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Is it OK to pray for animals? Hmmmm.

February 27, 2009

A Christian Viewpoint on animals and God.
By Jeannie St. John Taylor,
Oregon author of Culture Proof Kids

I had to resist a strong urge to rush across the Atlantic and adopt the badly burned koala found in a charred Australian forest after I saw her photo on the news. How desperate she must have felt to seek out a fireman, hold onto him and drink from his water bottle! Such behavior from a wild koala is even more amazing since koalas don’t customarily drink much water.

So do you think it hurt God’s heart to see thousands of animals suffer and die because a few humans ignored his laws and deliberately set fires? I do.

Please understand: I know full well humans are made in God’s image and animals are not. I am not an environmentalist. I wear leather shoes, I once owned a fur coat, I don’t view paper bags as an assault on trees, and yes, I eat beef.

Still, I think animals matter to God; he loves the animals he created. I can almost see him looking down from heaven delighting in their antics in much the same way we enjoy watching them. Want to hear what God says about animals?

“For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the hills, and all that moves in the field is mine.” (Psalm 50:10,11)

Job tells us God watches mountain goats and does give birth. He loosed donkeys to roam wild, clothes the horse’s neck with a mane and observes the eagle hunt then soar back up to his nest. He cares about every detail of the animals he created. (Job 39) The book of Matthew indicates he watches even common sparrows hop along the ground.

Proverbs 12:10 tells us how he expects his followers to treat animals. “Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast.”

A few weeks ago a friend asked me to pray for endangered gorillas, and I did. I’ve prayed for the Australian animals as well. In my book 101 Stories of Answered Prayer an entire section is dedicated to miraculous stories about prayers that have been answered for the animals I’ve owned. I believe its okay with God if we pray for animals; I know he answers prayers for them.

And knowing that he cares so much about animals gives me a greater understanding of my own worth . . . because Jesus says I am far more valuable than any animal. (see Matt. 10:29)

Jeannie St. John Taylor, author of 101 Stories of Answered Prayer

  
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Discuss this article

Dave February 27, 2009

I pray my cat would follow my orders.

KittyLiterate February 27, 2009

Kitty Literate here….down through the years I have had many “puddies.” When my lovely white cat, Scruffy, was going under the knife, I prayed to God not to take her just yet. I needed her really badly, since I was going through a bad time in my life. I literally raised my head to the sky and at the top of my lungs screamed, “GOD, DO NOT TAKE THIS CAT FROM ME NOW….I BEG YOU!!!” And, being the understanding God that He is, the cat came out of the surgery okay. (The doctor may have been rattled, though….as I kept calling him every five seconds to see if my Scruffy was okay.) Scruffy lived with me another five years, and after I met my husband-to-be and was at a much better place in my life, God decided to bring her home. (Yes, I believe there are animals in heaven, too.)

So, yes, indeedy do. I believe and know for a fact, that God does hear our prayers for our animals. And He answers them, too!

KittyLiterate, a/k/a Allia Zobel Nolan
author, The Worrywart’s Prayer Book,
Purr More, Hiss Less: Heavenly Lessons I Learned From My Cat

Gail Welborn February 27, 2009

Jeannie, Randy Alcorn’s book, “Heaven,” has a chapter on how God feels about animals and whether our pets will meet us in heaven. If you haven’t read it, I encourage you to do so. Although it can’t be substantiated biblically, Alcorn believes God hints that our beloved pets will join us in heaven. I agree with him. A three-legged yellow tabby cat we un-originally named “Tripod” found us in an RV park a few years ago. He didn’t want to come in the door, but he DID want to be loved on and fed, which we did. We set up an outdoor home for him for shelter and he moved with us as we looked for a home to purchase. When age and arthritis told me it was time for him to leave, I took him to Leslie, the vet who helped care for him. She stopped what she was doing, took me in the back with him, and sat with us after she gave him a shot that put him to sleep on my lap. My tears dripped onto his fur while I held him close and whispered my gratitude for being such a great pet. He lazily purred in acknowledgment and snuggled against me, his eyes grateful to feel no more pain. Tripod taught me how to endure pain that I had to eventually face, without complaint, but grateful for the help I received. I’m crying as I write this, but God and Tripod know how much we miss him.

