Prayers In Times of Natural Disasters

While it is comforting to know the many ways that local, regional and national government workers and officials are responding to a natural disaster, you may find yourself asking if there is anything you can immediately do to help. There are three practical ways:
- Pray
- Donate to a relief agency
- Become a trained volunteer for the next event


Let Our Cries Come Unto You

Most merciful and compassionate God,
Giver of Life and Love,
hear our prayers
and let our cries come unto you.
We weep with your people 
We hear the cries of orphaned children and laments of bereaved parents
We feel the desperation of those searching for loved ones
We behold the silence of vanished villages.
We see the devastation.
We are overwhelmed by the enormity of it all.
Our hearts are hushed, our minds are numb.
Let not our hands be stopped, our voices dumb.
God of the universe,
Open our hearts to feel your compassion
Galvanize in us the act of continued giving
Bond us to our sisters and brothers in need
Comfort and heal the injured, the bereaved, the lost
Strengthen the aid workers and medical personnel
Bolster the resolve of governments and those with power to help
Open through this tragedy pathways to partnerships and peace
In Your Name of mercy and healing and compassion we pray

- Offered for the people of Japan following the earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011


Pierce Our Hearts With Compassion

Lord, at times such as this,
when we realize that the ground beneath our feet
is not as solid as we had imagined,
we plead for your mercy.

As the things we have built crumble about us,
we know too well how small we truly are
on this ever-changing, ever-moving,
fragile planet we call home.
Yet you have promised never to forget us.

Do not forget us now.

Today, so many people are afraid.
They wait in fear of the next tremor.
They hear the cries of the injured amid the rubble.
They roam the streets in shock at what they see.
And they fill the dusty air with wails of grief
and the names of missing dead.

Comfort them, Lord, in this disaster.
Be their rock when the earth refuses to stand still,
and shelter them under your wings when homes no longer exist.

Embrace in your arms those who died so suddenly this day.
Console the hearts of those who mourn,
and ease the pain of bodies on the brink of death.

Pierce, too, our hearts with compassion,
we who watch from afar,
as the poorest on this side of the earth
find only misery upon misery.
Move us to act swiftly this day,
to give generously every day,
to work for justice always,
and to pray unceasingly for those without hope.

And once the shaking has ceased,
the images of destruction have stopped filling the news,
and our thoughts return to life’s daily rumblings,
let us not forget that we are all your children
and they, our brothers and sisters.
We are all the work of your hands.

For though the mountains leave their place
and the hills be tossed to the ground,
your love shall never leave us,
and your promise of peace will never be shaken.

Our help is in the name of the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
Blessed be the name of the Lord,
now and forever.

- Offered for the people of Haiti following the earthquake of January 12, 2010

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An Approaching Hurricane

   God of the heavens: nature and all that You have created are truly awesome. Often, we; take these wonders for granted. Teach us to cherish all of your gifts.
   Try as we might, we know that we cannot control the oceans, the mountains, the weather. We also firmly believe that ever since the time of Noah, You do not send floods, make the earth shake, or dispatch weather formations, such as hurricanes, as warnings or punishments.
   So we ask, as this hurricane approaches land and approaching our brothers and sisters, that You shelter all who will be in its path. Watch over everyone, their loved ones, friends, and fellow people, many of whom are preparing to evacuate. Guard them as they prepare, perhaps to leave their homes again. Give them strength, courage, and resolve to ride out this storm; answer their prayers and ours that they be blessed with goodness and be spared from harm.
   Baruch ata Adonai, Elohanu Melech Haolam she kocho u-gevurato maleh olam.
   Blessed are You, Source of Life and Nature, whose awesome power and strength fill our world and inspire us to be strong in the face of all of life's difficulties.

