitive to the desperate needs of those without water,
and gain wisdom in conserving and preserving water so that rivers roll out in justice among all nations and all peoples.

Intercessory Prayer:
(A glass of clean water, a glass of salted water, a bottle of coke and an empty glass are used. Soft music played in the background.)
Leader: (Holding the glass of clean water) Lord let this glass of clean water reminds us of the available sources of fresh drinking water. Help us to protect this gift. May our lives be so balanced that greed makes way for need and our wastefulness makes way for a commitment to preserve and share.
All:      Fountain of life, wash us clean from greed and sin.
Leader: (Holding the glass of salted water) Let this glass of salted water remind us of the tears of those whose lives have been threatened by the scarcity of water, compounded by the stigma and discrimination they face. Let those who contribute to exploitative systems and mechanisms, shed tears of repentance and learn to lead simple lives so that others can simply live.
All:      Creator of new life,
transform us so that we have welling within us, springs of eternal life.

Leader: (Holding a bottle of coke) God of justice, we pray for all those who are resisting those who plunder and pillage our natural resources and threaten the livelihood of indigenous communities. We remember the Plachimada Resistance Committee in Kerala, Tribal, Dalits and Indigenous people and all those engaged in preservation and sharing of water, your gift of life. Strengthen these resisting communities, guide them and sustain them in their endeavors.
All:      God of justice strengthen these “earthkeepers”
Leader: (Holding the empty glass) Lord we pray for all the communities who are involved in the issue of water justice. Sensitize us, to walk with all the people who lack the water of life. Help us to empty ourselves of all the prejudices and fill us with a vision of solidarity and fellowship so that we can liaise and work with other likeminded people in conserving the gift water.
All:      God of justice, give us your vision.
Leader: Lord, we pray for the universal church and its mission and vision. Transform our lifestyles so that, not only in words but in deeds we may be channels of your justice. Let your churches be role models within our communities in conserving water and preserving life in all its fullness. Make your churches work together so that justice will prevail and water will be available for all in our generation and beyond.
All:      God of resurrection, make us channels of your living water.
Leader: We bring these prayers to you in the name of Christ, our Saviour,
All:      Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer (Re-read)

All:      Our God, father and mother,
from, through and to whom all lives flow,
Your name is holy for you water every creature with life.
May the ‘waters rolling in justice’ come down among us
and dwell as in your presence.
Give us water sufficient for our living,
and help us to share water and other resources with those who are dying of thirst.
Forgive us our insincerity, insensitivity and irresponsibility
in saving and preserving water, and for our abuse of creation.
And teach us to forgive one another.
Lead us not into the temptation of accumulation,
greed and power over water,
and deliver us from avaricious life styles.
For your word is like water cleansing us from evil,
your reign is righteousness flowing like an ever-flowing stream
dismantling the powers and principalities
from generation to generation,
from history to history, for ever and ever.


The Blessing

All:      May God, who caused rain to water the face of the earth,
May Jesus Christ, who gives us the water of eternal life,
May the Holy Spirit, who quenches thirst with gifts from the spring of life
inspire and challenge us to become advocates for water justice
and bless us all to flow as ‘justice rolls down as waters’
both now and forever more.


These materials were prepared by the Student Christian Movement India (SCMI) and first published by the Ecumenical Water Network (EWN), a project initiated by the World Council of Churches comprising a network of churches and Christian organizations promoting people's access to water around the world.