Susan February 27, 2009

I think God cares about animals, too, and I AM an environmentalist. God has made us stewards of his creation, and I think he hates to see it destroyed. So to pray for the protection of his world and the animals he made should be perfectly fine!

Donna W. February 27, 2009

I love animals, and my heart just breaks when I see that they are being mistreated or come into harms way for some reason or another. I too wanted to pickup that koala bear and care for it, but in watching the news I could see he was getting good care. I use to raise my own beef and pork to eat, but I do believe these animals were given to us by God for food, there are times I don’t like it. Does God answer prayers for animals? you bet he does. I am a cat lover and once I had a cat named Buttons. My vet had diagnosed her with feline lukemia, after loosing one cat to this diease I refused to accept it. I prayed for her, and she lived a good healthy life. And the vet was surprised that she had lived that long. And as I get older I become too emotionally attached to my dogs. The thought of loosing one of them hurts deeply.

Wendy Lanier February 27, 2009

I pray for animals all the time. In fact,I’m the “go to” friend to call when a pet is sick in my circle of friends. I believe that what concerns me, concerns my Father as well. I currently have three dogs in the house who sometimes have mysterious ailments. When this happens I lay hands on them, pray for them, and remind my heavenly Father that they are His creation. I know he cares for them better than I ever could.
When my much loved Dalmatian, Tyler, died, I grieved as though I’d lost a child. For a brief moment the Lord gave me a vision of Tyler being carried off in the arms of Jesus. The look on his face was one of happy contentment, and I knew that God was telling me it was ok. I hope Randy Alcorn is right, and I get to see Ty again, but even if I don’t, I know my beloved pet is ok, no matter where he is.

Dona February 27, 2009

So much of the suffering that goes on in this world is due to the inate evil of human nature – which is what Christ died and shed his precious blood for. Hopefully we are putting as much time into our relationship with God as we are into our pets.

stan baldwin February 27, 2009

Hi, Jeannie:

I think we are in good company and on solid biblical ground when we care for the animals. St. Francis of Assissi called them brothers, and he loved and talked with them. The Bible does say, as you cited, that the righteous man cares for his beast. To label oneself an environmentalist or not is pretty meaningless unless you explain your positions.Like anything else in God’s creation, animals become idols when we worship or serve the creature more than the Creator. We also depart from biblical teaching when we speak of animal rights as on a par with human rights. It’s folly to say animals are on a par with humans when one need only look around to see that the Bible is accurate when it states man is in charge of the rest of earthly creation. We don’t see any animals crusading for human rights, do we?
With the exception of our Society’s Dolphin General.

Val C. February 27, 2009

Of course we can pray for them! Whatever concerns us can be taken to God. As you pointed out, we were put in a care position over animals and the things we care about, we’ll talk to God about too. I’m not sure I’ll be praying for the dried out salamander we found in the closet the other day though…

Jeannie St. John Taylor February 28, 2009

I am so impressed with all the opinions expressed here. I cried with some of them, laughed with others and am thoroughly enjoying every one. While I always have strong opinions and I openly speak what I believe, in my opinion the comments here which may sound divergent are actually not; every one of them is exactly correct.

To clarity my position: When I said I am not an environmentalist I meant I am not what Rush Limbaugh terms an “environmentalis wacko”. In other words, I have no plans to chain myself to a tree to save its life. On the other hand, I love living and recycling in Oregon and I believe God expects us to care for the environment, not worship it.

And animals, though rightly loved by us and God, certainly do not have the same rights as humans. Thank you for stating that so beautifully, Stan.

Connie Spring February 28, 2009

Hi Jeannie, I am sure God cares about animals. He tells us to be like little children and we know children love their pets. Also God created them and He said it is good. It is okay if we pray for them too. We are told to pray about everything even animals.

Betty Rankin March 1, 2009

Jeannie,

About 15 years ago my husband wanted an English bull dog. We found a reliable breader through some friends. One the puppies the (runt)had some problems so we could not bring her home right away so each day we would drive to her house to bond with the puppie we named Dolly-Ann. On one of the evenings we took Dolly to our vet to be checked. The vet said not to buy her that she would never develop and was not worth the price the breader wanted.

