Prayers for Those Facing Disasters

by The Rev. Taylor Burton-Edwards

These prayers may be offered by families, friends, or small groups who may gather for prayer and mutual support when disasters are at hand — or in their aftermath. The role of the "One" in these prayers may be shared among the group, or it may be given to a single voice within the group.


A Prayer of Confession

All: Almighty God, we confess our need of you.

One:
We take so much of our lives for granted, but in the end
we cannot rely on our own strength or that of others.


All: Almighty God, we confess our need of you.


One:
We have enjoyed the blessings of self-reliance, but in the end
we cannot rely on our own selves to do what is right or good.


All: Almighty God, we confess our need of you.


One:
We have built cities, and levees, and power grids to overcome the power of nature,
but in the end we cannot rely on even the best things we have built.


All: Almighty God, we confess our need of you.

We can rely only on you.
Into your hands we commend our lives,
for you are our Rock and our Redeemer.
Have mercy on us, Lord. Have mercy.


One:
When we confess our weakness, God makes us strong.


Another:
When we confess our sins, God makes us righteous through Jesus Christ.


All: When we confess our need for God, God draws near.


All to one another:
May the peace of God strengthen, cleanse, and hold you,
now and always. Amen.




A Prayer of Praise and Intercession

One:
In the midst of darkness, you call forth light.
In the radiance of your light, you invite us to walk into the mystery of your darkness.

All:
You are our light in this darkness, O God.
Be our guide, that we may not be afraid to walk where no light shines.


One:
You fill your creation with hope for peace,
but you also remind us of nature's destructive power.

All:
Shelter us in the midst of storms,
that we may offer shelter to those around us.

One:
May we show forth the light of your glory
by offering ourselves in love to all who are hurting,
and all who are helping those who hurt.

All:
When all we have is taken away,
still you hold us as your very own.
Blessed are you, Lord God of the universe,
now and forever. Amen.




A Prayer of Lament

One:
We have lost everything, Lord:
houses, businesses, paychecks, photos, and even food.


All:
Let our cry come to you, O God.


One:
We have lost every place, Lord:
Neighborhoods, churches, places we shopped, and worked, and played.


All:
Let our cry come to you, O God.

One:
We have lost everyone, Lord:
Neighbors, friends, classmates, teachers, colleagues, spiritual guides and companions, even pets.


All:
Let our cry come to you, O God.


One:
Have you lost us, Lord?


Silence.


One:
We have what health and strength we have, O Lord.
We have this place to gather and offer our cry.
We have one another, some known to us, and some who may have gathered only for this prayer.


All:
Our cry has come to you, O Lord.
You hear the voice of our mourning.


One:
You draw near to those who are hurting,
lift up those who have been bowed down,
and sustain all who have no other support.


All:
We had heard of your compassion with our ears,
But now we see it with our eyes,
And feel it in our bones.


One:
You show us your mercy, O Lord.


All:
And you grant us your salvation.

Categories: Times of Crisis, Natural Disasters, US Storms

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