A prayer for communities devastated by fires

Rev Cathie Lambert wrote this prayer in 2011 when fires devastated the Margaret River region. It may be adapted for prayers for others this week as we remember communities in Alberta devastated by the huge fire that has seen 80,000+ people evacuated and countless homes, buildings and livelihoods destroyed.

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We lament the devastation of the fires…..

of tragic loss…

of homes reduced to ash…

of mementos that held treasured memories…

of treasured possessions and everyday necessities…

of livelihood…

of vegetation and animals…

of the beauty of the landscape

We bring these images of loss into Your Presence, sharing Your grief and sharing the grief of Your people and Your land.

We pray for those affected – for courage, strength, patience and hope, to face the days and weeks and months ahead, even when the story no longer has media attention.

We give thanks for those who have fought hard to contain the fire and bring it to an end, and for those who have supported residents – for firefighters, police officers, ambulance officers, and emergency workers. We are thankful that no lives have been lost in this catastrophe.

We give thanks that the people are not alone in their time of grief, anger and confusion, and that the sense of goodwill in the community, and across our nation, offers them encouragement and practical support in their time of need.

We give thanks that the God we know in Jesus Christ journeys with us and remains with us all the days of our life, even through the dark valleys and times of sorrow and lament. Amen.

(Rev Cathie Lambert, 2011)

O God of Mighty Wind and Flame
ELLACOMBE 8.6.8.6 D
(“I Sing the Mighty Power of God”; “Hail To the Lord’s Anointed”)
O God of mighty wind and flame who fills your church with power,
We gather here in Jesus’ name, to ask your help this hour.
When nature’s might seems far too strong and flames are swirling high,
When days bring fear and nights are long, Lord, hear your people’s cry.

Some, having not the time to pack, lost all they left behind;
We pray that when they can go back, your strength is what they’ll find.
As they are grieving, bending low to sift through ash and stone,
We pray that soon, again, they’ll know the comfort of a home.

Some labor hard for little pay; their blessings seem so few.
They don’t have homes to save this day — God, keep them close to you.
Some risk their lives and give up sleep, to fight the fires so long;
In this, the vigil that they keep, God, keep them safe and strong.

O God in whom we live and move — when lives are torn apart,
Give us, your church, abundant love to heal each broken heart.
And when we see our neighbors’ pain, give us the grace to share,
Till like a gentle, needed rain, new hope will fill the air.

Tune: Gesangbuch der Herzoglich Wirtembergischen Katholischen Hofkapelle, 1784 (“I Sing the Mighty Power of God”; “Hail To the Lord’s Anointed”)
Text: Copyright © 2007 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.
Email: bcgillette@comcast.net New Hymns: www.carolynshymns.com
Bruce said, I wrote this hymn originally for fires in California, the third verse might note be relevant for the new fires in Canada. You are welcome to use the hymn to support your work there.

 

 

 

About admin

Rev Sandy Boyce is a Uniting Church in Australia Minister (Deacon) in placement at Pilgrim Uniting Church, in Adelaide CBD (12 Flinders St). This blog is mainly to resource worship planners for our services, but of course may be useful for others. We have some great writers of music, words for hymns and liturgy at Pilgrim, so this blog also includes their words.
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