Foraging Prayers and Thanksgiving

The Tradition of Foraging Prayers: Nearly every sacred tradition has a ritual of offering or prayer for the plant being harvested, especially if that plant is to be used for medicinal and healing purposes. In many native cultures in North America, tobacco was offered to the plant prior to harvesting. Medicine men around the world believe that the plants have consciousness and can hear the practitioners words and sense their intentions. Therefore, many medicine men advise forming deep relationships with the plants that you use – speaking to them, and letting them know for whom or for what you intend to harvest.

Ancient Christians also had a tradition of speaking to plants and many prayers addressed the plant world directly. “Oh most holy Paradise, planted for my sake and yet shut because of my sin, pray to Him that made thee, and fashioned me, that I once more may take pleasure in thy flowers,” reads a prayer from Forgiveness Sunday. What a beautiful prayer of humility before the created world! And it couldn’t be more timely. It acknowledges our complicity in the current state of the creation; human sin is what brought us to this place of disharmony and imbalance.

Furthermore, the prayer asks creation to pray for us. This is echoed in other ancient medicinal practices where it is believed that the plants help man on a spiritual level more than they do on a physical level; that the root of all disease is spiritual. An imbalance in our spirits manifests itself in our mental and physical selves. Therefore, a holistic approach to healing must address the whole person: body, mind, and soul.

The Importance of Offering Prayers and Thanksgiving for the Creation

In order for man to live and thrive, inevitably, something else must die. Most often, when we eat, a plant or animal had to sacrifice its life; we should not take such sacrifice lightly. Another living creature gave the ultimate sacrifice for our life. It is therefore vital that we offer thanks to both the creation and to God. The creation gave of itself for our sake, and God created the world that we might live in it. Our prayer and thanksgiving acknowledges that we understand the sacrifice made, and the goodness with which God infuses the creation. Our prayer should ask God to not only bless the creation but to multiply it, that it may grow in abundance.

An offering can be left if you desire. I personally like to offer a few drops of holy water. Holy water is not magic water as many modern Christians may believe; rather it is water that has become true water. It is water returned to its state in paradise. All of creation is holy; God dwells in it, and it dwells in God. He placed within each created thing His logoi, which is His uncreated energy. The logoi is what informs each thing what it is, and what it does. It is what draws each thing to God, and draws those who have eyes to see, to God through the creation. Holy water, is water that has been returned to its natural state; it is water which has been freed to have divine energy flow through it and in it.

Foraging Prayers and Thanksgiving
Foraging Prayers and Thanksgiving

All Creation Rejoices: A Foraging Prayer and Thanksgiving

Prayer before foraging:

Glory to Thee our God, Glory to Thee.

O Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth, Who art everywhere present and fillest all things, Treasury of good things and Giver of life, come and abide in us, and cleanse us of all impurity, and save our souls O Good One.

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us. (say three times)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Amen.

O Most Holy Trinity have mercy on us. O Lord blot out our sins. O Master pardon our iniquities. O Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities for Thy Name’s sake.

Lord have mercy. (say three times).

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

Through the prayers of our holy fathers and mothers, O Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us. Amen.

The sun hid its rays, the moon and starts were turned to blood, the mountains were afraid, the hills trembled, when Paradise was shut. Adam departed, beating his chest, and covering his face saying: ‘I am fallen O merciful Lord, have mercy on me!’ And I too, my sweetest Lord Jesus cry out: ‘I have fallen, have mercy on me a sinner!’

Woe is me! I have transgressed the will of God and now am deprived of the fullness of creation. O most holy Paradise, planted for my sake and shut because of my sin, pray to Him that made thee, and fashioned me, that once more I make take pleasure in thy flowers.

Then the Savior spoke: “I desire not the death of the creature which I fashioned, but that he should be saved and come to the knowledge of truth; and when he comes to me, I will not cast him out.”

Make an offering if you intend to while saying:

For the abundance of the fruits of the earth, let us pray to the Lord.