On one of the evening we had to wait until she came home with the puppies. She and her children had taken the puppies to her church to be blessed. I did not know churches would bless pets.

We all prayed for Dolly to be all she could. She grew to be a standard size bull dog and watched over my mother-in-law when my husband and I would go to work.

I do belive in praying for our pets. I hope there is a heaven for our pets. I would love see Dolly again and thank her again for the job well done.

Betty

Sam Hall March 1, 2009

Hi, Jeannie–
My bros. & I had many cat funerals when we were kids. Shed lots of tears. Hardest to bear was when we came home Sun. night after church to find our dog lying dead in the road; he’d been given to us the day of our father’s funeral, 2 years before.
I think God has given us–esp. as children–animals to love and care for. We experience the full gamut of emotions with our pets, particularly when they die or are hurt. And pets can be wonderful therapy for people as they get older. But I must be getting calloused; my prayer journal is full of living human beings I’m trying to keep “prayed up” and I just don’t have time to pray for your cat. I’ll pray for you as I realize the significance of that animal to you and your potential loss of that companionship.
Interesting comments from others. I respect your views.

Cornelia Becker Seigneur October 24, 2009

sorry, I differ here. People worship their animals way too much …it is crazy here in oregon especially…

cat December 4, 2009

Dave, I totally agree with you. I pray for you, and I pray my 1 year old dog becomes more obedient! He’s a rascal!

marni April 24, 2010

Psalm 36:6
God cares for animals and people alike.
In genesis we are instructed to be caretakers for the birds of the air, fish of the sea and animals.

Joseph January 7, 2011

Yeah I don’t feel comfortable about praying for an animal. Unless you can prove it with scripture. I rather just let God take care of any animal from his Will. Don’t get me wrong. I love animals I own a dog couple cats and some birds. And I treat them well. And if they are sick or hurt I take them to the vet. But pray for them I don’t since it is nit in scripture to do so.

Geraldine March 10, 2015

Our handsome dog has been ill for 3 weeks. He has been seen by two vets but his illness is not yet identified. As we left him to be cared over night at the vet, we were called today to make a hard decision. We could not make that decision. When we saw him in his cage sitting down and eagerly waiting for us, we felt hope. We took him home and prayed for him. He showed positive sign of recovery as he ate a little. We are even teaching our daughters to pray for him, especially our older daughter who has deep love of animals. My daughter and our dog have a special bond between them. Each time my daughter passes by him, he would try to get up. My husband and I as well as our younger daughters have been crying and just preparing for the worst. But my older daughter that is closer to our dog always feel positive that he will get better. I guess our dog is picking up that positive spirit from her and it’s making him fight his illness. As everyone is saying, we as a family, believe that God cares and answers prayers for our pets. Our God is a God of all creation.

julia May 31, 2015

I just came across your article on, is it ok to pray for animals, which i found interesting, and i did refer to the bible on this aswell.

My comment would be this; i adore animals, and i care greatly for the animal Kingdom, and animal welfare. Prayer is definately needed, and as i support animal welfare around the world, i do pray for causes, like the end of the fur and leather industry.

I, for one, am deeply opposed, and disgusted at the way animals are brutally treated for their fur and skins (leather), therefore i was upset about your comment: Please understand: I know full well humans are made in God’s image and animals are not. I am not an environmentalist. I wear leather shoes, I once owned a fur coat, I don’t view paper bags as an assault on trees, and yes, I eat beef.

I would never befriend anyone who wears fur, and thought a christian would think differently to this. I suppose at the end of the day, Christian or not, some do not have the right attitudes, so thank God for animal welfare, and animal rights activists…!

It is difficult for my heart to read this from a christian- presume you are, as i believe that christians especially should never wear leather, fur, and should love, and care about the environment. Shocking.

This is also quite disappointing, and i speak from someone who has asked Jesus into my life, and reads the bible:
And knowing that he cares so much about animals gives me a greater understanding of my own worth . . . because Jesus says I am far more valuable than any animal. (see Matt. 10:29)

I would never consider myself as far more valuable that my pets for i love them dearly, and i think all life is valuable. If they breath, they are as valuable as human life. Just because animals are not human does not mean humans should regard them as alot less valuable.

julia May 31, 2015

….it should go without saying that it is ok to pray for animals…..

