As I write this prayer on Friday September 11th, at least 16 lives have been lost as a result of more than 100 fires in more than 12 states in the western United States. In Oregon alone more than 500,000 people are currently under evacuation orders. In all, 42 of the 100 plus fires have led to evacuations. The total combined area of the fires is larger than the total area of our state New Jersey. At present more than 28,000 men and women are battling the fires. For comparison, the size of the current fires in California are nearly double the total acreage which burns in a whole year based on average of the last 10 years. The impacts to people, property and our planet are staggering.
Creating and Loving God,
You have made a world which is as beautiful as it is dangerous and wild.
Hear now our prayers for those who are impacted by the fires which are burning in the western United States:
for those directly in harms way we ask your shelter and protection…
for those who don’t have access to shelter, food, and other daily needs we ask your sustenance and provision…
for those who have lost love ones, homes, places of worship, workplaces and community spaces we ask your comfort and companionship as they grieve
for your wondrous creation which has been scarred and which remains in danger we ask your restoration
for the ways we have failed as stewards of that creation, callously exploiting with out concern for the impacts on our neighbors and your world we ask forgiveness.
Strengthen O Lord with your caring presence, those who are overwhelmed with fear and distress. Calm O Lord, with Your everlasting peace, those who anxiously wait word of their loved ones. Comfort, O Lord, those who morn.
We know God, that where there is trouble, You are there. Motivate those who do Your work of healing here on earth to show up. Protect the emergency responders, the doctors and nurses, the police, first responders and local officials that they might lead with your wisdom, care as with your own heart, and show forth your justice in their decision making.
Encourage those of us who follow You to help, sharing generously of our prayers, our resources, and even our very selves, to be your hands and feet, and in doing so reminding those impacted that no one suffers alone.
We pray these prayers trusting that You are, always and everywhere, tending to our needs even before we are even aware of them, and that You are alway with us.
To support the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance response to wildfires in the Western US, designate gifts to DR000165