O Lord Jesus Christ our God, who didst bless the five loaves in the wilderness and didst satisfy thousands, bless these Thy plants (you can name the plants you intend to harvest), and multiply them in this place and in all Thy world, and sanctify the faithful who partake of them. For it is Thee who blesses and sanctifies all things, O Christ our God, and to Thee we send up glory, together with the Father who is without beginning, and Thy Holy, Good and Life-creating Spirit, now and forever, and unto the ages. Amen.

You may now collect your plants. Be sure to only harvest what you will actually use. Harvest respectfully, and sustainably, taking no more that 20% of the plants. Talk to the plants while you harvest and treat them tenderly. You may also continue to pray while harvesting using your own words, or the Jesus Prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner and save me.

Prayer to be said after harvesting:

Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord, sing praises to Him and highly exalt Him for ever.

Bless the Lord, all ye heavens, sing praises to Him and highly exalt Him for ever.

Bless the Lord, all ye angels, sing praises to Him and highly exalt Him for ever.

Bless the Lord, sun and moon, sing praises to Him and highly exalt Him for ever.

Bless the Lord, stars in the heavens, sing praises to Him and highly exalt Him for ever.

Bless the Lord, all rain and dew, sing praises to Him and highly exalt Him for ever.

Bless the Lord, all winds, sing praises to Him and highly exalt Him for ever.

Bless the Lord, fire and heat, sing praises to Him and highly exalt Him for ever.

Bless the Lord, snows and cold, sing praises to Him and highly exalt Him for ever.

Bless the Lord, darkness and light, sing praises to Him and highly exalt Him for ever.

Bless the Lord, lighting and clouds, sing praises to Him and highly exalt Him for ever.

Let all the earth bless the Lord, sing praises to Him and highly exalt Him for ever.

Bless the Lord, mountains and hills, sing praises to Him and highly exalt Him for ever.

Bless the Lord, all things that grow on the earth, sing praises to Him and highly exalt Him for ever.

Bless the Lord, all springs, rivers, and oceans, sing praises to Him and highly exalt Him for ever.

Bless the Lord, ye whales and creatures that move in the waters, sing praises to Him and highly exalt Him for ever.

Bless the Lord, all birds of the air, sing praises to Him and highly exalt Him for ever.

Bless the Lord all beasts and cattle, and all creatures that move over the face of the earth, sing praises to Him and highly exalt Him for ever.

Bless the Lord, all ye bees, worms, and insects, sing praises to Him and highly exalt Him for ever.

Bless the Lord, all ye bacteria and viruses, sing praises to Him and highly exalt Him for ever.

Bless the Lord, all ye sons and daughters of men, sing praises to Him and highly exalt Him for ever.

Bless Him, all ye who worship the Lord, the God of gods, sing praises to Him and highly exalt Him for ever.

Amen.

A Quick Note on the Foraging Prayer and THANKSGIVING

I will go into greater depth explaining the foraging prayer and thanksgiving offering in a future article, but I wanted to offer a few thoughts right now. Firstly, it is important to note that the entire prayer offering begins by invoking God and asking Him to heal us and cleanse us. The prayer begins in a place of humility, acknowledging our shortcomings and flaws. We are all human after all and must come before God with full openness, knowing that it is only He who truly heals and cleanses our hearts, minds, bodies, and spirits.

Secondly, the prayer turns towards creation, seeking forgiveness from the very plants we seek to harvest. This is important. We must acknowledge that our ecology and our earth are out of balance primarily because of our sin. We are responsible for this state of affairs.

Third, we ask God to increase the fruits of the earth, not just in the place where we are harvesting, but throughout the earth. We ask Him for abundance so that all the creatures of the earth may be fed and healed.

Lastly, we pray a hymn of thanksgiving along with the creation. It is in harmony with the rest of the created world that we must pray and live.


Join us as we strive to create a more peaceful world as we seek to meet the Creator, through the creation. Strive with us to develop an authentic Trinitarian communion, as we honor our God, demonstrate love to one another, and show compassion upon all of nature.

Want to learn more about how to honor the plants and the earth from which they sprout up? Then join us on one of our wild plant walks.

Rewild Church meets in Pittstown, NJ and in various other locations throughout Hunterdon County New Jersey.

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Christian Ecology, Theology, and Holistic Herbalism

Pittstown, NJ (Hunterdon County New Jersey)