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  • Writer's pictureChapman Chen

The Live Exports Prayer. By Pastor James Thompson. Ed. Dr. Chapman Chen


Rev. James Thompson (1930-2015), known affectionately as the “Animals’ Padre”, was a revered vicar and animal rights campaigner from Holywell, Flintshire, Wales. His life was marked by a profound dedication to animal rights, spirituality, and community service. He’s one of the very few modern-day officially ordained Christian priests who write prayers for animals suffering in factory farms like the following:-


Gracious Father, we ask for your guidance and blessing over the farming communities. We realise that they have undergone much heartache and pain and so we ask for guidance concerning their future lives.


The Holy Bible tells us that what we sow must eventually reap. So just as harvest time follows a time of sowing, so we pray, today, that your children will sow compassion and care to all forms of life committed to their care.


We feel, Dear God, that husbandry over weaker forms of life has become far removed today from what it was when Jesus walked this earth; so we pray that the kindness and care shepherds once displayed towards their sheep might return to this lovely land.


As Jesus told of how a good shepherd will lay down his own life to protect sheep committed to his charge, so today may the farmers show a similar deep concern and care for the lambs and calves committed to them.


Teach us to realise that to subject these defenceless and gentle creatures, to any future stress and deprivation; the denial of their God given instincts – for no higher a reason or motive than to satisfy the acquired carnivorous palate of a distant gourmet – is surely unforgivable and inexcusable.


Help us to remember that we, ourselves, could have been born an animal; for there are far more of them than there are of us! Who knows? – for our just desserts our future existence: the hell our Saviour so solemnly warned us of, could be a future existence as one of these.


Father, we do not claim to have the answers; we only know that to have been born as a human – shall we say; this time round? – is a most awesome responsibility indeed; for as humans we alone have the ability to bless or blight the creation which you made us guardians and stewards.


Father, we pray for your blessing upon the sheep, and other creatures, you have entrusted to our protection. May we, like Jesus, lead the sheep by calm and still waters – especially the ewes who are with young; and may we take up the lambs, as He did, keeping them close to our breast. Indeed, when they hear our voice may they come to us because they recognise our love for them; knowing that whatever we do it will be for their constant welfare and care.


May people show their true mettle. May they rise up to put compassion and protection of weaker forms of life, before selfishness, greed and monetary gain, for – as the Good Shepherd Himself said: ‘What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world yet, through it, lose his very soul?’.


This prayer we offer in the Name of the Good Shepherd, The Lamb of God, Jesus Christ Our Lord.



Source: Jones, Phillip (2022). The Animals' Padre: The Life and Works of James Thompson. London: Paragon Publishing. 215-216.

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