 - Rabbi Fred Guttman
 

 


In Our Hearts

Compassionate Lord, we pray for those who have been devastated by recent natural disasters. We remember those who have lost their lives so suddenly. We hold in our hearts the families forever changed by grief and loss. Bring them consolation and comfort. Surround them with our prayer for strength. Bless those who have survived and heal their memories of trauma and devastation. May they have the courage to face the long road of rebuilding ahead. 

We ask your blessing on all those who have lost their homes, their livelihoods, their security and their hope. Bless the work of relief agencies and those proving emergency assistance. May their work be guided by the grace and strength that comes from You alone.

Help us to respond with generosity in prayer, in assistance, in aid to the best of our abilities. Keep our hearts focused on the needs of those affected, even after the crisis is over. We ask this in Jesus' name.

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God is Our Refuge

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.
God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved;
God will help it when the morning dawns.
The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.

- From Psalm 46   

For more Prayers in Times of Trouble and Disaster, click here. 

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For Victims of Natural Disasters

Gracious God, I pray for the victims of this disaster, Lord, that you would comfort the lives that were spared Lord, and that you would take care of those who perished.

Lord, please bless those who are doing everything they can to help these people and also make sure that things run smoothly in repairing this great community/State/Nation.

Please help the victims to have patience and also help family members to be reunited. Lord, I pray that you will ensure that the victims do not come under any illnesses from this disaster, and I also pray that they get enough food and clean water and proper shelter for everyone.

Lord, please touch the hearts of the world to continue to pray for these people and also to donate whatever they can to help rebuild this wonderful State.

Lord , only you can make miracles happen and I am asking for one now. Amen.

- Bridgett of Ontario, CA, adapted from "Hurricane Katrina Prayer"

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In Times of Natural Disasters

Lord, please be with the rescue workers and keep them safe as they make heroic efforts in dangerous situations to rescue those in trouble.
Lord, please be with everyone waiting to be rescued, keep them safe, and bring help to them soon.
God, bless each and every person affected by this storm and surround them with Your love, protection, and angels.
Let them know there are millions of us out here praying for them and their loved ones.
We give You all the praise and glory forever, Lord, and know that even in the darkest hours, You are always with us.

- Adapted from "Prayer for the Victims of Hurricane Katrina"

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Lift Up Those Who Have Fallen

Holy One, you are our comfort and strength
in times of sudden disaster, crisis, or chaos.
Surround us now with your grace and peace
through storm or earthquake, fire or flood.

By your Spirit, lift up those who have fallen,
sustain those who work to rescue or rebuild,
and fill us with the hope of your new creation;
through You, our rock and redeemer.

- Author Unknown 

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Psalm 46:1

God is our refuge and our strength. An ever present help in times of trouble.

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For the People

God of healing and mercy, we come before you with our hearts filled with grief as we see the devastation.
We pray that your presence would be felt by those who are grieving, who are injured, who have lost their homes and livelihoods.
We pray for wisdom and safety for those who are responding to the people in need and the many challenges left in the wake of the event.
We pray for our church, that it may be a witness to your compassion and care for all who suffer.
God, you are our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble. For this we give you thanks and ask that you hear our prayers for the people of_________________________________.

- Adopted from a prayer of the Mennonite World Conference for the people of Japan following the earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011.

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A Prayer of Relief

Loving and gracious God,
All love and mercy compels us to the side of our global brothers and sisters.
In our charity, and in our compassion, help us stand with them.
In our solidarity and in our sharing, help us stand with them.
In our advocacy, and in our prayer, help us stand with them.
And as we turn to them in their peril, we ask your grace go with us:
To feed the hungry:
     -give us your grace.
To give drink to the thirsty:
     -give us your grace.
To clothe the naked:
     -give us your grace.
To shelter the homeless:
     -give us your grace.
To care for the sick:
     -give us your grace.
To reach the trapped and the stranded:
     -give us your grace.
To mourn the dead:
     -give us your grace.
And in reaching out, may we find you in them.
And may they find you in us.

- Adopted from a prayer of Catholic Relief Services following Typhoon Haiyan, November 2013

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