Marion Scott October 3, 2016

Julia, I totally agree with you. I have asked this question for a long time – “Why don’t churches pray for the animals?” The Bible has many references to treating animals respectfully and kindly and yet they are being tortured, abused and inhumanely killed for every purpose under the sun, everywhere in the world, and many people actually believe they do not have feelings and thoughts as we do, often unbelievably of the bizarre opinion that they don’t even feel pain.

Raising food animals is one thing, but they deserve a decent humane life up until the point of slaughter and should be killed as humanely as possible. Factory farms are the stuff of nightmares and I refuse to buy meat from any store. Animals are being abused and tortured for entertainment, for experimentation when its not needed any more, pets are abused, neglected and abandoned by owners, the list just keeps going on into numbers too high to count.

The animals need prayer desperately. I am constantly overwhelmed with the cruelty they endure at the hands of what is the worst blight on the face of this earth – human beings. A huge segment of mankind is selfish, greedy and heartless, and I personally would feel shame for another life form to come to this earth to witness what we have done to our planet.

I think the animals are more worthy than we are. Pets are loyal and kind to their masters even when they are abused, and dogs are pure love, so if dogs have no souls and aren’t going to heaven, we have no hope.

Barbara December 23, 2016

Marion and Julia I agree with you both. I cannot understand why preachers in the church make no mention of praying for animals or animal cruelty as well as praying for people. It is a mystery to me. I would love to find a church where they do. There have also been people who have been taken to Heaven by God and shown them our pets waiting in our mansions for us. I firmly believe animals will be in Heaven. I find it hard to experience joy in this world with all the suffering I see. I am heartbroken every time I see cruelty to animals. Don’t get me wrong I love people and it pains me to see them suffer as well. However I do wonder what causes the hardness in people’s hearts against animals suffering and about believing animals go to Heaven. It’s like they just don’t want them there. I guess it’s how you interpret the Bible. I also think Satan has a hand in all of this. If he hates animals as well as us what does that tell you.

Cari August 20, 2017

Hi people,please stop talking about human rights.It’s a thing that started with the Philosophy and many philosophers did not believe in Jesus. We as people have no rights on this earth, only privilidges.Barbara Adam and Eve communicated with animals, but Satan took it away.So I guess there’s the answer.And he will keep trying to harden peoples hearts against His creatures,because it has been proven that the worst criminals started out on defenceless animals. He wants to destroy this earth, but remember he’s not in charge the new heaven and earth is closing quickly and he and those unfortunate people who follows him time is getting very short.Pray that they will turn to Christ before it’s to late.

Marlene November 14, 2017

Cari, you are correct. Humans have only privileges given to us by our Creator God. We are to have dominion over animals and that includes look after them in a modern world where they are more dependent on us. I don’t remember reading in Scripture that Adam and Eve communicated with the animals. What do you mean by communicated? I guess we all can communicate in some primal form with animals but all the Bible says is that Adam named them. As for praying for animals, I don’t think it is wrong or sin to pray for His other creatures who may be suffering or whatever. Humans have messed up the planet and their natural environment for the most part. We have dominion but we seriously dropped the ball in the name of progress. I’m no fanatical environmentalist or tree huger but it is what it is. Mankind has ruined the environment. Prayer is simply talking to God, praising and worshiping Him and and making supplication. So what makes it wrong to talk to God about His other creatures He gave us dominion over? The Lord God wants none of His creation to suffer including animals. Sin contaminated everything on this planet including them. Animals didn’t start out killing each other and attacking people. Therefore, it is never wrong to pray against sin and its overall consequences…even among the animal kingdom. Animal abuse and neglect is abhorrent. They are at our mercy and merciful we should be. Although some people do go overboard and treat animals way better than they treat other people. That is not a godly attitude. However, don’t we feel affection and love for our pets or some animals? A truly tender Christlike heart will feel for people more and always first but also for God’s other creatures. I think it is a matter of keeping a balanced Christian perspective…people first and foremost but animals matter too. Just my opinion.

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